Ever have something come into your life and suddenly you wonder how you lived without it? Such is the story with my outside sink. I got along just fine without it for years....I washed feed bowls using the hose. I filled chick waterers with the hose. I pretty much used that hose for every single chicken chore I needed water for! Keeping backyard chickens can be messy and that hose worked overtime to help me clean it all up. Of course I was often leaning over to pick it up off the ground, or sitting on the ground to use it. It wasn't very comfortable but it got the job done so why complain? Then came the day Mr Roboto saw an ad for a sink. Not just any sink, a 3 bowl stainless steel commercial kitchen sink.....with drainboards. It was being sold by a person who had bought an old church and was turning it into a thrift shop. The price was right (cheap) and it was in the truck and on it's way here in no time.
I wasn't sure about this idea at first. This thing was huge! It was almost as long as our guinea house is wide (12 foot) and ended up taking up residence right alongside it. He had plans to install hot and cold water and a permanent drain, but those are on hold briefly. For now it has a cold water hose attached to it and the water simply runs out of the drains and into the rocks below. I couldn't imagine using this enough to justify it sitting there. Then begrudgingly I started using it. At first I put some hand soap out there and used to to wash up after gardening. Then I cleaned a few bowls in it, standing up! The more I used it the more I realized that it really made keeping up with the chicken chores a whole lot easier. Now, I don't recommend you run out and buy a monster sink like this! However, I do believe that everyone who has chickens should have at least a small sink outside....and here is why:
1) Washing chicken bowls and waterers. No more lugging them into the house with litter sticking to the bottoms and no more squatting down on the ground using the hose. Just like washing dishes, but outside.
2) Washing hands more often. Admit it....you get started cleaning the coop and you get an itch on your nose! Why? Who knows but I was always trying to scratch it with my shoulder or something else that wasn't dirty. Anything to avoid going in the house, taking off my boots....just to wash my hands. No more! Now I just stroll over to the outside sink and wash up!
3) Soaking chicken equipment. Where else do you have to soak something that's a bit poo crusted? I used to use the laundry tub but that meant I was carrying the item in the house, across my clean floor.....It's just easier to do it outside. (and hubby doesn't get mad about me trekking poo through the house!)
4) Cleaning poopy butt, or the chicken who sits on the lowest roost each night and sometimes gets pooped on. Outside baths are nice for the chicken and the house stays dry!
5) Butchering. Just in case you do butcher, this really makes for easier clean up. (or cleaning freshly caught fish!)
6) Cleaning the dog. Is my Jack Russel the only dog that rolls in chicken poo? Thankfully she fits in the sink!
7) Filling bowls and buckets. An extra faucet is always nice to have.
8) It keeps possible diseases out of your kitchen! Ecoli, salmonella, avian flu......sure it's a very small chance, but do you really want these diseases coming into your house through dirty bowls? Wash 'em outside instead!
9) Washing eggs. If you're an egg washer, this makes the whole process much easier.
Cleaning garden produce outside keeps dirt out of the kitchen drain!
Recycle the water with a bucket underneath for watering gardens, lawns etc.
I just can't believe how many times a day I use this thing! It really makes keeping things clean so much easier! Now why didn't I think of this earlier????
(a big thank you to everyone for hanging in here with me through my non-posting times as I recover from my quad accident/concussion. I have the worlds best readers! Thanks!)