A Davidson, N.C. reader has come up with a solution for me. Four weeks ago, I wrote an article for my newspaper column Critter Companions, titled “Prioritize Pets,?in which I wrote about being short on time with my pets?husbandry needs. I had accidently forgot to do a few chores all in the same week. My solution was to come up with lists.
Following a checklist helped me stayed on track. A reader had a similar problem a few years ago.
“I was tired of cleaning out water dishes and was concerned with my work schedule the birds were going to run out of water,?Frank Cardaropoli told me. He shared how difficult it was to travel, even for the weekend due to finding a flock sitter who was reliable.
“We could put enough food down for a few days and our coop door was automatic, it was the water that was the issue,?Cardaropli added.
In the last half of 2012, Cardaropli and his wife created The Chicken Fountain?lt;/span> ?an automatic watering system.
“This is truly a family-run business,?Cardaropli says. “My wife and I work full-time building systems and marketing The Chicken Fountain. We also have our boys that work with us after school as well as two part-time people who come in and help us stay on top of orders.?lt;/span>
During the busy season they expand their work force to stay up with the demand. Every unit is built, assembled and tested on their farm in North Carolina. They also build CoopTight, a pet door on their farm. The pet door is designed to keep the heat inside during the winter and wild birds out. Cardaropli tells me that many customers are finding the door to be the perfect fit for their small dog or cat, since smaller animals have a difficult time pushing open the bigger style pet doors.
In addition to the door, they make several different models of The Chicken Fountain. So when Frank read about my problem he sent me one of the smaller systems, which is perfect for my bantam birds. However, you may be wondering how this North Carolina family is familiar with Western New York column.
“During my limited spare time I try to stay on top of issues relating to all types of animals not only chickens,?Cardaropli said. In addition to poultry, this family also raised two macaws. “I also love the articles you write for the different publications,?he adds. So after reading a Backyard Poultry magazine issue, he logged onto Facebook and now has access to the weekly Western New York column.
“At first our target market was backyard poultry owners but over the past two years we have come to realize that our systems are being used for many different types of pets,?Cardaropli explains.
Their Facebook page currently has over 23,000 fans. Their systems, in addition to being used for chickens, are now being used for pets such as rabbits, turkeys, ducks, peafowl, parrots, mice, guinea pigs, ferrets and possibly barn cats.
With everything being included inside the box there are no extra trips to the hardware store. Cardaropli says installing the system is typically done in about 10 minutes or so.
As it gets even colder here in WNY you may be wondering if now is a good time to purchase an automatic watering system. Cardaropli has developed a way to prevent the system from freezing.
“We have a “patent pending” on our heating process for the units,?he says. They have found that heating the water is not the issue, but keeping the dripper that hangs on the outside warm was the real puzzle.
“In freezing temperatures the drippers freeze solid no matter how warm the water is behind the dripper?Cardaropli explains. Once a dripper freezes the birds cannot get water out of the unit. He says his design changes all of that. They have modified the drippers to prevent them from freezing.
“We have used the system for the past two winters and have had great success. Customers report that they get no freeze ups in weather as low as 1 degree.?This sounds great for many northern states.
Thank you Cardaropli family for the watering system, I appreciate it, and my birds appreciate it even more.
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