How to Make a Homemade Automatic Chicken Waterer

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Photo by C. Hope Clark
Use PVC pipe and trickle irrigation tubing to provide fresh water to your hens, even when you're out of town

Watering chickens is a dilemma if the owner wants to go out of town for a few days, so I came up with this backup system. I took an 18-inch-long, 6-inch PVC pipe and cut it in half lengthwise. This came in handy because I have two coops, so I made two of these systems. I glued end caps to either end. Using a drill, I drilled a hole the size of small trickle irrigation tubing through the top of one end cap. I drilled another hole at the other end, only in the PVC pipe, near the cut edge, for another piece of tubing. The logic is to allow water to trickle in at the higher level, and the lower hole is to allow overflow to be siphoned off and not spill inside the coop. The incoming tube is hooked into my irrigation system for my garden and lawn. The overflow tubing is routed outside the coop into the yard. So, whenever the irrigation comes on, fresh water is channeled into the PVC pipe and overflow is channeled out, so the coop doesn’t become wet. The hens actually prefer this fresher water, and when I leave town, my timer on my irrigation system likewise waters the chickens. I’ve been using this system for five years now.