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Which Poultry Waterer is Best for Your Flock?

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If you have chickens or are thinking about getting them, you know that there are numerous poultry waterers to choose from.  Why so many choices?  The market is saturated with different watering systems that claim to be the best for your birds but which ones actually deliver on that?

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Everyone’s circumstances are different and what works for one backyard chicken owner may not work well for another.  I want to go over the various ways for you to provide water to your birds and share my experience with some of them, and which ones work the best.

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Clean water is essential to the health of your flock so if you plan on just throwing down a bowl, expect it to get spilled and messy within minutes.  Soon after owning chickens you’ll come to realize that EVERYTHING you do for them is to make your life easier with less cleaning.

Plastic and Stainless Steel Poultry Waterers

Your best bet is to buy a chicken waterer and get it elevated off the ground.  You could hang it with rope or put stacked stone/wood underneath.  Elevation is the key in keeping dirt, bedding, poop and anything else those chickens will try to put in there out.

The poultry waterers shown above are inexpensive and you can find them just about anywhere.  Having it above ground level will keep them almost clean and they hold a good amount of water so you won’t have to change it out multiple times a day.  Now come winter you might have the problem of keeping your water from freezing, especially if you let the water level go low.

The stainless steel poultry waterer will freeze quicker than the plastic one so something to think about before your purchase.  With these two watering devices the only real preventable way to keep your water from freezing is to bring them in at night time-even then during the day depending on your climate you may want to check on them.

DIY Waterers

So let’s talk about some of those diy waterers that allow the water to stay virtually clean.  Backyard poultry owners have been creating some really inventive watering systems with pvc piping.  The chickens will access water via water nipples attached to the pvc piping.  Attaching 5 gallon water jugs to the top of the piping allows continuous water supply without you having to fill it constantly.  During winter months you run the risk of water freezing in the tubing and within the nipple device.

The water nipple or watering cups, allows you to easily use any old bucket to screw them into.

DIY poultry waterer

Simply fill up the bucket, lid on and no dirt gets inside.  The chickens will easily learn how to drink from these devices.

I haven’t used the nipples, but have used the cups and have had problems.  The main issue is that the water never seems to come back out after the chickens reach in to drink the remainder in the cup.  Their beak is suppose to suppress a release valve in the cup to allow for water to be refilled but that never seems to happen.  My biggest concern is that it is only usable in warmer climates because the water inside the bucket and the nipples/cups will freeze.

Heated Waterers

Our winter this year was long and harsh.   Hands down the best item I could have gotten for our chickens is the heated waterer.  I simply do not have time to change out the water multiple times a day because it has frozen.  The downside is that they are so darn expensive and you need to have access to electricity.  Also the ring that surrounds the water jug where they drink from often gets dirty.

Heated poultry waterer

I don’t especially like the idea of adding electricity to the coop so our waterer is left out in the chicken run and we have run a heavy duty electrical cord from our garage to the run.  I try not to plug it in unless the weather is below freezing for a long period of time.

Deciding which poultry waterer is best for your flock is a personal decision that is based on your climate factors and how much work you are willing to put into it.  Building a device, extra cleaning, refilling water and the financial expense of buying a product will guide your decision.  I hope I have given you some insight on the pros and cons of the various poultry waterers available to you.

You might also like…..

The Essential Baby Chick Must Haves List

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1 thought on “Which Poultry Waterer is Best for Your Flock?

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