Introduction: Rain Barrel and Chicken Trough Waterer
I wanted to keep my chicken coop off the grid as much as possible so I started with the watering system.
I needed save space so I thought a trough waterer would work well.
Step 1: PVC Rain Barrel
I created the rain barrel out of a 4 ft section of 8 inch PVC pipe I got from a local contractor. I used an end cap and sealed it with 5200 marine adhesive. Then I installed 2 3/8" MIP hose barbs and coated the joint with more 5200. The one on the top is the inlet and the one at the bottom is the outlet. The inlet was installed as high as possible based on the gutter collection point.
I also installed a chain to keep the barrel from falling over when full.
NOTE: Use the fast curing 5200 marine adhesive. The normal stuff takes a full week to cure and waiting gets really old!
Step 2: Gutter Connection
To collect water from the gutter down spout I glued a short section of the down spout material inside the to[ elbow to create a little weir. The water is redirected into the PVC pipe coming out from the left. It runs into the coop and through a third 3/8" hose barge and into a hose connected to the rain barrel inlet.
I also included an overflow leg by using a tee and a 90 deg elbow so I can see if the system if full. If the system is full or its raining so hard that the rain barrel can't keep up, the excess water flows over the weir and down the gutter like it normally would.
I used the following 3/4" PVC parts:
(5) Short sections of 3/4" PVC
(2) 90 deg elbows
(1) End cap
Step 3: ABS Trough Waterer
I wanted a waterer that fit tightly against the coop wall to save space so I got some 3" ABS, put some caps on it, cut some drinking holes and installed a float valve that I ordered from a poultry supply company. I used a 2-1/8" hole saw to cut the holes for the chickens to drink out of.
I did not glue the caps on. They seem to be watertight just pressed on.
Step 4: Trough Mounting Bracket
I also made a mount with two brackets so I could take it off to clean it. I took some aluminum flat stock and bent it into a "J" shape so it holds the trough but it can still be pulled out for cleaning
The coop is a small space so when the hens roost the one closest to the wall gets droppings in the waterer and its close enough to the door that it freezes during the winter. I'm rethinking how I want to handle watering right now, but the trough itself works great!