How to make an automatic water dispenser for poultry

Written by contributing writer
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Poultry need to have constant access to water. Most water dispensers sold to hobbyists are sized from 3 to 5 gallons---large enough for a small flock for a day or two but inadequate for larger flocks. Commercial systems are expensive, but can be used as a template to build your own system. You need to have a system that can be easily cleaned and is not easily spoilable, and it needs to provide ample reserves in case a problem occurs in the water line.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Large food-grade water container (5 to 55gal)
  • ¾-inch PVC pipes
  • 1 x ¾-inch end cap
  • Poultry nipples
  • PVC coupling with rubber rings
  • PVC glue
  • Float level switch
  • Drill

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  1. 1

    Drill a 3/4-inch hole on the bottom of the drum. Fit the PVC coupling with the rubber in the hole and tighten it well. Put some water in the drum to check if the seal is water tight. When tight, empty the water and let it dry.

  2. 2

    Take the ¾-inch pipe and drill a hole to fit the poultry nipple on. Refer to the installation sheet to know how to drill the hole. Put one nipple every 8 to 10-inch. Once all the nipple are fitted, put water in the pipe to test for the seal of each nipple.

  3. 3

    Glue the pipe to the water container coupling. Glue the end cap to the other end of the pipe. Refer to the installation manual of the float level switch to fit it to the water container.

  4. 4

    Set the whole assembly in the poultry housing. Refer to the recommended height of the nipple from the floor for the poultry you are raising. The nipples need to face down. Connect your water hose to the float switch and turn the water on. Make sure that there are no leaks and that the poultry can access the water.

Tips and warnings

  • When choosing your nipple, be sure to choose a type that does not require a drip cup as it will raise the cost of the system.
  • Leave the glue to cure for 24 hours before letting your chickens drink water from the auto watering system.
  • A lead on the top of the container will prevent dirt from getting in the system and clogging the nipples.
  • If your poultry spills to much water, you can use small chicken wire to make a raised floor around the watering system with a house gutter under the chicken wire. It will prevent mud from gathering in the coop.

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