Make Your Own Chicken Waterer

Make Your Own Chicken Waterer

Chickens should always have fresh, clean water. Chicken waterers can be very expensive. I’ve seen some at my local feed store for as much as $30 and up. Here’s one I made for practically free.  The black rubber pan is actually an extra feed bowl I had for my horses. It cost about $5.00. You can also use metal feed pans that run about $2-3.00 at Walmart. They’re located in the pet section.
What you’ll need:
  • a 5 gallon bucket (get one at a restaurant, fast food shop or bakery for free). Don’t forget the top, you’ll need it.
  • a rubber or metal pan. I used a rubber feeder that’s normally for horses. It’s about 4 inches deep
  • a drill or other tool to put holes in the bucket
  • a dog (optional) He can be your assistant making sure no squirrels attack you.

Put the bucket in the pan

Mark the top edge of the pan on the bucket

 Drill a hole in the bucket BELOW the mark you made on the bucket. If you do it above the mark which is above the pan the water won’t stay in the pan it will flow out of the pan.

NOTE: My mark was about 4 inches from the bottom of the bucket so I drilled the hole about 2 inches below the mark. This is the midway point.
Since my pan is 4 inches deep, once the water gets below the hole (the 2 inch mark) it will start filling up the pan. I chose the midway point, because I can always tell with a glimpse if there is water in the pan.

Place the bucket and pan in the coop on a flat surface and fill with water. My waterer is placed on a cinder block which is surrounded by large rocks. The chickens climb up on the rocks to drink their water. I like using the rocks because it keeps the chickens from kicking straw and debris into their watering pan.

IMPORTANT: PUT THE LID ON. Yes that’s right. Put the lid on. For the life of me, I made several of these and kept messing up. I couldn’t figure out why the the water kept flowing out of the pan. To prevent this from happening, as soon as you fill the bucket with water, quickly snap on the lid. It must be closed tight in order to have a vacuum seal.
One more thing. When I made my last waterer,  I made it upside down. It still works, but the lid was on the bottom. that made it awkward for me to get it in the pan. Some waterers I’ve seen made like that.  But this way makes since. You can pick up the waterer by the handle. The other thing that’s great about this, the handle (for now) seems to keep the chickens from roosting on top of the waterer. Thus keeping them from pooping in it.


Atlanta MOA