Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Metal vs. Plastic

We've all lost sleep over which is better:  metal or plastic chicken and pet accessories.  Right?  No, it's probably just me.  Regardless, I've done the research and this is the short of it:

Galvanized Metal Pros and Cons:
-sturdy and chew-proof
-waterers easily heated during winter
-top-fill designs on waterers and feeders
-waterers rust easily
-may react to antibiotics and water/food additives
-generally more expensive

Plastic Pros and Cons:
-generally less expensive
-non-reactive with additives
-can be bleached and cleaned easily
-waterers/feeders may have to be removed to fill them
-may crack during extreme temperatures
-may be accessible to motivated rodents

It seems to me that it's a matter of personal preference and budget except in the case of waterers.  Even though properly galvanized metal should not rust, reviews and forum entries are thick with rust issues on metal waterers.  Metal is about 20% more expensive than plastic generally speaking.  My solution is a mix of the two.

Even though I prefer the look of galvanized metal, the chicks used small plastic waterers and feeders because they were inexpensive and easy to clean.   The dogs and rabbits also have plastic water and feed buckets.  But, I do use large galvanized trash cans to store my feed and shavings and deter rodents with sharp teeth. Thanks to my little brother, I've just inherited two large plastic chicken waterers and metal feeder so it seems that I will get to test the pros and cons for myself. I will keep you posted on the reality of my research.

My sources:;;;

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