We call our chicken waterers “automatic”, but the truth
is that you do eventually have to fill the buckets, whether that’s once
a week or once a month. That’s why I was so thrilled to see Glenn
Ingram Jr.’s waterer, which used gutters to capture rainwater, creating
a truly automatic chicken waterer. Assuming the pipes don’t clog
up and there’s no drought, Glenn’s flock should keep right on drinking
no matter what.
Glenn installed a gutter
on his coop with a two inch pipe coming down to fill a five gallon
bucket. He recommends upgrading to a three inch pipe if your coop
is much larger, but says his setup works great.
Screens on top of the
gutters and below the downspout keep the water clean and prevent debris
from filling up the bucket waterer. Glenn mentioned that small
particulates still make their way into the water, but the specks of
dirt haven’t caused a problem during the eight months his waterer has
been in operation so far.
Glenn’s reservoir stays
unfrozen due to sandwiching
heat tape between two buckets. He added an
innovative level indicator on the outside of the bucket to keep an eye
on water levels without entering the coop.
far, this has been a maintenance-free system. I have not had to fill
this since I first installed it.
“I had 12 chickens on this system through the winter and they never
even came close to emptying their water. I just keep an eye on the
water level indicator when I feed them.
“It rains often enough here that it is simply kept full by the rain.
Even a very light rain will fill this bucket as anyone with a rain
barrel will know.
“Obviously, this would not work in the winter if your temperatures are
too low to allow rain or melting of snow. We had an extremely mild
winter so there were no problems.”
Stay tuned for more
photos next week of Glenn’s chicken tractor system. Thanks for
sharing such a well designed and beautifully photographed system, Glenn!