DIY waterer? Any ideas?

floppysquirrel04

Songster
Jul 24, 2019
263
471
122
Northern Ca
Hello! Right now my hens are using just a feed pan as a waterer. It is really annoying, it gets feathers and dirt and shavings in it. I’ve been looking at the gravity feeders at think that’s going to be the best. I’ve been looking at things like these:
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Where might I get a completely airtight container like this? I don’t want anything over about 5 gallons, for ease of transportation and clean out. I know for the waterers to work they need to be airtight. Has anyone ever attempted this with something like a 5 gallon buckets with a snap or screw on lid? I would buy one, but they are about $50 that I’m not willing to spend on a watering system. I’d also like something with a lid, I hate the ones that you have to flip over. My friends have both of these kind, and the screw on lid is just the best, but they’re so pricy.
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I wish I could do a hose attachment one, but we only have one hose attachment and I’d be worried about remembering to switch them after watering the plants.
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I don’t like the nipple feeders either, I don’t like how they look and everyone I know who had tried them gave up. Any suggestions on making one?
 

blackdog043

Crowing
Feb 19, 2017
2,129
3,323
376
Charlotte, NC
I don’t like the nipple feeders either, I don’t like how they look and everyone I know who had tried them gave up. Any suggestions on making one?
All of them that you posted are gonna get stuff in the water. You might as well stay with the pan if you don't want nipples. Maybe you could raise the pan higher, if it's not raised to high already. Back height of the chickens is a good start.

I love the horizontal nipples. I go away for a week and and don't worry about them running out of water or feed, I use no waste feeders.
 

Toothpick

Songster
Premium member
Aug 15, 2016
426
626
157
TN
I have these on two 5 gal. buckets - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N4SU4O8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I know you don't like them but IMO, it's just about the easiest and cleanest way to water. The instructions are simple. I put 5 around the bucket. Fill with water, put the lid on and done. You don't have to worry about algae growing, or dirt getting in the water. During the hot months you can freeze water bottles or 2L soda bottles and put in there to keep the water cool.

Personally, IDK that I would use anything else. The first one I made has lasted over 2 years.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
Nov 27, 2012
71,117
72,073
1,557
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Maybe I will give them a try :idunno;)
It takes patience...and careful installation.
Tips on installation in here:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/small-bottle-horizontal-nipple-waterer-for-wire-crates-by-aart.72704/


Here's my thoughts on 'nipple training'.

I've had all age birds either pick it right up within an hour...and others that take weeks to really figure it out.

First, it's good to know how much water your flock consumes 'normally', I top off water every morning and have marks on the waterers so I know about how much they drink.

-Show them how with your finger(tho that might just train them to wait for your finger),

and/or manually grab them and push their head/beak onto the trigger(easier with chicks than adults).

-No other water source, best to 'train' during mild weather when dehydration is less of an immediate health risk. I do provide an open waterer late in day to make sure they don't go to roost dehydrated, especially young chicks.

It can take days or weeks to get them fully switched over, just takes observation, consistency, and patience.
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
Feb 2, 2009
24,134
12,160
707
Southeast Louisiana
This is what I do in winter. It's black rubber so if it freezes I just knock the ice out and refill it. Cut a hole in a piece of plywood to fit the bowl so they can't tip it over. This is in a grow-out coop with a wire floor so no bedding to get scratched in it. They will poop in it so you need to empty it every day anyway. In a coop with bedding raise it high enough they can't scratch bedding in it and make the top plywood big enough they can walk on it to drink.

Grow out Water.JPG


If I set this black rubber bowl outside in the sun it generally stays thawed into the upper teens Fahrenheit. Of course it freezes at night and on cloudy days if it gets below freezing but I'm emptying it daily anyway. When I use this with baby chicks around I put rocks in it so they can walk on them and not drown.
 

floppysquirrel04

Songster
Jul 24, 2019
263
471
122
Northern Ca
This is what I do in winter. It's black rubber so if it freezes I just knock the ice out and refill it. Cut a hole in a piece of plywood to fit the bowl so they can't tip it over. This is in a grow-out coop with a wire floor so no bedding to get scratched in it. They will poop in it so you need to empty it every day anyway. In a coop with bedding raise it high enough they can't scratch bedding in it and make the top plywood big enough they can walk on it to drink.

View attachment 2003209

If I set this black rubber bowl outside in the sun it generally stays thawed into the upper teens Fahrenheit. Of course it freezes at night and on cloudy days if it gets below freezing but I'm emptying it daily anyway. When I use this with baby chicks around I put rocks in it so they can walk on them and not drown.
that’s what I have now. I have a large one turned upside down with a small one on top, but it still gets dirty and it’s hard to clean. It’s a pain to fill, because I always spill if I bring water to it or carry it with water.
 

ngennetta

Songster
Premium member
Apr 26, 2016
106
151
126
Colorado
The horizontal nipples make the easiest DIY waterer. You can use them on any size container- even a 55 gallon drum. You could add an auto fill valve in the summer. If you live in cold area, a submersible heater will keep the water from freezing. The horizontal nipples also don't freeze like the cups or vertical nipples. Just be careful because 99% of them are made in china- those ones have sharp edges and pins that are hard push :)
 

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