Mar 8, 2018
What's a good waterer and feeder for chickens? I am not sure if I should make my own using pvc pipe or buy a hanging one.
Depends where you live, but for me (in the freezing north) it's far easier to use a bucket for water so that I can easily dump it every night. A rubber bucket expands with the ice so that nothing breaks if I forget to empty it. The same cannot be said of the galvanised steel waterer, though admittedly, that might have been a fluke. In the winter, nipple waterers just freeze every hour, on the hour (As I know from my parents' neighbor. I've never owned one.)

If you live in Southern California or Texas, a nipple waterer might be ideal for you because of how well they keep the water clean and how much water you could, potentially, keep inside one depending on what container you use.

I use a rubber pan for chicken feed. The sides are four inches high, and the chickens can't scratch anything out without some real effort on their parts. My dad had a PVC feeder once, and the rooster couldn't eat out of it because of his comb. It was also difficult to empty and attracted rodents.

Mostly, this sort of thing comes down to personal choice, but I would not get a feeder that I cannot empty at night.
I built my feeders out of 4" PVC, and I built them in a way that I can close them up with a 4" rubber cap at night cause I've seen the meeces jump out of them before. Waters are the same, 3 gal mayo buckets from a restaurant, cleaned and sanitized, used those red cups. Work well, I made 2 of them so I can just switch them out in the winter to let thaw as needed.
It's easier for us to give advise when we know your general location. If you add it to your profile, it will show in your avatar.

I use DIY no waste feeders and horizontal nipples in a five gallon bucket. If you live in a cold winter climate, use a 250 watt stock tank deicer in the bucket and the nipples and water won't freeze.

I recently upgraded my feeder and waterer, building ones similar to designs posted by others here and on YouTube. The feeder uses 3 inch PVC elbows placed through holes cut into a 5 gallon bucket. The waterer is a 2 gallon bucket with horizontal nipples set inside a larger (? 5 gallon) bucket that pool chlorine tabs came in. I chose to make the waterer bucket inside bucket to avoid getting inside of the coop wet. I'm glad I did, as even though horizontal nipples themselves don't leak, the chickens are rather sloppy and spill water as they drink.
I just found this particular feeder and waterer that intrigued me because I've been wondering what to do with those two water bottles I've got. (You can translate it from Spanish but you really don't need to. The pictures show everything.


I was thinking about trying at least the feeder (maybe with the elbows instead of just the rough-cut sides, but dang if I can figure out why they would have cut those tall open holes. Is it maybe to give them a visual when the thing is empty? I wouldn't do that, I don't think, because it looks like an invitation to critters. But if you see a reason, can you let me know what it is?
As with others, I use horizontal nipples. However, I use a 10 gallon tote instead of a 5 gallon bucket. The tote only needs refilled once a week and it's easy to see the water level. With a stock tank deicer in winter the tote has kept the water thawed down to -22F. Both food and water are kept out in the run.

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