So you’re considering getting chicken waterers/drinkers for your poultry farm but don’t know the best one to choose for your farm.
This decision can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to poultry farming.
You probably also have so many questions like;
- Should you use DIY/homemade chicken waterers/drinkers or automatic ones?
- What size of chicken waterer do you need on your farm?
- How many chicken waterers should you get?
- Which type of chicken waterer is best for you?
Whichever category you fall into or whatever your questions are, you need not worry.
In this post, you’ll find all the relevant information you need to help you choose the best chicken waterer/drinker for your farm.
Specifically, you’ll learn why having the right chicken drinker is essential and the different types of chicken drinkers.
You’ll also discover the essential considerations when choosing chicken drinkers, some of the best chicken drinkers on the market, and some helpful tips on maintaining your chicken drinkers
So, let’s get down to business.
5 Best Chicken Waterers/Drinkers At a Glance
|Harris Farms 6.25 Gallon Poultry Drinker/Waterer
|Overall Best Gravity-Fed Chicken Waterer/Drinker
|Farm Innovators HB-60P Heated 2 Gallon Poultry Drinker
|Best Multipurpose Waterer for Small Flock
|Manna Pro Galvanized Steel Double Wall 2 Gallon Poultry Drinker
|Best Metal Chicken Waterer for Small Flock
|OverEZ Automatic 12 Gallon Chicken Waterer/Drinker
|Overall Best Heavy Duty Chicken Waterer for Large Flock
|Harris Farms Hanging 3.5 Gallon Poultry Drinker/Waterer
|Best Hanging Chicken Waterer for Small Flock
Why Having the Right Waterer for your Chickens is Important
Water is necessary for your chickens’ health.
Therefore, having the right waterer that ensures your chickens can access clean and fresh water is very vital.
Now, note that chickens have different needs depending on their maturity stage.
As such, the right type of chicken waterers/drinkers for chickens will depend on their needs at that particular stage.
You’ll understand this better when we consider the different types of chicken waterers/drinkers.
Overall, with the right chicken waterer/drinker, you’d have a much healthier and happier chicken.
Different Types of Chicken Waterers/Drinkers
When choosing chicken waterers/drinkers, you also need to be aware of the different types, what they offer, and their downsides.
This will help you make the best decision for your chickens.
So, chicken waterers can be categorized into different types based on the following criteria.
- Type of material used
- Design Process
Chicken Waterers/Drinkers Based on Materials Used
You’ll find chicken drinkers/waterers made mostly from plastic and metal material.
Plastic Chicken Waterers/Drinkers
This type of drinker comes in various shapes and sizes for both chicks and adult chickens.
Pros of Plastic Waterers/Drinkers
- They are lightweight, making them easy to clean and refill.
- Plastic drinkers are also easy to clean and maintain
- They’re more affordable and budget-friendly, especially for beginner poultry farmers.
- In addition, plastic drinkers are not affected by acidity from medications and cider vinegar. So, you’d have nothing to worry about should the occasion to use any of this arise.
- It’s easy to monitor the water level using a lightweight, transparent plastic waterer.
- Finally, they come in different size options. So, finding the right size for your chickens won’t be an issue.
Cons of Plastic Waterers/Drinkers
- They are lightweight. Therefore, adult/big-sized hens can easily knock them down and spill the water.
- Furthermore, plastic waterers/drinkers are not the best for the winter season, as they can freeze up and crack.
- Finally, they’re not so durable as they can deteriorate after several years.
Above all, plastic waterers/drinkers for chickens are quite affordable and easy to use.
So, they’re best for farmers looking for a more budget-friendly option.
However, if you’re looking for a more eco–friendly option, you may want to try other types of chicken waterers.
Metal/Galvanized Metal Drinkers
This is the most common type of waterer/drinker among poultry farmers. It is often considered a long-term investment due to its rigid and durable design.
- Chickens cannot easily knock over this type of waterer/drinker due to its heavy weight.
- Also, it doesn’t wear out easily due to its rigid and durable texture.
- Galvanized metal drinkers are also not prone to freezing; hence they’re suitable for all weather conditions.
- They’re primarily available in large sizes, making them the perfect option for large(adult) chickens.
- Finally, they can prevent algae buildup due to their galvanized nature. This means your chickens will always have access to clean and fresh water.
- The heavy nature of metal drinkers makes it a burden to move them about, especially for cleaning and refilling.
- Likewise, monitoring water levels is challenging because of their non-transparent nature. Therefore, you’ll have to closely monitor this drinker to ensure your chickens have enough water.
- Galvanized water drinkers are prone to acidity from the vinegar and other related substances. If you use this frequently, you could have holes around the waterer over time.
- Finally, they’re more expensive than plastic drinkers.
Galvanized metal drinkers are much more durable and efficient for all weather conditions.
Sadly, they’re a bit more expensive.
Nonetheless, you can consider it an investment that’ll give you long-term value for your money.
Chicken Waterers/Drinkers Based on Design
Drinkers/waterers for chicken in this category are either hand-made/DIY or factory-made.
Home-Made/DIY Chicken Drinkers/Waterers
Many DIY-enthusiast or handy chicken farmers may prefer to make their own chicken drinking water system.
They could make it out of plastic, metal, and in some rare cases, glass material.
However, glass waterers/drinkers may be inefficient for poultry farmers with many birds.
It may not also be ideal for people with adult/big-sized chickens as they have a high chance of knocking it over.
Pros of Home-made chicken drinkers/waterers
- You can make your chicken waterers/drinkers out of eco-friendly or recyclable materials, ensuring your birds are not exposed to toxic substances.
- Moreso, you can customize it to your preferences.
- You can make as many as you’ll need.
- It can be time-consuming.
- If you don’t already have the materials to make one, it may be more expensive than buying one.
Consider making one from scratch if you’re a DIY enthusiast.
Preferably, you could get one from the store and save yourself some time and energy.
These are waterers/drinkers designed by different brands, and we’ll be focusing on these types of waterers/drinkers in this post.
You can also find waterers made with plastic or metal in this category.
- There are dozens of waterers/drinkers on the market, so you’d have a wide range of options.
- You can enjoy superior quality and premium features that most brands offer.
- Not all brands consider using eco-friendly materials or BPA-free plastics for their designs. However, you can always opt for eco-friendly and BPA-free options.
Bottom-line, there’re many high-quality branded waterers/drinkers for chickens to choose from.
Specifically, the types of drinkers you’d find on the market include;
- Gravity-fed drinkers
Gravity-fed drinkers are available in plastic or metal and can be bought in a store or built.
Furthermore, they can be placed on the ground, on a platform, or hung to prevent contamination.
They’re usually bell-shaped and have a base from where the chickens can access the water.
They’re affordable and efficient but require manual refilling.
- Hanging drinkers
These are simply drinkers that are not placed on the ground but hungover above ground level but within the chickens’ reach.
Keeping dirt out of your chickens’ drinking water is easy with these drinkers.
In addition, they’re not easy to knock over.
- Automatic drinkers:
These don’t need to be manually refilled.
They’re usually connected to a water source and have outlets (troughs) from which the chickens can access the water.
- Nipples and cups
These are mainly drinking accessories that need to be attached to troughs that are connected to a water source or tank.
With this type of drinker, the chickens can trigger the flow of drinking water by pushing the nipples and cups with their beaks.
However, there’s the risk of the whole water source being contaminated, as a chicken with a dirty beak can cause particles to flow back into the water source.
Now, speaking of finding the best chicken waterers/drinkers, you need to know what makes a good waterer/drinker.
This is why we’ll look at the factors to consider when choosing a chicken waterer in the next section.
Buying Guide: Factors to Consider When Choosing a Chicken Waterer/Drinker
1. Size of your flock
Here, you’d want to answer the question, how big are your flocks?
Are you currently raising chicks or adults?
This is essential in determining the best type of drinkers to buy.
If you’re raising chicks, you’d want to get chicken drinkers/waterers that are shallow and on the ground level.
This will help prevent drowning and allow the chicks easily access the water.
On the other hand, if you’re raising adults, you’d want something sturdy and large that can be placed slightly above ground level.
This way, the chickens wouldn’t be able to knock them over, and contamination will be minimal.
Another important thing about the size factor to consider is the number of chickens you’re rearing.
Your watering system should provide enough water for your chickens if you have many.
2. Type of housing (coop or outdoor area)
The type of chicken coop you have is also an important factor to consider.
If you’re using a coop housing system for your chickens, a waterer/drinker that can be hung or mounted on the wall may be ideal.
This is to allow you to save floor space and prevent spillage.
On the other hand, a larger waterer/drinker is ideal if you use an outdoor area.
This would be necessary to provide enough water for all the chickens.
However, you’d need to get a waterer/drinker designed to prevent dirt or debris from contaminating the water.
3. Climate and Temperature
If you live in an extremely cold environment, you’d want to ensure that you get waterers/drinkers that are not prone to freezing.
For instance, galvanized metal waterers are suitable for all weather conditions; they don’t freeze up.
4. Ease of Use and Maintenance
Regular cleaning and maintenance are necessary to give your chickens access to clean and fresh drinking water.
Therefore, you should opt for drinking systems that are easy to clean and maintain.
5. Materials Used and Durability
You’d mostly find two options for waterers for chickens; plastic or metal.
Plastic waterers are known for their affordable, lightweight, and easy-to-clean features.
However, they’re prone to freezing and wearing out.
On the other hand, metal waterers are sturdy, efficient, durable, and not prone to freezing.
However, they’re easily affected by acidity from apple cider vinegar and other related substances.
Hence, weigh the pros and cons before deciding on which waterer/drinker to choose for your farm.
5 Worthy-Buy Chicken Waterers/Drinkers on the Market
This is a rundown of the five best chicken waterers worth buying.
This is a fairly large-capacity plastic chicken drinker/waterer
It features a super-efficient gravity-fed design/structure that makes clean drinking water available to your birds.
i. It is designed with BPA-Free and durable plastic material.
ii. Furthermore, it has a top-lid fill structure that makes refilling easy.
iii. It is simple to assemble and use.
iv. It is budget-friendly.
v. Likewise, it is easy to clean and maintain.
vi. It has a translucent design to allow you to see the water level.
vii. It has a strong and sturdy carrying handle.
viii. Finally, it can be used both outdoors and indoors.
Sadly, this is not a hanging chicken waterer/drinker.
On the downside, this chicken drinker handle needs to be more sturdy to support hanging.
On the brighter side, however, it has a sturdy structure that prevents it from being easily knocked over by your chickens when placed on a stand.
In addition, the manufacturers suggest that this can be used with a heated poultry drinker base from the same brand.
Getting the heated drinker base to complement this waterer will allow you to use it in and out of the winter season.
Overall, it is an efficient chicken waterer/drinker.
Next on my list is this multipurpose chicken waterer or heater from the Farm Innovators brand.
It has a 60-watt heating element concealed at the bottom to prevent water from freezing in winter.
This means you don’t have to spend extra just to get a heated drinker base for the winter season.
Not to worry. The heater is thermostatically controlled.
So, it can automatically regulate itself to function when necessary.
However, it needs to be plugged into a power outlet for it to work.
i. It has a top-fill design for easy refilling.
ii. It is suitable for hanging, thanks to its strong metallic handle.
iii. This waterer has a translucent design to allow you easily monitor the water level.
iv. Furthermore, it has three drip-free and freeze-free nipples on the sides that can tend to the needs of up to 15 chickens.
v. It is easy to clean and maintain.
vi. Finally, it is made from BPA-free plastic material.
Small capacity. You may need to get more than one if you have a large poultry farm.
Despite this minimal drawback, it’s a cost-efficient and durable chicken waterer or drinker.
This heavy-duty 2-gallon water drinker by Manna Pro is among the best waterers/drinkers on the market.
It features an efficient design structure to ensure your flock always has access to clean and cool water.
i. First, it’s a steel waterer/drinker; hence, you can rest assured that there’ll be no water freezing during winter.
ii. Also, it is designed with galvanized steel material; this protective coating will help prevent rusting.
iii. It has a double-wall mechanism that creates a vacuum to ensure an automatic water flow.
iv. It is simple to use.
v. Additionally, it has a top-fill design for easy refilling.
vi. It can be used with a heated drinking base, but you’ll have to purchase it separately.
vii. Finally, it has a nipple attached to the side to allow water to flow to the drinking base.
i. Handles need to be more sturdy for hanging.
ii. Small capacity.
iii. Lastly, using cleaning solutions containing apple cider/vinegar will lead to rusting.
Regardless of these drawbacks, it is pretty efficient and simple to use.
This large-capacity waterer/drinker will save you the stress of frequent refills.
It can contain enough water to last your chickens for up to 6 weeks.
However, this depends on the size of your flock (number of chickens).
i. This waterer is suitable for use indoors and outdoors.
ii. It is designed with BPA-free and food-safe recyclable plastic, ensuring your chickens are not exposed to toxic materials.
iii. Furthermore, it is designed with UV-protected material that ensures the plastic material is not degraded due to prolonged exposure to sunlight, making it quite durable.
iv. This chicken waterer has three drip-free nipple drinking systems attached to the body, allowing up to 3 chickens to drink water at once.
v. The drip-free nipple conserves water and prevents water from messing up the drinking area.
vi. It features a top-fill design for easy refilling.
vii. It supports using electric de-icers and circulation pumps, which can be connected via the power chord.
viii. Finally, water-protective additives and cleaning solutions like apple cider will not ruin this waterer/drinker.
i. Training chickens to drink from this waterer might take a bit of work.
ii. It is very heavy when full, so you’ll have to leave it where you want it before refilling it.
iii. Finally, drinking nipples are too close to the bottom, so you’ll have to place this on a slightly elevated surface to get it to a convenient height for the chickens.
Aside from these minimal drawbacks, this suitable and efficient chicken waterer relieves the stress of constant refilling.
This chicken drinker/waterer from the Harris Farms brand features a simple design.
It’s also quite efficient to cater to the needs of 2-4 chickens.
So, if you have a small farm, I suggest you get this.
You can get multiple of these if you have more than four chickens.
i. It has a strong carrying handle that also serves for hanging purposes.
ii. Also, it is designed with durable and BPA-free plastic material.
iii. It has a semi-transparent texture to allow you to monitor the water level.
iv. Furthermore, it is easy to refill and clean.
v. It features a twist and lock system to secure the drinking base tightly to avoid water spillage accidents.
Finally, you can complement this chicken waterer/drinker with a heated drinking base from the same brand (sold separately).
i. It’s a small-capacity drinker.
ii. You’ll have to spend extra to get a heated drinking base to use this in winter.
iii. The twist and lock design may be complicated for some to figure out.
Notwithstanding, it’s still an efficient chicken waterer with a minimalistic design.
How to Clean and Maintain Your Chicken Waterer
Now, getting a chicken waterer/drinker for your flock is not enough.
Proper maintenance and care are also necessary for their health and well-being.
Therefore, here are some tips to help you clean and maintain your chicken waterer.
Clean the waterer as frequently as possible.
Depending on the capacity, you may need to refill the water after a few days or weeks.
Whatever the case, cleaning the drinker before each refill is the best practice.
This way, you will provide your flock with clean, fresh water.
Use water disinfectants like apple cider vinegar to prevent bacteria and algae buildup.
However, cider vinegar is suitable for only some types of waterers.
So, only use it on waterers that won’t be affected by the apple cider vinegar.
Try to keep waterers under some shade outdoors, as exposure to the sun can facilitate bacteria or algae buildup in the waterer.
Conclusion on the Best Chicken Waterer/Drinker
Overall, chicken drinkers or waterers are one of the most equipment to have in your chicken farm structure.
This is because fresh, clean drinking water is essential to raising healthy poultry birds.
Now you know some of the best drinkers/waterers for chickens and how to choose one for your farm.
Do well to pick any of the recommended options in this review, considering your needs and your budget.