5 Easy Steps to Build a DIY Chicken Waterer

by Shaun Doherty on March 18, 2012

Raising backyard poultry entails not only building chicken pens but DIY chicken waterer too. For a healthier flock, your chickens do not just need protection from the elements, sufficient nutrition (which they can get from your vegetable garden beds if you have one), and enough space to run around, but equally important, clean water too. You can buy commercial chicken waterers or build a cheaper DIY chicken waterer yourself. It is quite simple enough to do.

DIY Chicken Waterer Guide

DIY Chicken Waterer1.    Determine the number of DIY chicken waterer you need. A three-gallon waterer is good for a full day for about half a dozen chickens. The commercial variety is in the neighborhood of $20, but a DIY chicken waterer would only cost about half as much,and sometimes even less. You can opt for a bigger five-gallon bucket but that might be unwieldy if you need to move the bucket around. You may also need to consider the size of your chicken pen: The standard 2- or 3-gallon bucket looks more feasible in limited spaces.

2.    Choose buckets and pans that have not been used for other (toxic) purposes, to avoid poisoning your chickens. You also would need an oil pan for your DIY chicken waterer with a diameter bigger than the lid of your bucket and with a depth of more than two inches. Make sure that the oil pan has not been greased or it has been thoroughly cleaned.

3.    Drill holes into your bucket. To do this, you need to have a bucket with a tightly fitting lid. Without filling the DIY chicken waterer yet, put the lid on, and place the bucket upside down on the oil pan. Mark the height of the oil pan around the bucket so you know the maximum water level. You need to drill holes that are one inch below the water mark when the bucket is placed upside down on the oil pan (or one inch above the water mark when the bucket is right side up).

4.    Fill the container with water. Then, cover it with a tightly fitting lid and flip it upside down (this is the reason why you need to have a manageable bucket size) so the water starts flowing out of the holes and into the oil pan. Now you have a DIY chicken waterer. The principle is to keep the water flowing until it submerges the holes on the perimeter of the bucket. As long as the holes are under water, the vacuum pressure inside the bucket will prevent excess water from coming out. Water will only start flowing out again once the water level in the oil pan is below the holes. This cycle continues until all of the water has been drunk or dried up.

5.    Repeat the process for every six chickens or so. You can have one DIY chicken waterer for your entire flock, but expect that there will be competition for water and that you will replace water more frequently than if you have several other DIY chicken waterer. You can buy a more unwieldy water gallon, maybe a 5-gallon bucket, so you don’t replenish water as frequently. As long as you can manage to handle the DIY chicken waterer by yourself, a 5-gallon bucket is optimal.

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