If you keep chickens or any other poultry, you’ll know that one of your most important jobs is keeping them supplied with clean water. You can simply fill a bowl for them, perhaps several times a day, but a far more practical solution is to invest in a good chicken waterer.
Chicken waterers dispense water by themselves, saving you time and effort. If that sounds like something you might be interested in, here are our top picks for best chicken waterer to help you choose the right one for you.
This large poultry waterer from Harris Farms is designed to be big enough for up to 100 chickens, making it an ideal choice if you have lots of birds. Alternatively, it is also a good solution if you don’t enjoy refilling the water every few days.
The set consists of four parts, the base, the float, the bucket and the lid. You fill it from the top and the float releases the water required as your chickens drink it.
We really like how it is so easy to fill as well as to keep clean. This is a waterer that will take all the hassle out of keeping poultry. It’s also ideal for both indoor and outdoor use, making it even more versatile.
Another advantage is that it is made of BPA-free plastic, and all the materials are tough and durable, meaning it should last a long time.
However, although it incorporates the innovative float system, the downside is that the float occasionally fills with water, requiring you to disassemble it to fix the problem. This shouldn’t happen too often, though, so is more of a minor irritation than a fatal flaw.
Also, the handle is a little flimsy, so you won’t be able to use it to carry the waterer when full.
Other than these minor issues, this is a solid and reliable waterer that will help save time looking after even a larger number of birds. For more extensive poultry-raising operations, this could be a smart choice.
This poultry waterer is also made by Harris Farms, an all-American company with over three decades of experience. This model is a 5-quart waterer, providing enough water for up to 32 birds.
Like the Harris Farms waterer we just looked at, it is made of strong, long-life plastic and features a durable fountain that is built to last.
We appreciate the semi-opaque container that makes it easy to see how much water is left inside – this way, it is easy to know when you need to fill it up again.
Other positives include the fact that it is designed to be easy to fill and clean, and it can also be hung up, meaning your birds won’t dirty the water by walking or pooping in it.
However, you should be aware that if you don’t plan to hang it, it needs to be set on very flat ground. If not, you may find that water runs out too quickly and it needs to be filled up more often.
Another slight issue is that some people might find it a little tricky to open or close – although, with a bit of practice, it gets easier.
All in all, this is another solid product from this well-respected brand. If you have up to around 30 or so birds and are looking for something a bit more sophisticated than just a bucket of water, this very reasonably priced waterer could be the ideal choice.
If you like the sound of the plastic waterers from Harris Farms above but are looking for something even sturdier and more durable, this could be an obvious choice since it is made of heavy-duty galvanized steel.
The water is delivered by a vacuum process, and it holds enough water for up to around 50 birds. The flow of water from the reservoir into the part the birds drink from helps keep it clean, and it also features a top that’s designed to discourage roosting.
One useful feature is the rolled edges for extra safety, and it also incorporates a useful handle to make it easier to carry.
This model is also a good option for use in cold weather, so if you live somewhere that experiences freezing conditions, this model could be ideal.
One thing we don’t like so much is that it is not easy to hang, so it needs to be placed on the ground – the handle doesn’t have a notch, and if you try to hang it from the handle, it will move around as your chickens drink from it.
Also, like some other waterers with a similar water delivery method, it can leak if not placed on even ground – but as long as the floor is flat, this is not an issue.
To summarize, a functional waterer that’s built to last and that also looks good. If those are qualities you value, this item is well worth checking out.
For anyone with young chicks to look after, this feeder and waterer combo could be a great solution. The pack includes a 1.5-liter (about 0.4 gallons) waterer as well as a feeder of the same size. They are designed for up to around 12 birds.
This pack sells at a very affordable price, and considering the cost, the feeder and waterer are both decent-quality items.
We also like that they are easy to maintain, making it easy to keep the food and water clean to ensure your vulnerable chicks don’t become sick from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
However, the problems might start as your chicks grow since this feeder and waterer combo is not designed for larger birds. This means as they get bigger, you may need to consider finding other solutions for delivering their food and water.
Also, they can be a little awkward to fill. You have to unscrew the container at the base to fill it, but this is something you should quickly get used to.
In short, as an affordable feeding and watering system, this pack could be a great option for looking after your birds in their first stage of life. However, you should plan to replace it with something else as they develop as it isn’t ideal for adult birds.
One of the problems with keeping chickens is that with many waterers, you find yourself needing to refill them every day or two – but with this one, if you have just a few birds, you will only need to do it once a week.
With only four chickens drinking from it, the 5-gallon size can even last up to 10 days between refills.
Alternatively, it can also be used for up to 30 chickens – you will just have to be ready to top it up a bit more often.
The components are also made of food-grade, BPA-free plastic, so you have nothing to worry about in terms of your birds ingesting anything toxic.
This is designed as a complete watering system that’s easy to fill and clean. It also boasts a sloped top that prevents your birds from roosting on it.
We also like that it is made of opaque plastic that lets you see quickly and easily when you need to add more water.
As for the water delivery system itself, most chickens will quickly understand it and will soon be drinking from it without any problems.
One drawback is that it does tend to leak a little – although almost any chicken waterer has this issue, and the leakage is only small.
The only other downside is the price since this isn’t the cheapest option. However, we feel it still represents good value for money, making this another recommended option as a hassle-free solution for providing water to your birds.
If the RentACoop waterer we just looked at seems like a good idea, but you don’t have enough birds to warrant such a large water delivery system, this smaller 2-gallon version might be a better option.
The innovative watering cups rely on gravity to function. As your chickens drink the water, the cup weighs less – which causes the valve to open and refill the cup.
However, when the cup becomes full, the heavier weight causes the valve to close, cutting the flow of water.
This system ensures your chickens have all the water they need – and that their water is always clean and free of contaminants, helping them stay healthy.
The container also features the same anti-roost top, and we also like the way you can either hang this waterer or place it on the ground, as you prefer.
There’s a lot we like about this waterer, and it’s hard to find any major issues. We might complain that the lid is a bit hard to put on and take off, but this is not a big deal once you get used to it.
Also, some people might not like that it’s a bit on the expensive side for what it is – but we think the convenience and ease of use still make it a great deal. A big thumbs-up from us.
Anyone looking for an all-season solution for watering their chickens would do well to check out this product, also from RentACoop.
The pack contains a large 2-gallon PVC water container than can be attached to any wall, either inside a chicken coop or outside.
For hot weather, you can use the innovative cups, as described for the watering system above. They ensure clean water is always available for your birds while also allowing chickens to cool off by dipping their waddles in the cups.
However, when the weather turns cold and water is at risk of freezing, you can switch to the freeze-proof nipples to allow your poultry to continue to drink.
All the hardware necessary for setup and installation is included, and once in place, it is easy to operate and simple to maintain. It is also designed to be suitable for all poultry, including chickens, guinea fowl, ducks and turkeys.
Perhaps the main downside with this product, as with other items from this company, is that it is more expensive than some similar options. However, it is a superior item, and for us, the higher level of performance is worth the extra money.
The only other issue is that if you have a large number of birds, you may need to buy a second unit, but this is hardly a fair criticism since this waterer does exactly the job it was intended for.
Another solid option from a reputable maker of chicken feeders and waterers. Highly recommended.
Even though many waterers are available that are labeled as BPA-free etc., some people might still be wary about using a plastic feeder for their chickens. An alternative could be to choose something like this food-grade stainless steel waterer from Love My Barnyard.
It is marketed as the “world’s cleanest waterer” and is designed to reduce slime, algae and muck. Since your chickens can’t poop or get food in the water, it significantly reduces the chances of any bacterial infection.
We like the large handle that makes it easy to carry or to hang, and it’s easy to fill and clean too. Since it only holds 1.3 gallons of water, it’s not too heavy to carry, even when filled with water.
It can be used either with nipples or drinking cups – it comes with four nipples (three to use plus one spare). However, some people might find that their chickens don’t understand how to use it at the beginning and require a little help.
Also, despite the fact that 1.3 gallons is a convenient size to move about, if you have lots of birds, you might find it’s not big enough – and since it’s not cheap, it could be quite an investment to buy two or more of these units.
However, this is a high-quality waterer that does a great job of providing a drink for your chickens and will help keep them healthy. If you don’t mind paying a little bit more, this could be the perfect waterer for your needs.
If you live in an area that sees temperatures that can freeze your chickens’ drinking water during the winter months, you might be looking for a solution that can help keep the water from turning to ice. In that case, this unit from Farm Innovators could be an option.
Holding three gallons of water, it is operated by a thermostatic controller. This means when the temperatures are not too cold, it stays off. However, when temperature drops, the water heater is activated, ensuring your birds can still get a drink.
This means it is useful as a poultry waterer all year round, and it will work in temperatures as low as 0°F. It is also designed to be placed on the ground or hung up – this latter option is useful since it helps prevent your birds from fouling their water.
We like the size, too. If you only have a few chickens – say five or so – you will probably only need to refill it every three days, saving you some extra work. This will be especially welcome during the colder months of the year.
For us, the main downside is that it is awkward to refill. You can’t fill it from the top but instead have to fill it from the bottom. This will probably mean removing it from your coop each time – an especially unwelcome task in the winter.
Also, the cord for the heater is far too short and will require an extension. This is something you should be able to work around – but a longer cord would have been welcome since it is clearly necessary.
As a practical solution for keeping chickens in colder climates, this is a clever idea that could be worth a look. It’s a little expensive, but it can make your life a bit easier, making it a waterer that’s worth considering.
If you’re on the lookout for a chicken waterer, you’ll probably be interested in the factors you should consider when making up your mind which to go for. Here are some of the most important.
The volume of the waterer is probably one of the first things you need to consider, and this will be dictated by how many chickens you have.
If you only have a few, say five or ten, a smaller model of a couple of gallons will probably be sufficient. However, if you have a larger flock of around 50 birds, you will need to look at waterers that hold a larger volume of water, perhaps in the region of five gallons.
Most waterers tell you how many birds they are designed for, so make sure you choose one for the number of birds you keep.
Some waterers are designed to be placed on the floor while others can be hung.
Hanging a waterer prevents birds from fouling their water and kicking food into it. If you prefer to hang your waterer, make sure you choose a model that’s designed for this.
Not easy to tip over
If you want to choose a waterer that goes on the ground, make sure your birds won’t be able to tip it over.
If a waterer has a flat top, chickens will naturally try to roost on top of it. If they do, they will poop in the water and generally make a mess of it.
For this reason, choose a waterer with a top that is designed to prevent chickens from roosting on it.
Easy to fill and easy to clean
Make sure you choose a waterer that’s easy to fill – this will make using it a whole lot easier. Similarly, it should be easy to take apart and clean.
Easy for chickens to use
Some waterers are too complicated for chickens to understand. For this reason, make sure you choose one that is easy for chickens to use without too much training.
If you live in a cold area, your chickens’ water may freeze in the winter. If this might be a problem, consider buying a waterer with a built-in heater.
Many time-saving options
As you can see, there are many chicken waterers available, all of which can help save you time and effort. If you need one for your birds but are having a hard time choosing, any of the options in our review would be a great place to start your search.