The Busy Gardener

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Making an Easy DIY Chicken Watering Barrel

Anyone with backyard chickens knows that feeding and watering them can be a daily chore. This is especially true in the summer when it’s hot and dry and the chickens are drinking more water to stay cool. One way to make things easier is to build a DIY chicken watering barrel. With just a few supplies and some simple instructions, you can have your very own chicken watering barrel up and running in no time!

Watch how we made our own DIY chicken watering barrel

Watering Barrel Container Choices

Containers should be food-grade, and most sizes will work!

First, you’ll need to find a food grade container. A good option is a used pickle barrel or similar type of container. For a few chickens, a 5-7 gallon bucket works great. You can usually find these at your local hardware or feed store, or online. I like to use a 30-gallon drum, but you can use anything that will hold enough water for your chickens. Be sure to choose “food grade” so chemicals in the barrel don’t leech into the water.

Choosing Your (watering) Nipples

Next, you’ll need to buy the watering nipples. There are many different types available, but we recommend getting ones that are made specifically for chickens. You’ll need roughly one nipple for every 3-4 chickens in your flock.

Drill Holes and Install the Watering Nipples

Next, drill holes in the container and install the nipples. Be sure to place the holes about 6 inches from the bottom of the container so that the chickens can reach the water easily. This is the trickiest part, but as long as you drill the holes in the right place and put the nipples in correctly, you’ll be fine. We found that using a drill powered installation tool (like the one that comes with this kit)made the insertion very easy. TIP 1: Elevate your barrel by placing on a couple of concrete blocks so you can install the nipples lower on the barrel.

Fill it to win it!

That’s it! You’ve now made your very own chicken watering barrel. This DIY project is easy to do and only requires a few supplies. Your chickens will appreciate having an easy way to get water, and you’ll appreciate not having to fill their water dishes as often. Thanks for following along!