Monday, December 8, 2014

New Chicken Waterer

I added a new crazy garden project to my list - a new, diy chicken waterer  The old one was starting to crack in places and the water in the basin at the bottom froze a couple of times last month, making me think this might not be the most convenient part of my chicken-keeping system.  A quick internet search for diy chicken waterer and I came up with lots of pictures of waterers you can make yourself for about the same cost as the cheap plastic one I'm replacing.

The waterer is basically a bucket with little nipples in the bottom that work sort of like those upside-down bottles you put on the side of a hamster cage, except the chickens have a little lever they can nudge instead of having to push in a little ball bearing.*

I drilled two holes on opposite sides of the bucket, in the bottom, wrapped some teflon tape around the threaded parts of the nipples, and screwed them into the bottom of the bucket.  The entire project was finished in less than ten minutes. 

I was a little worried the hens wouldn't know what to do with it, but their instincts served them well - they quickly started pecking at the new, shiny metal things in their run, then gulped in surprise when water came out.  Boom!  Lesson learned.  This morning when I went out to open the coop they can running out and went right to the waterer.

That little red thing she's pecking at is where the water comes out.

We already owned the bucket, purchased during our water supply outage back in 2011, and the cinder block came from some trash that was dumped at the end of our street last year.  The only things I had to buy were the bucket lid and the nipples, and so far this super-cheap solution is one of my favorite crazy garden projects.  I'm pretty hopeful that it will resist freezing, since it can hold a lot of water and any ice that forms should float to the top.  I'll let you know how it works out.

I would like to find a way to make it look a little nicer, so if you have any suggestions, let me know!


  1. I've never kept chickens so I'm starting from a low base.
    Does the bucket have a lid?
    This would keep the water free from autumn leaves. It would also save an adventurous chicken from an unplanned bath.

  2. LOL, Gill, I'm sorry I didn't see your comment sooner because that was a good laugh. In general the chickens have pretty good balance but I can easily imagine one of them ending up inside the bucket. However, before that happened she would poop in it six hundred times, so yes, there is a lid.