We have plenty of chicken waterers around that we don’t use anymore because we just got too frustrated. Anyone else get like this? Just one morning you wake up and say ‘ I can’t use this for one more day.’ And off to the store again to buy a different chicken waterer. There is nothing better than proper, and effective farm gear. It makes the day so much easier!
Don’t worry though, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Aside from some decent store bought ones, there is one magical DIY version of a chicken waterer. It’s cheap, easy, and in my opinion, the best one out there!
I will review the top three possibilities out there, but keep in mind the DIY version at the end!
Chicken Waterer #1
OK, just looking at this one frustrates me lol. Let’s start with the positives. Its carrying capacity is great and lasts a few days with a handful of birds, and its material is also nice and easy to clean. The handle and design of the locking system, however, are awful.
To lock it, you twist the white top into the red bottom and it fits into these little notches. But that means nothing. There have been countless times when it turns by mistake and all that water you just filled up, spills everywhere. Not to mention hanging it is virtually impossible. Next, please…
Chicken Waterer #2
The only positive for this chicken waterer is that nice tray. Although, not necessary, it does make it slightly easier to give it a quick clean. You just pop out the tray and dump out the mess. But again, you have to fill from the bottom, which to me seems more complicated and increases the chance of water spilling out again.
It locks in a similar way to the above chicken waterer, and there is no handle from above or hanging option at all. The handle is on the side, which is annoying for carrying. This design was coined as the anti-perch top, but in my experience, none of our chickens did that. On to the next…
Chicken Waterer #3
This is a different type of chicken waterer, finally one that can be hung from above! It’s got chicken nipples built in from the bottom that sticks out so the birds can nudge water out. This one is actually pretty good except for one thing….. You have to go inside your chicken coop/tractor, hold the bottom of the waterer with one hand and twist off the top black cap with the other and juggle it just to refill.
My husband got so frustrated, he drilled a 1.5″ hole in the black lid just so he could fit the hose through from the outside. Nope…
What the Perfect Chicken Waterer Looks Like
This is why we made our own. There is no perfect chicken waterer, except for maybe this one… I like to make sure the waterer is made from some sort of plastic so it doesn’t rust (like metal ones) and it’s easier to clean.
I also like to look for a decent carry capacity so I’m not out there twice a day filling up their water. 5-gallons is a good rule of thumb.
Never get anything that locks of fills from the bottom. It just doesn’t make any sense and you will loose a lot of water. I like ones that can be hung if needed and can be filled from the top outside of the coop/tractor… like this one:
Best DIY Waterer
It may not look like anything special, but trust me, you’ll love it. It’s super easy to make and it literally works the best!! I will link all of the supplies to Amazon, though a little more expensive, you might be better off going to your local hardware/feed store.
What You’ll Need
- 5-gallon plastic pail(white or light colour)
- Set of 6 chicken nipples ( or whatever comes in a package)
- Drill or Impact Driver with bore hole bit (check size)
- String/twine to hang with
What You’ll Do
- Mark out 6 dots on the bottom of the pail
- Measure the diameter of the screw part of the nipple, and drill a hole that size through, using your bit where you marked
- Push/screw chicken nipples in snug – no need for glue
- Wash before use & hang for your chickens! The great thing about this is if you’re raising chicksyou can lower the waterer to the perfect height.
And that’s it! See how easy that was and I think its under $10 for the whole thing.
A Close Second
If you prefer a store-bought waterer or don’t have a place to hang your waterer, I recommend this one as shown in the picture below. We also use these for our pastured chicken operation, as they have a big capacity, a handle, and can fill up from the top!
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or if you end up making one!