In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 13, 2010
So we just built this really nice chicken tractor. I currently have six chickens but soon will be down to four.
Does anyone have any ideas on a cheap homemade waterer but not the nipple system

Also I live in the middle of Texas and its starting to get realllllly hot so even thought ill only have four i need a big enough one so that they will have water while im at work.

Ive seen people take a 5 gallon bucket with a lid, drill a nice size hole in the side of it right near the bottom of the bucket and then put that in some type of deep pan so that they water can fill up the pan as they drink. You have to make sure the hole in the bucket is low enough on the bucket that it will not be above the water line of what the pan can hold. It would hold at least 5 gallons..more than enough for a days ration for 4 chickens I would think.

Edit to add: Tractor supply has a 2.5-3 gallon waterer for like $10....that lasts my 4 bantams and 2 Polish about 2 days. Might be the easiest cheapest route to just buy one...most home-made ones would be working off the same concept as these but these take no effort lol.
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x3 Thats the cheapest way. I bought a 5gal. bucket from Rural King for $3 (lid $2) and a plastic oil pan from walamart for $3. I made a feeder out of it but you can due the same with a waterier. Just make sure your drill hole is not above the pan or you'll end up with water all over the place.
I poked holes in the bottom of a pepsi bottle, it just spills out what it needs into the hard pie pan underneath it. I fill it up through the holes in the bottom, it's faster than filling from the top, and having the water fall out the bottom faster than you can fill. It lasts about a day. Mary P.S. If you wanted that bigger, you could use a milk jug, or two pop bottles.
One thing that I do for my birds during the heat of the summer is to put cheap, plastic kitty litter pans out in their yard, and fill them daily with cool, clean water.

Yes, they drink out of the plastic pans. But some of them also wade in the water and splash it all around on them -- especially when it gets hotter. These birds figured out that wading in the pan of water or splashing the water on them would help cool them. Not all of the birds wade in the water -- some just drink out of it.

But they all seem to appreciate that extra pan of water in the chicken run.
I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I would like to ask a question concerning the 5-gallon bucket waterer. I have one with a lid that contained hydraulic fluid, therefore, it has a plastic spout on it for pouring. I was under the impression that because the lids were not completely airtight that the water would just continue to drain out of the bucket. From the replies to the question asked by amandarey20, it seems that I was wrong. To recap, I could use that bucket in the manner described, as long as I make sure the holes I drill are low enough?
I got so tired of cleaning all the chicken waterers. I switched to the two gallon buckets and just fill them up everyday. It's so much easier to clean than having to worry about all the nooks and crannies of the traditional water fonts.
There are no seams on the inside of the buckets so they are much easier to clean. Easier to carry too. Nomore flipping the water fonts right side up just grab the bucket handle and go. THey are the perfect height for my chickens. My Chickens are fine with this system.

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