Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers

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Bucket, PVC, and nipple chicken waterer

Chicken waterer made out of a five gallon bucket, PVC pipe, and chicken nipplesI posted a couple of weeks ago about Julie's ingenious pegboard watering system that allowed her to easily move our nipples up to accomodate growing chicks.  Well, those chicks are just about grown up now and are enjoying their adult digs out in a tractor/coop combo.  Julie sent me some followup pictures of her new watering system.  She wrote:

We finally finished the nipple watering system for the chicken tractor (7 nipples for 16 birds) - the bottle is for the shorter birds. We are leaving the water jugs in the coop until all the birds are tall enough to reach the nipples
Short chicken steps up to reach a nipple waterer
This one is needs a little lift to reach the nipple... smart bird!

I wanted to share my photos with the internet world because the projects other people have come up with inspired me so and now I can to be an inspiration to others and your website will help with that!  Thanks for posting and it validates all the time I spent preparing for this venture. I researched for months before I got my chicks and designed my chicken tractor.  I looked at every design and idea people had done and what I came up with was the best of the best.  I am so glad I discovered your nipple watering system and I am designing a system to go into the coop for the winter as we get temps here in the high desert as low as 0 to -5 degrees for a few days. 

Nipple-based chicken waterer

Thanks for the photos and followup information, Julie!  We'll be waiting with baited breath to hear how your heated waterer setup works out this winter.

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If you can locate a metal 5-gallon bucket or a large jerry can as your feeder supply, you can safely use an electric tank de-icer to keep it from freezing. I use one with goats, and the only issue is preventing BBQ'd goats when they try chewing the power cord. The lines are a little more tricky, but wrappable pipe insulation with heat tape (has a wire through it) works pretty well. It gets a lot colder here in WY than -5, but even moving the supply bucket inside the coop area (instead of outside the pen entirely) can keep it from freezing up. Of course, I use a deep-litter method of insulation, but as my chickens make it through -35 degree weather with no electric heaters or lights, it seems to generate enough heat to take care of the problem.
Comment by Anonymous Monday afternoon, June 25th, 2012
Anonymous --- Since this post was written, we've had a lot of customers make heated chicken waterers from our kits. Our favorite (and the one we used successfully in our own coop last winter), uses heat tape. Our previous version used a stock tank deicer (yes, in a plastic bucket even though that's not recommended), and it worked okay, but the nipple froze up relatively quickly.
Comment by anna Sunday evening, July 1st, 2012
Been really interested in these. Spending time deciding and designing. can't wait to fix something up for our little chicks.
Comment by Judi late Thursday evening, May 23rd, 2013

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