Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers

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Rain gutter heater for PVC chicken waterer

Drilling holes for a nipple waterer Thanks again for the nipples.  They are working wonderfully.  I thought you might enjoy seeing how we ended up using them.

Using the provided drill, we drilled 13 holes, six inches apart in two inch PVC.

Screwing chicken nipples in with a drill

Screwing the nipples in by hand tool provided to be impossible.  The PVC is too hard.  We finally got it in using a deep 9/16 socket attached to the end of a drill.  Once we switched to the drill, they went in really fast.

Inserting chicken nipples in PVC pipeWe have 13 nipples.  The eleven you sold us, plus two we got from a  neighbor (which is how we found out about them.)  We put ten across, and three on the legs for chicks.  (You probably already knew this, but they do not work well on the side.  It took some messing around to keep the side / leg ones from leaking.  However, every one of the straight down one works perfectly.)

Rain gutter heaterWe live in a cold climate.  I don't want the pipes to freeze.  So I ran a heated cord through the pipe.  This cord is intended to keep rain gutters from freezing.  It Running heater through chicken waterer pipeis water proof, and safe.

Picture of the heated cord being run through all sections of the pipe.

Assembling the heated chicken waterer

Glued everything together.

Rain barrel reservoir for chicken waterer
50 gallon rain gutter barrel.  I thought about building a stand, so that I could put the pipe in the bottom, but decided to be lazy.  About 30 gallons is above the hole.  The rest is dead weight.  In the spring I am going to plumb running water into the top of the barrel using a toilet float to keep it full.

Attaching the PVC pipe to the barrel

We cut a 2 1/4 hole using a hole saw.  Chickens drinking from the heated watererAdded a slip fitting to the hole, glued the pipe in, plugged in the heated cord, (since it is cold) and filled with water.  As you can see, the chickens began drinking almost immediately.

We'll be announcing the winner of our heated chicken waterer contest next week.  Thanks to everyone who took the time to share their designs!
We recommend our 3 pack DIY kit for making a heated waterer for up to 50 chickens.  The CD that comes with each kit includes complete instructions to help you build our favorite heated options without any trial and error.

The heated waterer we use in our own coop requires two buckets, a three foot length of pipe heating cable ($23), and the contents of our kit.  With a layer of chicken-friendly insulation, the waterer is good down into the teens.

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