Laundry Bucket Waterer
We've been using this waterer for a few months now, and I love that the water stays clean!
laundry soap bucket with lid [recycled]
nipple waterers from FarmTek.com [$2 each, plus shipping] (also at my local feed store);
PVC pipe & fittings & glue [$5?]
rubber washers & silicone sealant
bricks & some wire
First, I drilled a hole in the bottom of the bucket for the PVC fitting. The threaded end gets a washer on it and then goes inside the bucket (washer not pictured).
The other end inside gets a washer and another fitting screwed on. I like that the PVC fitting is raised up from the floor of the bucket to keep out any sediment that might get in.
I drilled holes in the PVC pipe for the water nipples and screwed them in. Then I glued a cap on the end of the line. I tested them with water and they leaked, so I put silicone sealant around the base of each one.
I attached the nippler pipe to the bucket using other PVC fittings and glue. (This was like a puzzle at the supply store!) I can unscrew the nippler pipe from the line to clean it out, if necessary.
I carefully put the nippler line through the cage wire and then set the bucket on top of two bricks placed on their sides to leave room for the PVC pipe underneath. This, on top of two cinder blocks, seems to be a good height for the hens. (When I get a picture of the hens using the waterer, I'll post it.) I used wire to hold up the end of the nippler line in case someone decided to perch on it.
I just fill the bucket with a hose, put the lid on, and my hens have a clean supply of water! You can also add a small block of ice to the bucket in the hot summer months.
UPDATE: I've installed a toilet float valve into the upper side of the bucket so that I can hook it up to a water line. I'm still using this waterer, but have yet to hook it up to a water line. I get some wetness on the ground, but not enough to make a mud mess. I recently purchased a dark blue 5 gallon bucket from Lowe's to use instead because the light colored bucket allows for green algae to grow inside. It isn't bad, just unsightly, and I don't want any to clog up the nipple valves.