Diy waterer?

docdubz

Songster
5 Years
Nov 24, 2016
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Central Texas
Hi all. I got tired of having to lug several 3 gallon waterers every day (it's really not so bad of a chore but they are drinking it all faster and faster so it's getting tedious) so I decided to build something to make it a little easier. I just bought a whole bunch of stuff for it and I realized that I don't even know if it will work the way I'm thinking it should and one thing I learned with keeping chickens is when in doubt admit your a dummy and ask for help.

My plan was to make a trough out of a 3" PVC pipe, with each end capped. And then plumb half inch PVC from two 5 gal buckets sealed with screw on lids closer to my house and terminate the half in pipe right at the bottom of the 3" trough. My hope is that this will be a create a vacuum fed waterer that won't overfill the trough, but rather keep it at what ever level I install the half inch pipe to.

Does that sound like it would work? I'll try to draw a picture but my phone is the only internet I have so it's gonna be a doozy of a drawing lol.
 

docdubz

Songster
5 Years
Nov 24, 2016
363
374
171
Central Texas
Sorry best I could do on my phone hope this makes a little sense
 

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docdubz

Songster
5 Years
Nov 24, 2016
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374
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Central Texas
Actually now that I've thought about it a bit more I don't see why it wouldn't work as long as that 1/2" outlet is the only source that air can get into the buckets from
 

aart

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Actually now that I've thought about it a bit more I don't see why it wouldn't work as long as that 1/2" outlet is the only source that air can get into the buckets from
You'll need a shut off valve for when you refill the reservoirs above.
Could work, put it somewhere that won't be catastrophic if it overflows.
How far from the house will all the pipe have to run?
How many birds do you have?
Does it freeze where you are?
 

docdubz

Songster
5 Years
Nov 24, 2016
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Central Texas
This isn't going to be an auto waterer, for now. I picked of higher priced food safe lids that have an unscrewable center piece. So I can just unscrew them when empty and fill it with the hose. And, the buckets will be going just outside the run, the water troughs being just for the run to give me some leeway because there's been a couple times where I thought they had enough water in the morning and returned in the afternoon to find it bone dry.

I would rather not have the ground in the run unnecessarily moist but I think even if it fails 10 gallons of water in the far corner of the run wouldn't be the worst. My main concern is I'm pinching pennies lately and I'd rather not cut pvc only to find out my plan was dumb, but I think it should work.

Edit: the total length of the plumbing will be 10 feet at most and it does get below freezing here but so far (I've only lived in central Texas for a year) not for long and not long enough to actually freeze water.
 

aart

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So I can just unscrew them when empty and fill it with the hose.
When you open the lid the water will run freely into(and out of) the trough.
You need to shut off the pipe above the trough when filling the reservoirs.

because there's been a couple times where I thought they had enough water in the morning and returned in the afternoon to find it bone dry.
What kind of waterers are you using now....and how many birds do you have?
 

docdubz

Songster
5 Years
Nov 24, 2016
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Central Texas
When you open the lid the water will run freely into(and out of) the trough.
You need to shut off the pipe above the trough when filling the reservoirs.


What kind of waterers are you using now....and how many birds do you have?

Good point, without a shut off I'll never be able to fill the buckets. Right now I'm using a couple 3 gallon waterers. I forget the brand name but they work really well I just have too many chickens and those waterers aren't cheap at all. If I recall correctly they were like $27 a piece. I have 37 birds right now. My big problem with those other waterers is that they wind up getting filthy twice a day so I wind up dumping half of the contents to ensure they have clean water. Which is fine normally but really bites if I'm feeling under the weather. So with this system id have a means to easily top off the water and clean out crappy water by just unscrewing a plug in one end of the trough.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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My big problem with those other waterers is that they wind up getting filthy twice a day so I wind up dumping half of the contents to ensure they have clean water.
Are they on the ground or raised up so bedding is not kicked so easily?
You'd want this trough up off the ground.
 

docdubz

Songster
5 Years
Nov 24, 2016
363
374
171
Central Texas
Are they on the ground or raised up so bedding is not kicked so easily?
You'd want this trough up off the ground.
The trough will definitely be off the ground. Honestly, they are on the ground now but only because raising them didn't seem to make a difference they still managed to get them nasty and when they were raised they would wind up crapping in the water a whole lot more often. That won't be a problem with this new system because the caps on the trough should make it very easy to clean.
 

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