I just thought I’d put up a few photos I took of our homemade chicken waterer, MK2, while I was sorting out the rhubarb champagne the other day. Now I know this is nothing particularly revolutionary, but given that the equivalent commercial product can cost anything up to £40, I thought I’d share just in case it’s helpful to somebody.
The MK2 is, funnily enough, the successor to the MK1, which was really just a 5 litre bottle with an 8mm hole drilled in the bottom!:
The bottle sits in a plastic tray, and due to the effect of a vacuum building in the bottle as the water drains out, the water level magically stays just below the rim of the tray, and tops up automatically as the hens drink.
So, although the MK1 was meant to be a temporary measure until I sorted out something better, in the end it lasted for almost a year, until the MK2 was born!
This was made very easily from an old home-brew pressure barrel, which was being thrown out because the CO2 injector on the lid was broken.
To change it into a chicken waterer, I first removed the CO2 injector, and sealed the hole in the lid with a nut, some penny washers, and a tap washer, and then replaced the original wire handle, which was also broken:
I then unscrewed the tap on the bottom, and fitted a reducing bush from a hose kit into the hole (it’s a standard pipe-thread). I drilled a hole in a copper plumbing plug to act as the water outlet, and then fitted this through a small plastic tub with a hole drilled in it, sealing with rubber washers both sides, before screwing the whole assembly into the barrel.
And there you have it! A deluxe poultry drinker, for half an hour’s work, and at a cost of less than a pound.
This principle can be followed with any container rigid enough not to collapse under the slight vacuum produced. The small tub is easily cleaned out by running a finger around the inside to dislodge any dirt, followed by pouring a litre of water into it from a height to flush out any debris. Best of all, it only needs to be filled up every couple of weeks, and because it’s black, there aren’t the same issues with algae growing inside as there are with many commercial versions.
All in all, a perfect bit of wombling!! 🙂
By the way, if you liked this, also check out my idea for an automatic peck trigger feeder for poultry.