How to Make a Chicken Waterer

Having clean water for your chicks is an absolute must.  With my original waterer, I was constantly cleaning it and worrying it would dump, and I’d come home from work to find my babies dead.  After doing some research into chicken waterers I found a post by the Chicken chick using poultry nipples.  I ordered my poultry nipples on  from Mr. Peeps, for only $1 each.  By the way,  just a note for those newbies like me, you have to join Backyard Chickens in order to send Mr. Peeps a message.

I think I mentioned back in my Baby Chicks post that there was a two and a half week window between the first batch of baby chicks and the second.  Although they all get along  fine, I do not recommend this.  Only because it makes providing food and water for them a bit difficult because of the size difference.

First babies are much bigger then second babies

Origianl waterer

Supply List to make Poultry Nipple Waterer:

  • 1/2″ slip/threaded coupling (use the gray electrical coupling because these will tighten down completely, the irrigation ones will not)
  • 1/2″  coupling Male/Female (use electrical coupling)
  • 1″ to 2″ piece of 1/2″ pipe
  • 1/2″ coupling slip/thread
  • (2) nylon hose barbs 1/2″ x 1/4″ID
  • 1/2″ to 3/4″ reducer thread/thread
  • 3/4″ coupling slip/thread
  • 2′ section of 3/4″ pipe sch 40 (this can be however long you wish, place nipples about 1″ apart along pipe)
  • 3/4″ slip cap
  • 5′ 1/4 ID tubing (this can be however long you wish, depending how far you want the bucket from your drips)
  • Teflon tape
  • (2) poultry nipples (more if you are making your pipe longer)
  • 3/4″ hole drilling bit
  • 11/32″ bit
  • small bit just for starter holes
  • silicone sealant (optional)
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • PVC glue
  • drill

Things you need to make waterer

1.  Wrap all threaded pieces with teflon tape.

2.  Drill starter hole in 3/4″pipe.

Small starter hole drilled.

3.  Drill 11/32″ hole in pipe.

4.  Screw in nipples.  (I used a wrench to tighten mine down, not sure that is necessary.  Also, if desired put a little silicone around hole before screwing nipple in.)

Screw in nipple.

5.  Glue 3/4″ cap on one end of pipe.

6. Glue 3/4″ coupling on other end.

7. Screw 1/2″ x 3/4″ reducer into coupling.

8. Screw nylon hose barb into reducer.

Pipe when it is completed.

9. Drill 3/4″ hole into side of bucket.

10.  Screw the 1/2″ Male/Female coupling through the hole.

11.  Tighten the 1/2″ slip/thread coupling onto male coupling that is sticking through the bucket.

12.  Glue 1″ to 2″ piece of 1/2″ pipe to coupling.

13.  Glue opposite end of the above pipe to 1/2″ slip/thread coupling.

14.  Screw nylon barb into coupling.

Bucket after fitting have been installed.

15.  Attach one end of 1/4″ tubing to bucket and the other to pipe.

16.  Celebrate you’re done!

Completed Waterer.

Since I had two different sizes of chicks I attached 2 pipes to one bucket.  It only took them a few hours to start using the new waterer.  Then I was able to remove old one.  I originally had the pipes connected with strings but had to change that to chain.  I have hooks at the top of the cage so as they grow I can shorten the chains.  Makes it very easy.  Now I’m finally not constantly worrying about their water situation.  Next problem, make them a feeder to stop them from standing in their food dish as they are doing in this picture.

This is not a hard project.  Not counting the trip to the hardware store, the whole thing took less than 2 hours to complete.

New waterer installed in babies cage.




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3 Responses to How to Make a Chicken Waterer

  1. Pingback: How I Care For My Chickens - Char's Gardening

  2. karla Malcolm says:

    Hi I was just wondering how you got your holes on your pve to be exactly the same- I have noticed that if they are off even a tiny bit, the nipples leak…

    • Charlotte says:

      Since I was making a small version for this project, I put the pipe in a vice drew a line down it and did the best I could. I think they do leak some regardless what you do. I found that for my brooder a bottle with a nipple in the lid worked better. I used gatorade bottles. But I made a larger version of this one for my chickens and it works great, but I live in florida so my waterers are in the run not in the coop.

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