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4 Dollar Chicken Feeder & Water

From Message Board member Kent in WA:
"You can make free waterers and feeders for about $4. Check at your local grocery store. If they have a deli or bakery then ask for their buckets. My local Albertsons has all the free buckets you'll ever need. I've picked up a couple dozen 2.5 - 5 gallon buckets.

Buy a 20 inch plastic planter base ($4) and drill 1" holes all the way around the base of the bucket. Bolt the planter base to the bucket. 5 gal bucket will hold about 40 lbs of feed. If you have lots of free buckets a quick waterer can be made from a 5 gal bucket in about 5 mins. You need a 2 inch hole saw bit, I use the one I bought for installing a door knob. Drill 2 inch holes all the way around the top of the bucket.

Birds will be able to stick their heads in the bucket to reach the water. They will hold about 3 gals of water. Hey for nothing you can't beat that!"

From Message Board member Utah:
"I have used this waterer for about 20 birds. It sits on two cynder blocks (or however you spell it) - And in one of the holes in the block I put an extension cord with a 25 or 40 watt bulb screwed into one of those adapters that allows you to just plug it into the extension cord. It costs about $2.00 for the bulb adaptor, $3.00 for the cord, And below you see I have an oil pan that was $4.00, and the bucket with lid was free - it is a 6 gallon bucket.

All I did was drill a half inch hole about 2 inches from the top of the bucket to allow water flow into the pan, and just pound the lid on for the seal, then place it upside down in the pan. The oil pans are about 4 inches deep so there is room for mistakes. And with the bulb underneath for heat, this works out great for my 20 birds. It lasts about one week with water."

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Comments (25)

Great watering idea. Does just keeping the buckets up on cynder blocks keep the water and food clean? I need an idea of how to keep the water and food clean from the hens scratching straw into the pans. Thanks for the idea.
Love these kinds of idea! Cheap and effective. Great ideas.
ever had any problem with the water bucket getting knocked around or tipped over (especially when the water level is low)? electric socket below water would make me nervous.
i really like this idea
I use this water bucket, without the light (I live in northwest Florida) dont have much of a freezing problem. This has worked great for me and I have never had a problem with my chickens knocking the bucket off. I have it sitting on top of a concrete block also. You will notice when the water level starts dropping in the pan to go ahead and refill it. I allowed mine to become empty right after using it the first time, my girls let me know very quick that it was time for a refill!! LOL
What watt bulb do you use?
Great ideas! Thank you for sharring.
I like this. Probably going to use this idea, simple and cheap.
My coop is going to be too far from the house to run electric or water though. Not sure how I can keep the water from freezing in winter. Any ideas on that?
for idrankwhat
you cann use a fish tank hater=) if i had more than 2 chickens thats what i would do.
i tried this technique, with a 5-gal bucket and a saucerpan from a large plant. but all the h20 spilled out over the rim of the saucer. what did i do wrong?
It's a simple enough theory and all (Fluid Dynamics) but I also had the same problem. If you are using the bucket as it would normally sit and not the upside down version, here is what I have learned. A) You must have an airtight lid. Any air that leaks into the bucket through the lid will empty your bucket. The key is that the only air that enters the bucket is allowed in through the holes that are drilled into the bottom of the bucket. I bought a food grade screw on bucket lid with a small gasket thinking it would allow the entire bucket opening for easy filling, but....I am having a terrible time get an airtight seal. I even silicone around the ring that actually pounds onto the bucket allow the lid to be screwed on. Still no go. My next attempt will be to use a lid with a 2" threaded hole with a screw on lid (the type the you might see on a paint bucket. B) You have to also be sure that the holes you drill are not above the elevation of the drinking pan that you plan to sit the bucket into. On my first go round, I had my holes a little too high. In theory it would have worked (IF the ground where you set is PERFECTLY level). Otherwise the water can flow over the edge of the pan and not fully cover the hole(s) in the bottom of the bucket, allowing air to enter the bucket and therefore emptying the bucket. C) On a separate issue, the hole size that you drill in bottom of the bucket are not really critical (as long as the water in the drinking pan covers the entire hole when it is filled with water), but....super small hole can get plugged with debris from either inside or out. Too large of a hole can make a mess and leak more water the necessary if you are in a situation where you have to fill the bucket remotely from your watering spot and carry it to where it belongs. Okay, my fingers are officially tired :) Hope that helps. Good luck.
Perhaps I should have proof read that before I hit "post". Please over-look my grammar errors.
Great Idea!! I like the feeder and waterers!!
thanks electric481. yes, i failed to address the need for an airtight lid. now it makes sense. back to the work bench.
I love this idea!! Recycle Reuse Renew!
I'm confused as to where the light bulb goes???
You put a cinder block under the feeder, cinder blocks typically have two hollowed out holes in them and you put the bulb in the hole.
Good idea and easy enough to make thank you !!!!!!!!!!!!
making the top feeder and bottom watering one today! thanks!! :D
Well....i remember back when i was in school and the teacher gave you that paper and it said read all directions/steps before starting.....if you did all you had to do was put your name on the paper and underline or circle a word, if not you ended up being the one rubbing your head and patting your belly. So i bring this memory up because it seems a few of us still forget to read all directions/steps.
"All I did was drill a half inch hole about 2 inches from the top of the bucket to allow water flow into the pan, and just pound the lid on for the seal, then place it upside down in the pan."
Turn the bucket over then the seal will not matter. Don't worry i had the same moment of...oOoH!! lol
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