Building an "automated waterer"

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Balloonjuice, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. Balloonjuice

    Balloonjuice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    After reading in another section of the BYC forum about people who were using both vertical and horizontal nipples, and after seeing on the interweb that there are both push-in and screw-in nipples, I started looking around.

    Now I'm not the laziest guy in the world, but I would love to be him. So, I'm looking for a "down and dirty" way to build an automatic waterer. Stay with me; there's a question at the end of this post.

    I stopped by either Ace or Lowe's the other day and found a device that is made for a rain collection barrel called a "Bulkhead union connector." Basically what the connector does is allow one to connect a soaker hose to the barrel. It goes in the bulkhead (wall for non-swabbies) of the barrel and provides a seal and a 3/4" hose connector. For those who are looking for one it is a Watts PL-1872.

    My thinking is to put it through the lid of a 6 1/2 gallon bucket and instead of using it to drain a barrel, use it to fill a watering bucket. So now we simply attach the nipples to the bottom of the bucket and suspend it from a strap or chain. Alternatively, I suppose we could place the nipples in the side of the bucket near the bottom.

    Here is the question: When using an arrangement like this, how important would it be to spend a few extra dollars and use a food grade bucket? Yeah, I know that using a fountain they will even foul their own water. But neither do I want to introduce lead, arsenic, or the like. Any experience along this line would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Restaurants go through a lot of food grade buckets. I can get three 5 gallon pickle buckets a week from a local welsh pub. Otherwise they throw them away.
     
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  3. Balloonjuice

    Balloonjuice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great idea. And it gives me a reason to visit the local pub (not that I need a reason). [​IMG]
     
  4. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My only concern with a setup like this is that I would not take apart the bucket and clean it enough. I already struggle with this issue, I have a 5gal bucket waterer that with only 8 chickens i can go several weeks without filling it and I feel I should probably empty and clean it more often than it needs water. If I could just turn on the hose now and then to top it off I'd probably forget to clean it for months.

    don't know if that's a problem or not but I feel better if I clean the bucket every couple weeks.
     
  5. moetrout

    moetrout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I get my food grade buckets from the local dounut shop. They usually smeet nice and sweet. I installed my push in water nipples (purchased froma a member here on BYC) in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket.
     
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  6. fortyfivefarm

    fortyfivefarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Almost any bakery will also have the ones that frosting and lard come in. I scored about a dozen with lids last time I asked.
     
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  7. Balloonjuice

    Balloonjuice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We do have plenty of bakeries and donut shops in Seven Points and Gun Barrel City. Thanks for the tips. Also, Moetrout, if you could PM the name of the member you bought the nipples from, I'm sure I'll end up using more.

    I fiddled with the set up in the shop this afternoon and found that with the particular nipples I had (interior ball bearing or slide bearing of some kind) the bottom mount worked better. Less leakage and better flow. Now when I make the actual waterer, I'll use the nipples verically.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. moetrout

    moetrout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry, but I don't remember. I probably would if I heard the name again. I'll search around and see what I can find for you. I find my 5 gallon buckets stay surprisingly clean. Make sure it's vented a little at the top, otherwise if the lid has a really good seal the water won't flow after a while. It only takes a really small hole to do the trick.
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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  10. ClovisMan

    ClovisMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I bought the Horizontal Solway nipples from the guy in Florida. I have them screwed into a 1 inch PVC pipe. The pipe is then connected to a 65 gallon rain barrel I got from Sams Club for 80 bucks. I'll use a splitter and have one mounted inside the coop and one mounted outside. I should only need to water about what....once a month or so. Total investment is around $120.00 for barrel, nipple, and various PVC fittings and pipe but well worth not having to water twice a day! I will eventually connect the barrel to the gutters I plan on installing on the coop to catch the rain runoff.

    [​IMG]
     

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