raising chickens

Water For Your Chickens & Free Plans for a Homemade Waterer

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Your chickens will need water all the time from day one to butchering - running out of water on a hot day is the quickest way to lose your chickens! As such, make sure to have a good clean supply of water for them!

When You Get Your Chicks
Have several water sources in your brooder in case one runs out or is tipped over. In the brooder setup below, I have several small waterers set up so the new chicks do not have to leave the heated area.

Chicken Brooder & Waterers

As your chicks grow, they will very quickly use up their water. So you will want to place one or two additional 1-gallon waterers, as shown below. These smaller waterers will cost from $5 to $10 each.

1 gallon waterer 5 Gallon Chicken Waterer

Finally, when your chickens are out in their pen, free-range pen, or yard, you will want to have a much larger source of water. A 3 gallon or 5 gallon waterer is recommended. The 5 gallon waterer that we have used is shown above right. The store-bought 5 gallon waterer shown costs from $35 to $40 these days, but you can make your own version for a little over $10 using the free homemade chicken waterer plans below.

Homemade Tray Waterer
For my PVC chicken tractor, I wanted a waterer that I could have on the inside of the metal house and wanted it to be one that I could fill with a garden hose. So I made such a waterer by screwing on a plastic drywall mud pan and then attaching a 1" PVC pipe that went from outside my tractor, as shown. This worked great! The water was high enough so they could not mess it up, was easy to flush out and fill, and stayed cooler in the shade of the house. There was one very hot day where my regular waterer leaked dry but this inside waterer saved me!

inside waterer

Another Homemade Chicken Waterer - Free Plans
To make this waterer you only need to obtain a food-grade 5 gallon bucket (bakeries give them away), a lid that locks on airtight with a screw on lid (see gamma seal lid). I got one for $7, a cork that will plug up a 1/2" hole from your hardware store, and some sort of pan underneath (I used a small cat litter pan below that cost $4). You attach the lid and drill a 1/2" hole near the bottom. Insert your cork and place the bucket in your pan. Fill with water, close the lid, and pull the cork. The vacuum will only allow water out as needed!

Homemade Chicken Waterer

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