I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do to keep the babies in fresh water with an automatic chicken watering system. So after extensive research and testing, I found that the “watering cups” and watering nipples were the best bet for the exterior of the coop. (Important: both must be connected to a Low Pressure Poultry Watering Valve) I used the Little Giant Automatic Bird Fount Waterer in the corner of the coop’s interior, raised up a neck level.
(I first installed them in the interior, then realized I liked them better on the exterior)
I wanted to have an automated watering system so that:
- the water would stay clean and fresh (chickens love to climb ((and poop)) on everything)
- I wouldn’t have to constantly change it out
- we could leave on vacations once in a while without worrying
- I wouldn’t have to worry about the water freezing in winter
- map out layout/fittings
- *carefully* drill (with hole saw) 5/16″ holes in pvc
- *carefully* cut threads into pvc (12″ apart to avoid chickens crowding) with properly sized tap.
- thread teflon tape onto cups’ male threads
- *carefully* thread cups into pvc (then remove to allow for for flushing pipe after fitting)
- cut pipe to length and glue together (wait 24 hrs before turning on water pressure)
After reading about how messy chickens can around their food and water (in addition to knowing what a pain it is to continually refill and fresh water manually) here’s what I bought:
Materials and Products Used
(my affiliate links)
- 1/2″ schedule 40 pvc
- Pressure Reducing Valve For Low Pressure Poultry Watering Systems 5 lbs (or less)
- Poultry Watering Cups
- Little Giant Automatic Bird Fount Waterer
- 25 Pack Water Nipple Drinker Chicken Feeder – Screw In Style
- 1/2″ pvc fittings
- 1/2″ pipe straps
YOU MUST NOT HAVE WATER PRESSURE OVER 5 LBS! (no exceptions)
Learn it from my trials and errors (trying to not spend the money on more expensive pressure reducers) At first, I tried to use a drip system pressure reducer (even found one that reduces to 10 lbs) Not only did it spray when it discharged, (it should drain, not spray) but it also wouldn’t even discharge at all when depressing the little valve normally. (which is all you’re going to get out of a pecking chicken beak) So they simply didn’t work. I did purchase a more expensive pressure reducer and the valves operated perfectly.
Winter/freezing weather: make sure to get some sort of heating system on your pipes & valve. (even just a lightbult) Our 1st freeze the nipples blew right out of the pipes and the fount waterer froze with the girls pecking at an ice cube.
=^ | (frustrated face for having to fix this with cold fingers)
I tested with a big soda bottle and it worked great. (just to give you a hint of the kind of pressure you should have)