8 Best Chicken Waterers for Backyard Chicken Owners: Review Guide

Providing your chickens with plenty of fresh, clean water is extremely important.

And while it seems like it should be a simple task, it’s definitely easier said than done.

From waterers that freeze up over the winter to the tendency of chickens to spill feed and bedding in their water supply, keeping water supplied and clean can be a daunting task.

When you have the right chicken waterer, you don’t need to worry about mishaps like those mentioned above. You’ll be able to keep your chickens happy, healthy, and hydrated – no matter how many birds you have or what time of the year it might be.

Here are some tips on keeping your birds’ thirsts quenched – without requiring you to expend a ton of money or effort in doing so.


Types of Chicken Waterers

Farm chicken in a barn, drinking from an automatic waterer. Animal abuse, living in captivity, food production and industry concept.

Here are a few types of chicken waterers that you might see on the marker:

Gravity-Fed Waterers

Gravity-fed waterer are pretty easy to use and are one of the most popular choices for modern chicken keepers.

They can be filled either from the bottom to top, with the water flowing directly into a tray. They are powered solely by gravity, although some might have handles built in to make the tank more convenient to carry.

The benefit of this type of waterer is that the drinker remains clean – however, it is not uncommon for chickens to kick debris into the open tray area of the waterer.

Automatic Waterers

Automatic waterers are awesome if you are short on space. These waterers consist of cups or nipples that allow your chickens to drink whenever they’d like. Chickens train to these drinkers surprisingly well.

Not only do automatic waters tend to save space, but they also can help keep your water clean. In many cases, they can also reduce the amount of water that is wasted due to spills and leaks, too.

Just keep in mind that automatic waterers have some assembly required. Usually, anteaters will send you all the hardware you need reinstallation, but that’s not always the case.

Often, automatic waterers come with nipple or cup features so that your chickens can help themselves to a drink whenever they want.

Container Waterers

These are often considered the classic type of chicken waterer. They are easy for most birds to drink out of, but they present several cons.

For one, keeping a container waterer clean, whether it’s a bucket, trough, or some other kind of container, can be difficult. It’s very easy for chickens to kick manure and bedding into one of these waterers.

In addition, it can be tough to keep a container water low enough to the ground so that your chickens can drink out of it. Too low, and they’ll be able to walk around in it. Too high and they won’t be able to drink.


8 Best Chicken Waterers – Our Top Choices

Here are 8 of the best chicken waterers that you should definitely check out!

Just a note, these are not in any particular order – you should consider them all out as they can each serve a unique purpose depending on your need (automatic, hanging, DIY, etc.)

1. Little Giant Complete Waterer

The 1-gallon poultry fount by Little Giant is one of the most frequently purchased by novice and expert chicken keepers alike. Although it’s not ideal for large flocks, it’s perfect if you just have a few chickens in your coop.

A gravity-fed waterer, it is made out of molded polyethylene plastic. The plastic won’t overheat easily, and with the extra-wide base, it’s easy for your chickens to drink out of it.

A compact chicken waterer, it is so affordable that you can buy several and place them around the coop to keep your birds hydrated.

Refilling this chicken waterer is super easy since all you have to do is screw on the lid. It’s also important to note that both the base and tank are sold separately – you can buy one or the other without having to invest in a full pair.

Pros:

  • Jars have a screw-on design to reduce waste
  • Base and jar are sold separately
  • Does not leak easily

Cons:

  • The plastic tray is known to crack occasionally

2. RentACoop Make Your Own Waterer Kit

RentACoop Make Your Own Waterer Kit - Horizontal Side Chicken Nipples + Installation Piece (20 Pack)
  • 🐓 Comes with installation helpers as well as simple yet effective...
  • 🐓 We suggest one nipple per every 4 chickens / poultry.
  • 🐓 No more hanging your waterer and no more daily water bucket cleaning - Your...

For the indecisive chicken owners among us, RentACoop also makes a DIY make your own waterer kit. This kit allows you to set up your own DIY watering system with 12 unique automatic nipples.

These nipples can be used by any chicken, as long as it is two weeks of age or older. Place them at any location around your coop, and you’ll have a super-effective watering system.

Some people attach them to rain barrels while others use simple five-gallon tanks of water.

Therefore, you can adapt to just about any kind of container to be a chicken waterer – how handy is that?

Pros:

  • Comes in various sizes, including 5, 6, 10, 20, 50, and 100
  • Perfect for large amounts of chickens
  • Best for DIY installation

Cons:

  • Does require some assembly

3. Royal Rooster Drinker

Royal Rooster Twin Cup Drinker & Feeder Set - 6.5lbs /1 gal
  • The set includes:1 x 1 gallon drinker (approx 20 inches tall) with two...
  • 1 x Feeder with rain cover and rear hooks (holds approx 6.5lbs of feed and is 20...
  • 2 x ergonomically designed lids.4 x aluminum brackets and screws (for those...

This Royal Rooster Twin Cup Drinker and Feeder Set is super handy. Not only will it give your chickens all the water they need, but it comes with a separate unit for food, too.

With dimensions measuring 20 inches tall, 5 inches wide, and 5 inches deep (9 if you count the rain cover), this waterer is built out of durable plastic that is UV-resistant.

It can hold up to a gallon of water and has a narrow design that is ideal for coops that are short on space.

The waterer can be easily hooked onto the chicken coop mesh, or it can be affixed to a wall by using the aluminum brackets that come with each purchase.

All you need is a basic Phillips head screwdriver to assemble this drinker.

This waterer does a great job at reducing waste. You won’t have tow Harry about debris getting inside the waterer, and since it has valve-operated drinking cups, you won’t have a ton of spillage or leaks, either.

Pros:

  • Has a narrow design that helps it fit easily into any coop
  • Can be positioned indoors or outside
  • Prevents evaporation and algal growth

Cons:

  • Drinking cups can be a bit too small for some larger chickens

4. RentACoop Automatic Chicken Water Nipple Cup Waterer Kit

Pack of 2 - RentACoop Automatic Chicken Water Nipple Cup Waterer Kit for Poultry
  • 🐓 Water flows automatically without tabs to push - The cups are always half...
  • 🐓 An amazing solution for clean water for chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys...
  • 🐓 Perfect for gravity fed systems (attached directly to a bucket) or systems...

This waterer kit by RentACoop is a fun option if you want to be able to water your chickens or other large poultry – including turkeys or ducks.

This chicken waterer never needs cleaning, since the cups will help provide your chickens with fresh water at all times.

It has an advantage over nipple waterers since you won’t need to train your chickens to use the drinker – the watering cups will always be halfway filled with water so that your chickens can easily access them.

The drinking cups can be easily mounted to plastic containers or even pieces of PVC pipe.

Pros:

  • Plastic cups are strong, clean, and durable
  • Can be used for many types of poultry
  • Easy to refill and to assemble

Cons:

  • Not the best for cold weather

5. RentACoop Chicken Waterer with Horizontal Side Mount Poultry Nipples

5 Gallon Chicken Waterer - 4 Horizontal Side Mount Poultry Nipples
  • 🐓 100% Food Grade and BPA Free Plastic.
  • 🐓 Horizontal Nipples prevent ground/bedding from getting wet
  • 🐓5 Gallons/4 Horizontal Side Mount Poultry Nipples lasts 4 hens more than 10...

This automatic chicken waterer is handy if you want to hang a waterer in your coop instead of mounting it to the wall or placing it on the floor.

It has a five-gallon capacity that is perfect for providing water to four hens for around ten days.

With no difficult assembly needed, all you have to do is elevate the drinker and fill it up. The nipples are positioned on both sides of the drinker and are elevated, so your birds have to do next to nothing in order to be able to drink.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble, hang, and fill
  • Can be purchased with center or corner nipples
  • Nipples have some elevation to prevent spills and wasted water

Cons:

  • The handle isn’t super strong and may need to be reinforced

6. Premier Chick Nipple Drinker with Wall Bracket

Premier Chick Nipple Drinker with Wall Bracket White
  • 1 litre nipple drinker sits or hangs above the litter so water is always clean....
  • Wall bracket included for hanging on a brooder or coop wall. Lightweight wire...
  • Wall bracket helps to keep nipple drinker above the litter so water is always...

Premier 1 makes a ton of chicken rearing supplies, and if you’re raising baby chicks, you really can’t get any better than this chick nipple drinker. It comes with a wall bracket so you can easily attach it to your wall.

This waterer provides your birds with access to clean, fresh water at all times. It is a one-liter tank that is ideal for up twenty young chicks, but it can also be used for four adult chickens.

Made out of BPA-free, strong and durable plastic, this chicken waterer can be attached to a cage or onto the wall of a coop.

If you want to use this waterer during freezing weather, don’t worry – it can still be done. All you need to do is place it on one of the Premier 1 heating plates (sold separately).

Pros:

  • Can be used in the winter
  • Perfect for baby chicks
  • Comes with a wire hanging bracket

Cons:

  • Doesn’t supply water to very many large adult chickens at a time

7. Automatic Chicken/Poultry Drinkers/Waterers with Cups

Automatic Chicken/Poultry Drinkers/Waterers with Cups Watering Cups Bowls Red Plastic Backyards Chicken Flock Duck Bird Water Feeder Livestocktool (12)
  • HIGH QUALITY PLASTIC-Strong toughness, anti fall, compression and anti-aging
  • Good structure design, removable lower parts for easy cleaning
  • DURABLE-Easy to use, save labor and time for farmers. Improve the effectiveness...

This automatic chicken waterer is built out of resilient plastic that isn’t likely to degrade on you anytime soon.

A durable and tough drinker, it rarely breaks- even when it falls. It is easy to use, allowing your chickens to grab a drink whenever they’d like.

A small chicken waterer, it’s only about three inches wide and a couple of inches tall. It may be used for other birds besides chickens, too, including turkeys or ducks.

Chickens adapt to it easily and you won’t need to refill it very often. Plus, the parts can be dismantled with ease in case you need to move it.

Pros:

  • Sold in various sizes, including packs of 4, 6, 10, and 12
  • Simple to use and set up
  • Can be fastened to any drinker system

Cons:

  • Hens must pull float lever up in order to drink

8. Harris Farms Plastic Poultry Drinker

Harris Farms Plastic Poultry Drinker, 5 Quart
  • Easy-fill, easy-clean
  • Molded from long-life plastic with durable fountain
  • Features twist-lock system

A top poultry waterer on our list is made by Harris Farms, one of the leading names when it comes to chicken equipment.

This waterer can be assembled, filled, and cleaned with ease. It consists of a durable fountain made out of high-quality plastic.

It can hold up to 3.5 gallons of water and has a unique twist-lock system that allows you to fill it quickly.

With a comfortable locking handle, you can easily move this chicken waterer around your coop. Although it’s only designed to provide water to a few birds at a time, it is nevertheless an efficient way to hydrate your entire flock.

Pros:

  • Made out of transparent plastic so you can easily see how much water is left
  • Easy to move and refill
  • Inexpensive option

Cons:

  • Cracks in cold weather

What to Consider When Buying a Chicken Waterer

Here are a few factors that you should keep in mind when choosing a chicken waterer.

Size

One of the most important factors you need to consider is the size and dimensions of your waterer. It needs to fit well inside your coop and be able to accommodate your flock size and type of birds.

More importantly, it needs to work with the layout of your coop. Don’t pick a wall-mounted waterer if you have nowhere in the coop to attach it! Similarly, you need to consider how often you want to refill your waterer. It more or less goes without saying that the larger the waterer, the less often you will need to refill it.

Most chicken waterers are sold in sizes ranging from one to eight gallons. There are several designed for commercial chicken producers, however, that are substantially larger. Keep the size of your flock in mind when you are ordering.

Design

Consider the design of your waterer, too. Most chicken drinkers are made out of either galvanized steel or plastic. Both work well and have their own unique advantages and disadvantages.

For instance, steel can warm the water up too much if it’s sitting in the sun – but you won’t have to worry about the material degrading over time like plastic will. And if you intend to use vinegar to clean your drinkers, you’ll need to steer clear of steel, since it will cause metals to leach into your chickens’ drinking supply.

Plastic waterers tend to be made out of sturdy, BPA-free plastic. While a plastic drinker is easier to fill and carry than a metal one, it’s not as durable, especially after a long cold winter or hot, sunny summer. That said, metal waterer can be quite a bit more expensive.

You will also need to consider the type of chicken waterer you want to use, as we detailed above. Whether you choose a traditional or a more modern design, it’s up to you – but pay close attention to your chickens’ needs and abilities when you are making your selection.

Flock Composition

Not all chickens are built alike. From behemoth Jersey GIants to more diminutive bantam breeds, every chicken has different abilities when it comes to being able to drink out of a chicken waterer.

As a result, you should consider the size of your birds. You also need to consider the quantity – how many chickens do you have? If you have a large backyard flock, you may need to invest in multiple waterer. For a large group of chickens, a high-capacity drinker is necessary. Not only will refilling your waterer constantly be inefficient and annoying, but it can be dangerous if not all of your chickens have equal access to water.

Heating

Do you live in a cold climate? If so, how are you going to prevent the water from freezing during the most frigid months of winter? You may need to invest in a waterer that has heating capabilities or can be attached to a heated base. While some people make it through the winter months simply by hauling fresh water out to their chickens whenever the drinkers ice over, this can be wildly inefficient – not to mention unsafe for your birds as they won’t have access to water throughout the entire day.


How Much Water Does a Chicken Really Need?

While it might not seem like one chicken could really drink that much water, the fact of the matter is that chickens do need quite a bit of water each day in order to be healthy. Most adult chickens need at least one liter each day.

They might need more during the hot summer months – and don’t forget, this water needs to be clean and readily available.


Where to Place Your Waterer

You can place your chicken waterer either inside or outside of your coop. Most people place them outside in order to prevent wet bedding and other issues.

You can put the waterer in the run – just make sure you let your chickens out promptly in the morning so that they can drink as soon as they get up in the morning.

If your chickens keep kicking dirt or manure into the water, keep in mind that it might be positioned too low on the ground.

Raising the drinker to a higher, less dirty place can help. Just keep in mind that you will want it to be about shoulder height for your shortest bird.


Tips for Using a Chicken Waterer

No matter what kind of chicken waterer you select, there are some general tips and tricks that you should keep in mind.

For starters, chickens are known for being slowly earnest.

If you decide to purchase an automatic waterer, just bear in mind that it might take your chickens some time to train to it!

You can encourage your chickens to drink by allowing a bit of water to drip constantly from the drinker.

Watch out for leaking waterers.

No matter what kind of drinker you select, you will likely never be able to rid yourself of this nuisance.

But keep in mind that you can reduce the likelihood of leaks and spillage by placing your tank where it won’t be tipped to the side or knocked over. You also should avoid overfilling at the bank.

In some cases, you may need to provide extra waterer so that all of your chickens can drink. It is not uncommon for some chickens to bully others so that not everyone has equal access to food.


Conclusion

With the dozens of different types of chicken waterers out there, you will no doubt have plenty to choose from.

Think carefully about which waterers will work best for the type of chickens you have and for the layout of your coop. Then start shopping – your ladies are thirsty!

Last update on 2020-08-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API