Large Waterer Ideas for Chickens, Ducks, and Turkeys: Solutions for Clean and Consistent Water.
Water is a crucial component in the care of poultry, and providing clean and consistent access to water is essential for maintaining the health and well-being of your birds.
However, it can be challenging to ensure a reliable water source when you don’t have a water supply near your coop.
In this article, we will explore some ideas for creating large waterers that can easily be filled up with a 5-gallon bucket, including popular options such as chicken nipples, 55-gallon drums, double wall founts, and DIY solutions like Lowes buckets with water spout ports.
We will also discuss the advantages and drawbacks of each option, as well as tips for maintaining a clean and healthy water supply for your feathered friends.
Different Types of Waterers
There are several types of waterers available for chicken owners, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The most common types include:
- Gravity-fed waterers: These are simple, low-cost waterers that rely on gravity to refill the water bowl as chickens drink. They are easy to use and require little maintenance, but can become contaminated easily and may not hold enough water for large flocks.
- Automatic waterers: These are more complex systems that use a float valve or similar mechanism to regulate the water level in the bowl. They require more initial investment but can save time and effort in the long run. Automatic waterers also minimize the risk of contamination and ensure a steady supply of clean water.
- Nipple waterers: These waterers are designed to be mounted on the wall of the coop and have small metal or plastic nipples that release water when pecked by the chicken. They are more expensive than other types of waterers but are very efficient and reduce water wastage.
- Heated waterers: These are designed for use in colder climates and prevent the water from freezing. They are more expensive and require electricity, but are necessary to ensure that chickens have access to water during the winter months.
Choosing the right waterer for your flock will depend on several factors, including the size of your flock, the climate you live in, and your personal preferences.
Chicken Nipples and Algae Problems
One of the most popular options for chicken waterers is chicken nipples. They are easy to install and keep the water clean, but they do have a downside – algae growth. Whether you have a small or large waterer with chicken nipples, you will likely encounter algae growth over time. This can be a health hazard for your chickens, and it’s not visually appealing either.
Large Waterer Ideas
So, what are some options for a large waterer that you can easily fill up with a 5-gallon bucket? Here are a few ideas from other chicken owners:
- 55 Gallon Drum with Bleach
Using a 55-gallon drum for a chicken waterer is a popular option for many poultry owners. However, one issue that often arises is algae growth in the water. To combat this problem, some people have found success in adding a small amount of bleach to the water. By using bleach, you can prevent the growth of algae and ensure that your chickens have access to clean and safe water.
To use this method, you’ll need a 55-gallon drum, water, and a small amount of bleach. Start by filling the drum with water and adding the bleach. Use a measuring cup to add the bleach in small increments, such as 1/8 to 1/4 cup, and mix thoroughly. Be sure to wear gloves and protective eyewear when handling bleach, as it can be harmful to your skin and eyes.
It’s important to note that while bleach can be an effective way to keep your chicken waterer clean, it can also be harmful to your birds if used in high concentrations. Always use caution and only add a small amount of bleach to the water. Also, make sure to monitor the water regularly and change it as needed to ensure that it stays fresh and clean.
- 8 Gallon Double Wall Fount
For those with a smaller flock of chickens, ducks, and turkeys, an 8-gallon double wall fount may be a viable option. While not as large as a 55-gallon drum, it can still hold a decent amount of water and is perfect for those who can only bring 5 gallons of water at a time. Plus, its smaller size means it’s easier to move and clean, making it a practical option for those who prioritize cleanliness and convenience.
The double wall design of this fount allows for better insulation, keeping the water cooler during the hot summer months and reducing the risk of freezing during winter. It also has a durable plastic construction that can withstand the wear and tear of daily use. The fount’s design also makes it easy to access and fill up, which is a bonus for busy chicken owners.
Cleaning the 8-gallon double wall fount is simple as well. The top easily twists off, allowing you to dump out the old water and clean the inside thoroughly. The plastic material makes it easy to scrub down and sanitize, which is crucial for maintaining good health and hygiene for your birds.
While not as large as a 55-gallon drum, the 8-gallon double wall fount can still be a practical and effective option for small flocks. Its size and ease of use make it a popular choice for many chicken owners who want a reliable source of clean water for their birds.
- Blue Lowes Bucket with Water Spout Ports
For chicken owners on a budget, a blue Lowes bucket with water spout ports can be an affordable and effective solution for providing water to your flock. These buckets are readily available and are sold with a lid for around $5. Once you have the bucket, you can add water spout ports on the side for easy access to the water.
One of the advantages of using a blue bucket is that it helps to prevent algae growth. The dark color of the bucket blocks out light, which is one of the primary factors that encourage algae growth in water containers. Additionally, adding a small amount of apple cider vinegar to the water can further inhibit the growth of algae, while also promoting healthy gut bacteria in your birds.
The 5-gallon capacity of the bucket is ideal for those who are carrying water to their flock in a 5-gallon bucket. The water spout ports make it easy for your birds to access the water, while also keeping the water clean and reducing the risk of spills.
Cleaning the bucket is also straightforward. Simply remove the water spout ports and lid, dump out the old water, and scrub the inside of the bucket with warm soapy water. You can rinse the bucket out and let it dry before refilling it with fresh water.
- Nipple or Cup Waterers in a 5 Gallon Bucket
If you prefer to use chicken nipples or cup waterers for your flock, a 5-gallon bucket can still be used as a large waterer. To set it up, simply attach the chicken nipples or cups to the bucket using a drill and some PVC piping.
To prevent algae growth, you can cover the bucket with a black cloth or buy a black bucket. The dark color helps to block out light, which is one of the primary factors that encourage algae growth.
This setup is particularly useful for small flocks, as it provides enough water for several birds and is relatively easy to set up and maintain. It’s also a cost-effective solution since 5-gallon buckets are readily available at most hardware stores.
One important thing to keep in mind when using chicken nipples or cup waterers is that they can sometimes leak. To avoid water spills and wet bedding, you should place the bucket on a stand or platform that’s higher than the level of the bedding in the coop.
It’s also important to clean the waterer regularly to ensure that your birds have access to clean, fresh water. You can remove the chicken nipples or cups from the bucket and soak them in a solution of vinegar and water to help remove any buildup or residue. You can then rinse the waterer with clean water and refill it with fresh water.
Maintaining and Cleaning Waterers
Proper maintenance and cleaning of chicken waterers are crucial to ensure that the water remains clean and safe for your birds. Here are some tips to help you maintain and clean your chicken waterers:
- Clean the waterers regularly: It is essential to clean the waterers regularly, preferably once a week. Empty the water, and scrub the waterer with a brush or sponge using hot, soapy water.
- Rinse the waterers thoroughly: After scrubbing the waterer, rinse it thoroughly with clean water to remove all the soap residue.
- Disinfect the waterers: To disinfect the waterers, you can use a solution of water and bleach. Mix one tablespoon of bleach with one gallon of water, and soak the waterer for about 10-15 minutes. Then, rinse thoroughly with clean water.
- Check the water quality: It is important to monitor the water quality regularly, especially during hot weather. Chickens need clean and fresh water to stay hydrated and healthy.
- Prevent algae growth: Algae growth can be prevented by keeping the waterers in shaded areas, away from direct sunlight. You can also add apple cider vinegar or citric acid to the water to help prevent algae growth.
- Avoid using chemicals: Avoid using chemicals or detergents to clean the waterers as they can be harmful to your chickens.
By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your chicken waterers remain clean and safe, providing your birds with fresh and healthy drinking water.
Creating a large waterer for your chickens, ducks, and turkeys can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have a water source near your coop. However, with these ideas from other chicken owners, you can find a solution that works for you. Whether you choose a 55-gallon drum with bleach, an 8-gallon double wall fount, a blue Lowes bucket with water spout ports, or a 5-gallon bucket with nipple or cup waterers, the most important thing is to provide a consistent and clean source of water for your feathered friends.