Mess Free Chicken Waterer

2020 update: After nearly two years (originally posted August 2018), this waterer is still working great, conserving water and countless cleaning and refilling trips. I have since made a second one of these for my chicken tractor as the ground being uneven there frequently drained my other waterer. Now I have less to worry about when I am out of town too! 😊

Five gallon bucket with chicken waterer nipples

Tired of refilling and cleaning chicken water all the time? So was I, so I made a mess free waterer that conserves water well.

You can buy the specific chicken waterer nipples I got on Amazon. They recommend around 1 per 5 chickens. You cannot have too many though.

What you will need:

  • 5 gallon food grade bucket with lid
  • Drill with 11/32″ bit
  • Horizontal chicken waterer nipples
  • Concrete block or something to set the bucket upon
Simply drill through the bucket and screw in the chicken waterer nipples

They recommend an 11/32″ drill bit. I did not have one, but 3/8″ worked fine still without leaks. Drill about one inch from the bottom of the 5 gallon bucket and screw in the chicken waterer nipple. Screw it in until the cup part is on the bottom to help hold a tiny bit of water. Fill the bucket with water and make sure there are no leaks (I had none).

Installed chicken waterer nipples

Place the waterer on your concrete block or other pedestal. Try to get the water nipples a bit under chicken head height for ease of use.  Set it in with the chickens with an alternate waterer for starters and keep an eye on them to make sure they figure it out. All of mine picked up on the waterer within a few days. You could also try pushing each chicken’s beak against it to help them along. 

Main pen waterer
My chicken tractor waterer