How large should my waterer be?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ncCHICKS, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. ncCHICKS

    ncCHICKS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2008
    Hope Mills, NC
    I have 5 hens at this time (a EE, Prod. Red, SLW/BA mix, BO mix, and dom.) Every morning I fill up their waterer, its a 1 gal. It doesn't leak, I've checked the bedding and floor around it... EVERYDAYwhen I get home from school its bone dry. I end up filling it about 3 times a day. The feed store said 10 hens could use it for 2 days! So next week I am geting a new waterer, what size?
  2. doubleostud

    doubleostud Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 10, 2008
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
    I just like to have the biggest waterer I can find, that way I dont have to fill it up as often.
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I have a 4 gallon waterer. In the summer with 20 hens I had to fill it twice a day.

    In the winter I fill it every other day.
  4. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    I use a low bucket to supplement waterers if they keep running out. They are quick to empty, easy to clean, and to refill from outside the run, and you can tell at a glance what the water quality is. You can snap it to the wire so it doesn't get tipped over. It is easier to heave the water far away from the run also. I wouldn't use one deep enough for them to drown in
  5. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    It also seems to depend on their diet. I have 6 RIR hens right now. When they can free range, get plenty of garden greens, bugs, etc...their water consumption seems to be about 1/2 gallon per 24 hours. But if they do not get lots of vegetable (wet) matter, then I have to fill the 1/2 gallon bowl twice per 24 hours.
  6. bdp7150

    bdp7150 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 17, 2008
    get one as big as you can pack full i lke the plastic 5 gal fountain for my 17 birds, i have to fill up every other day.
  7. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Quote:I'm doing just about that, too. Large waterers can get really smelly and I can keep them reasonably clean by just changing their water twice a day.

    ncChicks, weather has a lot to do with the situation also. I understand the Southeast has been warm most of this Winter. But, I still wouldn't have expected 5 hens to go thru a gallon every 12 hours. Each of my hens drink about a pint of water every Summer day, less now. In fact, I've gone to a smaller waterer so that there's more room in the coop. It needs to be indoors these days.

    . . . refreshing their water twice (sometimes 3 times) a day . . .

  8. zigzag3337

    zigzag3337 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    Callahan, FL.
    I personally use a 5 gallon bucket (free at some places, $5 at Home Depot). Just make sure you get a lid for it. Then while you are at the garden center, pick up a planters dish (the dish that goes under a planters pot) that is big enough for the bucket to fit in with an 1" or so over hanging.

    I placed the lid on the bucket, then I drill two 3/8" holes at the bottom of the bucket about an 1/2" up on the side, Then in the bottom of the bucket, I cut a 6" hole right in the center. This will be the hole that you fill the bucket.

    Place you a concrete block where you are going to have their waterer, sit the planter dish on top of the block (making sure that it's level), fill up the bucket with water through the 6" hole until it's full, Then when you are ready, turn the bucket right side up and place it in the center of the planters dish.

    I have been using this design for about 6 months and it works great. Now that my flock has grown, I will be adding another. Since my buckets where free, it only cost me $5.

    Good luck
  9. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    That does seem like an awful lot of water. I have a 2 gallon one, that last 24 chickens about a day. I tried to switch to a 5 gallon- but it was very hard to handle. Since you have nicer weather, I am sure you can fill yours outside year round. Trying to lug a full 5 gallons of water through the house resulted in a very wet floor...
  10. In the winter you should go through about 1 gallon per 40 adult chickens per day.

    In the summer it is going to be at least twice this.

    I like the galvanized ones. i have the 2 gallons ones and the 3 gallon ones. I have a 5 gallon plastic one that I use to store water.

    I feel you need to change the water every 24 hours and throw the old out if there is some left.

    This is especially true in the winter if you have a heater on the water.

    Chickens like cool, fresh and clean water just like you and I.

    This also keeps the slim off the waterers and makes your clean up easier in the end.

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