Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers

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Homemade chicken waterer uses toilet float to stay full

Homemade, automatic chicken waterer with reservoir

We'll return to our regularly scheduled chicken tractor construction info later in the week, but I got an email from a customer that I wanted to share.  Jon Miller contacted me a few weeks ago to ask if he could put our chicken nipples directly into a water hose and leave it turned on so that he'd never have to refill his chickens' water.  I told him that our nipples are meant to be used on gravity pressure only, but Jon wasn't deterred.  He emailed me again last weekend to say:

Hello, Just wanted to thank you for the chicken waterers.  The chickens took to them within the first 1/2 hour.

I'm sending you some pics so maybe it will help someone else.  I wanted a way so I did not have to refill their water.  So I took a five gallon bucket and put a toilet float in it so it would stay full. 

Automatic chicken waterer reservoir with toilet float

Then I just ran the water from the bucket to the chicken waterers.  Put water inside the coop and outside.  I know the chickens are really going to like these in the summers here in Arizona.  They will always have fresh clean water.

I loved your idea for the waterer for the chickens.  I have had one for my dogs for years.  They are great.  Thanks again.

Chicken waterer nipples in pvc pipe

Thanks for sharing, Jon!  I love your solution, and I'm sure your chickens do too.

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I sure would like to know how Jon got the nipples to seat into the PVC pipe. I tried and tried every way I could think of to use a similar setup, but the nipples leaked around the hole in the pvc pipe no matter what I tried. What's the secret, Jon? Thanks,

Comment by Mary late Monday evening, January 18th, 2010
Hmm --- he didn't mention doing anything special there. Did you use the right size drill bit?
Comment by anna late Monday evening, January 18th, 2010

I sent an email to Jon for more info and he said:

"I didn't do anything special. I just drilled the hole size that you said to use in the directions and just screwed the nipple in. You might want to make sure she drilled the right size hole first. If the hole is to big the threads won't cut right when you screw in the nipple. My suggestion if the nipples are leaking from the threads would be to wrap some teflon tape around the threads or maybe some pipe dope. Hope this helps."

Comment by anna at lunch time on Saturday, January 23rd, 2010
just put a small bead of silcone around them and it will stop leaking
Comment by s cangelosi at lunch time on Sunday, February 21st, 2010
Good suggestion! We always tell people to add silicon if they're concerned about leaks. On the other hand, we've discovered that using the right drill bit will stop most leaks before they start.
Comment by anna late Monday afternoon, February 22nd, 2010


Where did you get your metal stand for the 5 gallon bucket

Comment by Scott at lunch time on Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

I got this note from Jon in response:

I work in manufacuring where I can get as much scrap steel as I want to do any home project. I made the bracket myself.

No wonder the mount is so elegant!

Comment by anna early Friday morning, May 28th, 2010
How far off the ground is John's waterer?
Comment by Scott at noon on Friday, June 18th, 2010
I'd say it's about the standard (18 inches off the ground) that we recommend.
Comment by anna late Sunday evening, June 20th, 2010
I have looked everywhere for the drain setup you have for the waterer. What parts did you use? Thanks
Comment by M. Taylor Monday night, December 27th, 2010
Are you talking about the plumbing pieces that connect the bucket to the PVC pipe? Those are off the shelf parts that you can find in the plumbing section of most large hardware stores.
Comment by anna at teatime on Tuesday, December 28th, 2010
I used the drain that is for a evap cooler. It has threads that fit a regular garden hose. They sell them separatly in the hardware store.
Comment by Jon early Saturday morning, February 5th, 2011
Thanks for chiming in, Jon!
Comment by anna late Tuesday morning, February 8th, 2011

...Getting fed a constant supply of Sweet Baby Rays! j/k

Love the set up and soon to be building one for the warmer months here in MI.

Comment by cofwhite45 late Tuesday evening, November 27th, 2012
cofwhite45 --- You might be interested in poking around our heated chicken waterer page. There are some options for heating PVC pipe waterers, although it's tougher than bucket waterers.
Comment by anna Monday evening, December 3rd, 2012

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