How do I build a chicken waterer? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Hi everyone my name is David and I live in North Central Texas. I have searched the internet diligently and have been unable to find plans for building a chicken waterer. I will be pasturing my chickens this year starting in the fall. I need help building a large capacity chicken waterer 5 gallons or more. I need this size because it gets HOT! down here during the summer and the birds need lots of water. My schedule does no facilitate me refilling smaller feeders several times a day. Anyone know how to build a functional waterer using say a 5 gallon bucket? Please help.

Thanks, David

-- David Valliant (, December 29, 2001


David, All I have ever done is fill a large tub of water and the chickens will perch and drink from it. If you can get to it once a day to dump and refill you shouldnt have any problems.

-- tracy (, December 29, 2001.

why dont you use a 5 gal bucket,, with a small hose attached,,to fill your "little waterer" ?

-- Stan (, December 29, 2001.


This is an easy one, I promise. Take a bucket of your choice in sizes, either round or square. Find a waterproof container about 3-5 inches deep, and only a few inches wider than the bucket. Put either 3 bricks or a few flat stones that are AT LEAST one inch shorter than the depth of your shallow container into the shallow container. I personally use a few 1"x1"x16" sticks or board pieces. Place the spacers (aks bricks, rocks, or boards) into the bottom of your shallow container so they are touching the outside edges. Fill your bucket up with water, and put a piece of cardboard BIGGER than the opening of the bucket over the top. Flip the bucket over(cardboard and all-hold one hand over the center of the cardboard to keep the water from rushing out) then set it into your container. Pull out the cardboard out and let the buckett rest on the spacers in the bottom of your shallow container. Water will fill the container to the point where the buckett rests, then slowly the container will be filled as the chickens drink, until the buckett is empty. This is a poor mans gravity waterer. Don't worry, you'll get the hang of it. After a little while, you can even skip the cardboard becasue you'll get the hang of it. A 5 gal. buckett will last my 5 chickens days. For a bunch of chickens, you'll have to fill it every day or two. If your shallow container is light enough, and you use wood spacers instead of rocks, you can simple fill the buckett, place the spacers and shallow container over the buckett opening, and flip the whole thing.

-- Marty in KS (, December 29, 2001.

Thanks everyone for the input!

-- David Valliant (, December 29, 2001.

I just wire the handles of 2 1/2 gallon feed buckets (the plastic thick kind) to the fence of the chicken yard. I wire them to the fence since they get knocked over otherwise. works, is simple, and I just hose them out and clean them real well every couple of weeks. You may want to put them in the shadiest spot. Not only so the water will be cooler for the hens, but also because the sun makes the algae grow faster in them.

-- jenny (, December 29, 2001.

I didn't make that real clear...I wire two buckets next to each other to the it equals 5 gals. I guess you could do a whole lineup of buckets if you needed to.

-- Jenny (, December 29, 2001.

Marty's description is good, but if you can get a bucket with a tight- fitting lid (say it used to contain food) then just cut a hole in the middle of the lid. You may never need to remove the lid again - fill with a hose through the hole, invert over your shallow drinking dish or trough so rapidly that not much spills. When the poultry drink the water below the level of the blocks holding up the upside-down bucket, water will run into the trough until the hole is covered again.

-- Don Armstrong (, December 30, 2001.

Put a few small pails or pans out for them. Be careful of using large buckets or pans if you have baby chicks...they will fall in and drown for sure.They will fill up on water in the morning when you leave and fill again at night. They will be fine. Can you just buy a 5 gallon waterer or how about a couple of the gallon sizes might work too !! Good Luck !!!

-- Helena (, December 30, 2001.

OK, everyone has been helpful, but I guess I should have made it clear my intent is to build a hanging feeder. So everyone who has an idea please ring in and tell me how to do it.

Thanks, David

-- Dvaid Valliant (, December 30, 2001.

David, I have built a chicken waterer with a 5 gallon bucket and a automatic type of bowel waterer. Just drill a hole in the bottom of a plastic bucket (free food service type) and connect with whatever plumbing adapters needed to make the connections. Mine uses old garden hose. Place the bucket above the bowel to gravity feed. Putting a lid on will keep the water clean and prevent the valve from plugging up. You will need to support the bowel somehow. The beauty of this system is the water stays clean. This type of setup will work well in chicken tractors also. The bowel type water is availible in farm supply stores and also Murray Mcmurray has one for sale on their website. Tom

-- Tom (, December 30, 2001.

I'm looking for a watering system as well. Hubby and I are building breeding cages and brooder boxes. I have the "Little Giant" gravity waterers in 7 gal, 5 gal, and 3 gal. However, I was looking for something lighter weight to put inside the cages.

I wanted to chime in on the "feeder". We are attaching a length of vinyl guttering outside the cage. The doors are raised slightly to allow heads to poke through. The guttering will be capped on each end, the birds will eat out of it like a trough. I'll let yall know how it works. Anyone with ideas to solve my watering problem please let me know.


-- Devera Morgan (, December 31, 2001.

whoo hoo, ya'll ARE crafty sorts aren't ya?! I'll be using your design for the 'poor mans'gravity waterer', since ive found my beautiful $ galvinized waterer is all rusty! Will i get big ol' muscles like you mrs.puck from flipping the durn thing? ;)

My input mr. valliant,[wow what a name to live up too!] is for where to get the best 5 gallon buckets in town.

Most any asian resturant,those handy foriegn born people again, buys the soy sauce/kikomans in heavy duty 5 gal.buckets that even have a gasket in the lid and built in spouts with shuttlecock?/on off handles.

-- bj pepper in C. MS. (, December 31, 2001.

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