How to Make a Chicken Waterer

I use overhead chicken waterers that my chickens cannot foul. I am going to describe how to build your own in less than five minutes for between $13-$16. These waterers work great to deliver clean water to your flock. A 2 gallon waterer will last about a week for six chickens. I use (2) for my flock of twelve. The plastic bucket will last longer if kept in the shade. In the winter you may have to switch out the buckets when frozen, and when really cold, you will need a heated water bucket.


  • (2) 360 degree stainless steel poultry nipple waterer (The best place to purchase these are at QC Supply. They are $1.95, not including shipping and tax, but the shipping is more reasonable than other places)
  • (1) Lowes 2 gallon paint bucket and lid
  • (1) Carabiner clip

Equipment and Materials Needed for Bucket Waterer


  • Drill
  • 11/32 Drill Bit (Nipple Waterer)
  • 9/16 Socket or wrench for stainless steel poultry nipple.

How to build

1. Drill two holes on the bottom of your container with the 11/32 drill bit. Drill straight so the waterer does no leak. Make sure the holes are far enough apart for two chickens to drink at the same time.

2. Screw in the poultry nipple waterer into bottom with socket and wrench. Do not over tighten, this can crack your container.

Poultry Nipples Installed

3. Fill with water and check to make sure there are no leaks. If the bucket leaks where you screwed in your poultry nipples, add some silicon sealant to seal it up. (I have never had a bucket leak when I drilled straight)


Carabiner Clip

4. Add hook or carabiner clip to make it easier to hang.

Chicken Trying out the New Bucket Waterer


See how to build an overhead chicken waterer for $15 in 5 minutes.

~ Phil Williams

Phil Williams is a permaculture consultant and designer and creator of the website  His website provides useful, timely information for the experienced or beginning gardener, landscaper, or permaculturalist. Phil's personal goals are to build soil, restore and regenerate degraded landscapes, grow and raise an abundance of healthy food of great variety, design and install resilient permaculture gardens in the most efficient manner possible, and teach others along the way.

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