Make Chicken Waterer From Old Bucket

Reader Contribution by Anna Twitto

Above: simple DIY chicken waterer which saves us work and mess every day.

In the past we provided water for our flock of backyard chickens using all sorts of dishes, bowls, pans and buckets. These were stepped in, pooped in, upturned, and in general quickly resulted in a messy coop and thirsty chickens. The problem was exacerbated when we had to leave home for a couple of days – we could heap up the feed, but the water just wouldn’t last.

Then, after some experimenting, my husband made a simple, cheap, DIY waterer using an old paint bucket and a few waterer nipples. These can be bought very cheaply online if you look them up – just type “poultry waterer nipple” in a search engine.

To make this simple homemade waterer, you will need:

• A big, clean and empty bucket with a lid
• A drill
• Waterproof glue or silicone sealant
• 4-5 poultry waterer nipples
• A sturdy rope


1. Take your bucket and scrub it thoroughly. If you are using an old paint bucket, like we did, don’t worry if some dried paint remains on the inner walls.

2. Drill a few holes in the bucket, as seen in the picture.

3. Apply glue or sealant around the edges of the hole and screw waterer nipple into it.

4. Using the rope, hang the bucket in your chicken coop at desired height (depending on the age and size of your birds) and fill it.

5. Place the lid firmly on top to keep water clean. The rocks you see underneath our waterer in the picture were placed there to make it easier for young chicks to reach the nipples – they figured it out pretty quickly.

Using the same principle, a smaller waterer (for chicks or small birds such as quail) can be made out of an empty soda bottle.

Our bucket waterer, once filled, is enough to provide our small flock of eight chickens with fresh, clean water for nearly a week – so that weekend getaways are no longer a problem. That’s it! No bother, no mess, no dirt in the coop.

Anna Twittos academic background in nutrition made her care deeply about real food and seek ways to obtain it. Anna and her husband live on a plot of land in Israel. They aim to grow and raise a significant part of their food by maintaining a vegetable garden, keeping a flock of backyard chickens and foraging. Anna’s books are on her Author Page. Connect with Anna on Facebook and read more about her current projects on her blog. Read all Anna’s Mother Earth News posts here

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