PVC Chicken Waterer





Introduction: PVC Chicken Waterer

About: We love working on DIY projects together, and yes, conflict does happen, but we just work through it!

An easy way to keep your flock watered and not have a mess with overturned water containers!

Step 1: Supplies Needed

Here is a list of supplies that you will need for this project. I did add a few pieces to the pipes to make it easy to take apart and clean, but they could be left off to save money and to simplify the project. I will explain each addition throughout the project.

4 BeakTime Watering Cups (purchased through BeakTime.com)

2 foot piece of 1/2 inch PVC pipe

2 foot piece of 2 inch PVC pipe

3 inch piece of 3 inch PVC pipe (I had extra in my scrap pieces from previous projects)

4" X 3" PVC coupling

3" X 2" PVC coupling

4 - 1/2" adapters (male end threaded)

2 - 1/2" threaded caps

2 - 2" cleanout drain plug adapter

2" cleanout drain plug (threaded)

2" trap adapter fitting

2" 90 degree Cross Tee

2 - 2" X 1/2" Bushing

Pipe Joint Compound

PVC Cement

3 gallon or 5 gallon water jug (I chose a 3 gallon)

3 foot 2x6 lumber (I just used some scrap pieces I had)

Total cost of project is around $55.

Step 2: Cut PVC Needed

I used my compound miter saw to cut the PVC used in this project. It give nice, clean edges and is a whole lot easier on the arms. Just remember to keep steady pressure on the pipe and the saw blade and move slowly. WEAR GOGGLES!!! :)

Cut the following pieces

1. 1/2 inch pipe - cut 2 pieces 6" long and 4 pieces 3" long

2. 3 inch pipe - cut a 3 inch section

While you have your saw out, cut the wood needed for the bracket. I cut 2 pieces of 12" long. Also, you need a 6 inch piece, with 45 degree angles on each end to make the support beam. The 6 inch length will be the long length of the board.

The girls are always curious when the tools come out!

Step 3: Put the Tee Together With the Vertical Shaft

First, assemble the tee that will be at the base. Use the PVC cement to put the 2"x1/2" bushings in the left and right side of the tee. Then, cement one of the cleanout adapters to the bottom opening. Use joint compound on the cleanout plug and screw it into the cleanout adapter. Next, connect the 2" pipe to the top opening (using cement). At the top of the 2" pipe, glue the 2" trap adapter fitting on. Set this aside to cure while you work on the horizontal beams.

Step 4: Horizontal Beam Construction

Well, in the hurry of trying to get this together before the kids needed to be run here and there for sports practices, I forgot to take the detailed pictures of the construction of the horizontal beams that I had planned. UGH! We will try to make it with this one picture and a bunch of verbiage.

Start with a 3" piece of 1/2" pipe and glue one of the Beaktime cup couplers. I chose to order the ones with the 1/2" PVC couplers, but they have other ways to add them to your system. This is just the best way for ours.

Next, add the 6 inch piece to the other end of the cup coupler. The next piece will be another cup coupler, followed by another 3" piece of pipe. Make sure to line up the cups so they are straight.

Repeat these steps to construct the other side of the beam. On the outside end of each beam, install the 1/2" adapters and screw on the plug using the joint compound.

Add the other two 1/2" adapters to the bushings on the left and right side of the tee using joint compound. Once those two are in place, cement the left and right side horizontal beam making sure that the cups are lined up and that the cups sit flat so that water doesn't spill out easily.

Step 5: Top Half Construction

Another picture opportunity missed! Sorry! :)

To connect the 4"x3" coupler and the 3"x2" coupler, use the 3" piece of 3" PVC pipe and secure them together with cement. You can use a longer piece to give the top more height, but I think the closer the jug is to the wooden bracket, the less likely you will be to have the jug fall off or be wobbly.

Add a cleanout adapter to the 2" opening of the couplers with glue and allow all the pieces to cure for 2 hours or whatever the recommendations of the pipe cement is that you are using.

Step 6: Bracket for Mounting

You will need to determine where the neck of the water bottle will be on the platform of the bracket. Drill a 3 inch hole at that spot so that the cleanout adapter on the top piece sits easily inside the opening. It will need some room to be able to screw the cleanout adapter onto the trap adapter that sits atop the bottom shaft. I used a jigsaw to cut the opening, however, I would recommend a hole saw if one is available.

Disregard the first hole drawn that has the X in the middle. I chose not to use that one. I decided to push it a little further out so that I had enough room to have the angle support a long as possible. I wanted to make sure that the bracket was strong enough to withstand the weight of the water bottle when it is full.

Screw the top piece to the vertical piece that will attach to the stud or other area that you plan to install the waterer. Next, add the support piece to the bracket with screws. Start your screws in the vertical board so that it is easier to attach once the height is determined for the bracket.

Step 7: Hang the Bracket

To determine the height of the bracket, drop the top section into the hole of the bracket and screw the bottom portion to the top. When the height of the watering cups is determined, mark where the top of the bracket needs to be. Disconnect the top and bottom portions of the waterer and set aside. Mount the bracket securely to the site. I mounted mine to a stud in the run area of our coop. I centered the 2x6 board on the 2x4 and it worked great. I also am installing a 2x4 piece to run behind the water jug to take up the space between the 2x4 stud and the jug. This will also give me a extra place to put eye bolts and use bungee cords to hold the water jug to the stud. (This is not in the picture as of now, but will update the post when I get it done).

Step 8: Finish It Up!

Using joint compound, connect the top and bottom portion snuggly. Check all joints to make sure that are tight and ready for water. Open the top of the jug and insert the neck into the top. Watch for drips and tighten where necessary.

Note: I have found that my chicks like to walk behind the cup beam, sometimes causing the waterer to twist. I will be adding a new bracket with attachment points to keep this from happening. I hasn't caused any problems, other that me having to go out and twist it back into place. Just want to make sure it is safe as can be. I will add this step and pictures once I finish it.

Hope you find this helpful for your flock!




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    I was looking for a way to have water in my coop without the chickens making a huge mess. Did you have any thoughts for how to use something like this in the winter?


    how do i install the water bottle i read that it says to leave the cap on. if you do this then how does the water flow out can someone please explain the process for keeping the water flowing from the bottle thank you very much

    I'm curios if anyone has any ideas with what to do with this in the winter time as well. We are building 2 of these, one for the run and one for the coop so would like to be able to winter proof them! Thanks!

    How well does this work in winter, what can you do to prevent the little cups from freezing?

    Tkz julie...awsome idea

    First kudos on your waterer and thanks for sharing. We will be copying pronto. Second on the ACV, I'm a big fan. It's a antimicrobial. It's acidity kills all kinds of stuff. And it's safe for humans, cats, dogs and who knows what else. I drink it whenever I'm starting to feel bad and it kicks whatever ails me usually. (A tsp in a small glass, drink very fast). Thanks again for sharing!!

    You can't see much but your chicken-run/coop looks well done. Did you make yourself?

    @ driscolldb, we haven't had problems with them roosting in the arms, probably because it is just a few inches off of the ground. We do have one bantam that likes to roost on the water jug.

    @ JoLynnD1, be sure to leave the cap on the water jug to restrict the flow.

    Thank's .. I need this .. very goood

    i made it but when i put the water bottle on it leaks

    Did you leave out a few pieces in the materials needed section?

    Hello! I using the same kind of waterers and working on a design. A couple of questions:

    How do you keep the chickens from roosting on the arms and breaking them and/or soiling the cups? I imagine that a couple of chickens would put strain on it.

    6 replies

    you could build little "awnings" over them, at steep enough angles, that the birds could not get a grip, it also helps keep them from fouling their own water, as they typically do.

    Remember, also, to add apple cider vinegar, just a little, to their water, as it supports so much goodness in their diet.

    Source on the apple cider vinegar in the water, please.

    Years of raising fowl. I can't say where I originally learned it, it was too long ago. Likely from the local farmer's co-op. But, if you google it, you'll get lots of hits. My experience goes from raising them, to performing surgery on my own birds, including caponizing them. Chickens, turkeys, guineas, ducks, geese, etc.

    I'm not what I consider an expert, by any means. I'm just very experienced.

    Check on backyardchickens.com, for better advice than I can give. But, you're likely to get the same answers there.

    I simply add a couple of ounces to every bucket of water.

    The first result on google is a page saying that there is no real studies done to show any effectiveness in adding ACV to the water. As your anecdotal evidence has shown, and the website indicates, it clearly doesn't hurt them--but there isn't any real data on making it a benefit. The couple of studies they found (which I was unable to find any further studies done) were done for when you were slaughtering them. Not a continous steady supply of it through the water supply.

    So, no harm to no foul as it were. But, also no real benefit either.

    (Please continue to use ACV if you want to. I just don't see any real evidence that shows there is a benefit for me.)

    That is great. I'm happy that you feel that way. It may be anecdotal, but it's what works for me. I've had far better results, using it, than when I was not using it.

    I didn't post here to make a frigging argument. I posted my opinion. It's my opinion, and you can spend the rest of your life refuting or proving it. I really don't care, what science has proven. Millions of folks who keep chickens, do this routinely, for the health of their flock. And, I will continue to recommend it. Are you going to follow me around, and refute it, every time I recommend it, because it's what works for me?


    I really didn't mean to make you this upset. I asked for a source, you told me that it came from years of use and to google it. Googling it contradicted your experience pretty directly, as well as the papers I found on it published by peer-reviewed sources.

    And no. I won't follow you around and refute it. I have my answer now, based on my judgement and my sources--and you have yours. Both are right for our situations.

    Be well my friend.

    I love to see all the approaches to providing water and food for outside poultry. I have used large kitty litter plastic containers, the ones with the flap top lid and handle. I drilled two to four holes in the bottom and screw in the usual chicken nipple watering devices. A small dab of silicone sealeant helps if there is any leakage at the threading. A large hook against a wall or pole secures the container. The flip lid keeps the poultry waste from getting into the container and allows easily filling with a bucket or hose. This works well during the warmer weather when tending chickens, turkeys and pheasants. I have even used an immersible aquarium heater (designed specifically with shatter proof glass) to keep the water fluid in the late fall or early spring when temps can go low.