Chickens require about twice the amount of water as they eat. According to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, when temperatures are above 77 degrees, water consumption raises to more than twice the amount of food. A homemade chicken waterer provides fresh, clean water at all times and is an inexpensive and quick project for fowl owners.
A Chicken's Basic Needs
Chickens have basic needs for survival. Food and water are important for them to grow and stay hydrated. They need fresh air, light in the daytime and darkness at night along with a protective cover over the pen to protect them from predators. Fowl also need a warm environment in cold climates as well as space to walk around, a nesting box and places to roost.
Automatic Waterer Benefits
An automatic chicken waterer holds ample amounts of water and keeps it fresh in the hot, summer heat. It replenishes the water for them to drink on a continual basis. Water troughs and bowls with open tops get dirty quickly, because chickens roost on the edges and soil the water. They also may become dirty from chickens scratching hay, rocks or sand nearby that enter the water and make it unsanitary. The automatic refilling action prevents you from filling water throughout the day, so working people can fill it in the morning, without the worry that the chickens will be thirsty later in the day.
A homemade chicken waterer uses the basic function of gravity to refill the bowl with water as the level lowers. You will need a 5-gallon bucket with a tight-fitting lid, a 14- to 16-inch pot liner and a drill. This will make a waterer that will be sufficient for several chickens in a coop. If you only have a few chickens, you can use the same directions with a smaller jug and a plastic dish.
How to Make it
Place the 5-gallon bucket inside the pot liner. Make a dot with a permanent marker on the bucket about half of the height of the pot liner. Remove the bucket and drill a 1/4-inch hole on the mark. Wash out any small, plastic particles from the outside and inside of the bucket. Place the pot liner in your coop with the bucket in it. Remove the lid and fill the bucket with water, then snap the lid on tightly. You now have an automatic chicken watering station.