Category: Chicken Waterers

Turning a bucket chicken waterer into a feeder

Galvanized bucket chicken waterer

I dropped by my mother-in-law’s coop the other day and took a look inside. “What an interesting feeder,” I said. “Where did that come from?”

She explained that the feeder had actually started life as a waterer. But the lip broke off, which meant the gravity-feed contraption no longer worked as intended. So now she fills the bucket with pellets as a low-tech gravity feeder. A great example of Appalachian ingenuity!

New and improved heated chicken waterer

Heated WatererHeated chicken nippleLast year, the best heated waterers we’d seen for chickens were our own products. But we took some time off innovating and someone else came to the rescue.

The 2-gallon Farm Innovators Chicken Drinker uses a nipple designed to carry the heat of the water to the outdoors. According to their literature, chickens can keep pecking up clean water using this product down past 0 Fahrenheit, and Mark’s mom has reported good results at least into the teens.

We’re curious to hear from anyone else who might have given this new heated waterer a try. What did you love and what did you hate about Farm Innovators’ contribution?

How to make a heated bucket chicken waterer

Last week, I summed up our previous experiments with heated bucket waterers and mentioned that we’re trying version 2.0 this year. Mark and I considered trying to make this heated chicken waterer a premade product that you can buy on our website, but we couldn’t figure out a way to make it cheap enough to be worth your while.  So, instead, Mark decided to give it away.  The video above (starting around 2 minutes and 45 seconds in) walks you through creating our new-and-improved heated chicken waterer.  Supplies you’ll need include:

  • Chicken nipples
  • Farm Innovators 2-Gallon Heated Bucket Waterer
  • Drill, plus 23/64-inch and 1/4-inch drill bits (These are different from the one that comes in your kit!)
  • Lid for a 2-gallon bucket (plus cabinet knob and scrap piece of wood if you want a handle)
  • Wrench (or pliers) to tighten in the chicken nipple, needle-nose pliers to bend down the wire, and wire-cutting pliers to cut the wire

Making a heated chicken waterer

In addition, if you don’t drill your hole well (and this one can be a little tricky), you’ll need some kind of sealant to keep the waterer from leaking around the nipple.  Mark’s favorite choices there include plumber’s tape and Rectorseal #5 Pipe Thread Sealant. Don’t go out and buy sealant right away, though, because if you’re good with your tools, you should be able to make the heated chicken waterer without it.


I hope several of you try out this design and report back.  I’d love to hear how it holds up in different parts of the country (and world!).