Chickens require clean drinking water and there are many choices for delivering water to them. Other things to consider are frozen water dishes in the winter and what works best for your setup. This Ultimate Guide to Chicken Waterers will explain the different options and the pros and cons of each.
Ultimate Guide to Chicken Waterers – How Much Water Do Chickens Need? Chickens need constant access to fresh, clean water as well as Feed. A water supply should be available to chickens and not limited. Chickens will not lay well or grow as fast if their source of water is restricted.
Each full-grown hen will average about a pint of water a day and this can vary widely, especially depending on the temperature.
If the water is too warm or dirty it can cause the chickens to not drink. This can be problematic depending on the type of feeder you choose. So, I have detailed the different types of feeders in the next section.
Types of Waterers There are many waterers and systems to provide clean water to your flock. Some of these systems are even automatic.
Open bowls are one of the simplest waterers and they can work just fine but many times the chickens step in them and knock them over, and the water gets dirty immediately. I don’t know about you but I have to many things on my plate to change water out every time a hen turns over the water. I’m pretty sure my chickens would thirst to death.
Another simple waterer is the round galvanized waterer with a trough around the bottom for the chickens to drink. This type of waterer also has a plastic option (Chicken Drinker).
You fill the waterer from the top and as the water diminishes gravity constantly fills the trough. This is usually situated on the ground, which is one of the major flaws of this waterer because the chicken’s have a tendency to poop on it and there goes your clean water. Hanging the waterer or sitting it up off the groud works best. This keeps the chickens from contaminating the water or getting shavings in the trough.
Our waterer of choice is a nipple system. We bought a 2 Gallon Chicken Watering Bucket & Lid w/ 4 Nipples which, already has the nipples installed. It is a clean, gravity-fed system that works really well for our coop.
You can also make one yourself. You can attach these nipples to the bottom of five-gallon bucket for a homemade waterer. One con to this type of waterer is the tendency for the nipples to clog so these Automatic Poultry Water Drinking Cups would work similarly, without the clogging . Minerals in the water can cause the nipples to clog, thus creating the need to check the nipples regularly.
The other hurdle with this waterer is you have to train the chickens to use it. This was not a big deal for our hens. I introduced the chickens to the nipples by taking each one to the waterer and showing them how it worked. The dominate chicken immediately went back and used the waterer and the others followed. I really appreciate the cleanliness and ease of use with this type of system!
Depending on where you live you might also need to consider some type of de-icer product to keep your water from freezing in the winter. We usually do not have temperatures that dip that low but on occasion we do have a string of cold nights and something like this Chicken Waterer Deicer works well to keep the water thawed.
Now take this Ultimate Guide to Chicken Waterers and go make those hens happy! Happy hens = producing hens!