Automatic watering systems for poultry

Automatic watering systems for poultry

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Article #1


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Hello my fellow chicken lovers I hope you find this page useful and full of the information you are seeking. I am going to start a new link on backyard chicken forum so we can discuss ideas on how to improve my sytem and help you build yours. Also I am working on a few diffrent methods of watering. A few ideas I have gotten from others and then expanded on.  The reason I got into this was simply that my wife got tired of carring water to my flock everyday, sometimes twice during the summer in 90+ heat. After doing some research on diffrent watering sytems I setlled on the one below. There are pros and cons to every system but hopefully you can glean the information you need from this page to help your chicken and your self live a better life.


  My coops in 2007 water system in center of buildings.



                      (1)  old garden hose  FREE to me

                      (1)  1/2 inch spigot    .00                                    

                      (1) Faucet rosett washer nut. Home Depot plumbing department used for sinks/toliets .00

                      (2) Rubber maid washers cut from piece of rubber fit to size FREE to me

                      (1)  Float to allow the water to enter then once full shuts off the water flow.

                              Tractor supply company .00   VERY HEAVY DUTY USAGE WILL LAST

                      (1) Bucket to fit the float to hold the water      .00 Tractor Supply   

                      (1) silicone (weather proof) to seal it all up  .00



      Very easy to build.   Drill a hole in the trash can towards the bottom to barely fit the spigot to. The tighter the fit the better. Place the rubber gasket you can buy or make plus some silicone on to the spigot. Slide the spigot through the hole place another gaske nut and silicone to the inside and tighten it up. LET DRY for 24 HOURS. I also sugest a silicon free try at it.

    Put it where you want it add some water check for leaks. Add the hose to the spigot and the other end to the float. Allow the water to run in and you are set. Now for the chickens to drink you may want to put some bricks around it to secure it in place. Also make it so when the chicken is on the brick they are taller than the bucket lip or they may perch on it.  Also I did not secure the float to the bucket. Reason for this it will make cleaning the parts much easyier for me.

    Also since this picture was taken I have put a y on the spigot set up an additional waterer off the same reservoir of water. Currently I have 30 birds  drinking off one reservoir and it takes two weeks to empty. I also add a cap of bleach each refill to keep the water fresh. At the same time I clean the watering system.

I hope this has been a help to you.

Also here is a link to a forum page for you to post comments, design questions, and see how other people fix their watering  problems.






Article #2

Last week we began preparing for the 50 meat chickens we were about to get in the mail. We hit the farm supply store to get two new feed troughs and waterers. As I was looking at the metal waterers, I noticed the price tag. each! Yikes! I had two at home for the laying chickens. Had I, in my new-chicken-owner stupor in February, really bought two of these things for ?!?!

Well, being smarter (hah!) and wiser (um, right), I decided to try to make waterers myself. I mean, how hard can it be?

It turns out, not hard at all.

First, I grabbed a few old 5 gallon buckets we had laying around. I had gotten them for free from a restaurant in Colorado. Now, for this to work, they must have a lid which, thankfully, mine did. I measured the diameter of the top of the bucket (with the lid on) and found it to be around 10 inches.

Next, I bought a flower pot base bigger than the bucket diameter. You know, the little dishes that sit under the pot to catch the excess water? The only size I could find was about 12 inches. I really wanted 16 inches but after looking at two different stores, I took what I could find. Each base cost me .88.

Those are all the supplies you need! Now, here’s how we made it.

1) Put the lid on the bucket and turn the bucket upside down in the base. Mark a spot on the bucket that is under the rim of the base but high enough to fill the base so the chickens have enough to drink.

2) Using a 1/2 drill bit, drill the hole where you marked.

3) Fill the bucket with water and put the lid on.

4) Turn the bucket upside down in the dish. The water will fill the dish until it covers the hole and then it will stop.

5) That’s all – you’re done! Stand back and congratulate yourself on saving !

I test-drove it on my laying hens and they love it. It’s funny that, even with their two waterers, they go to this one first every time.

The only thing I would still like to do is get the handle up out of the way. It doesn’t stop the chickens from drinking but my slightly perfectionist persona can’t handle it not being finished properly. I’m thinking a bungee cord would keep it up nicely and still let me easily get to the handle to use it when I fill the waterer.

And just a side note: When I was researching how to do this, I wondered, “Do I REALLY need to have a lid and put the bucket upside down?” For once in my life, I decided to just follow directions because I only have a few buckets and I’d hate to waste even one. (Who knew that buckets were such a useful homestead tool??) The reason is this: You need the air pocket that the bottom of the bucket provides when turned upside down to create a vacuum for the water to automatically refill when it gets below the hole. And that’s the extent of my knowledge on the subject. I figured as long as it works I’m not too worried about why and how.

money pit



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