How to Build a D.I.Y. Chicken Watering System
It’s hot outside! Tired of carrying buckets of water to the chicken pen? Keep your poultry watered with this easy D.I.Y. chicken watering system…
While homesteading may have changed with modern improvements in recent years, one thing that remains the same is the need to provide livestock with a constant source of clean water. This is true no matter what type of animal you are raising, but it is especially true for chickens, which can quickly die from lack of water, especially during hot weather.
Lugging buckets of water around is probably the most common method of watering if you have a small flock, but of course this means you have to be ever-vigilant about checking the water supply, and refilling waterers regularly.
But what if there was a way to set up a chicken watering system that automatically provided your chickens with fresh water on a regular and ongoing basis? Actually there is, and it’s a fairly easy D.I.Y. project!
(Keep in mind that as this particular system is designed to work “off-grid,” it is fed by rainwater, so if you are without rain for a long period of time, you will still need to provide a supplemental water source.)
Here is one example of an easy outdoor chicken watering system, which uses rainwater from the roof of the coop to fill the tank:
Walking back and forth from the house to the coop with a cumbersome watering can got old pretty quick. When we knew it was time to update our system, we were faced with the depressing task of buying several more $50 dollar waterers that would need to be refilled constantly.
A better option? Move the rainwater directly to the chickens by way of an automatic chicken watering system! By using a gutter off the roof of the coop to collect rain in a 55 gallon barrel, we won’t have to worry about the chickens running out nearly as often….
The first step was installing gutters on the down slope of the coop. One of the few pieces of this project we had to buy, the gutters came from our local hardware store and cost about $45.
Next, PVC pipe was attached to the gutter….
All the long pieces of PVC pipe that we used were 4 inch diameter and found on property in the woods…. The PVC joints were bought at our hardware store and ranged in price from $.79 to $4.
In the trend of reusing old materials, we utilized an unused rain barrel for the holding tank of the waterer. Likewise, old paving stones that had previously been a path through the garden found new life as the platform for the barrel to rest on.
For the watering mechanics, my husband bought Chicken Nipples off Amazon that work much like the hamster water bottles that are put in pet cages….
One crucial component of this system is the faucet for drainage. These pipes aren’t insulated, and the entire system will need to be winterized…. Having a faucet at the bottom makes draining simple which is essential for cold nights in the spring.
…For the same cost as one more indoor waterer, we built an outdoor chicken watering system with 10x the capacity that won’t require much extra work from us to keep up….
For more details, plus pictures of the project, visit MotherEarthNews.com…
Image Source: Mother Earth News