Even if you have never owned chickens before, one thing is obvious – your flock will need food and water! Providing a steady supply of clean, fresh drinking water will help your chickens to stay healthy, meaning they can keep laying the best quality eggs for you.
However, when it comes to water, it’s often not as simple as popping a bowl down for your hens, as that would lead to their water quickly getting dirty or spilling. Instead, it’s best to invest in a well-designed chicken waterer. This article has all of the best chicken waterer choices for you to consider:
- Top 5 best chicken waterer reviews
- Things to consider before buying a chicken waterer
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Top 5 best chicken waterer reviews
While it’s obvious that your chickens need access to clean water, what is the best way to provide this? You want to ensure that the chicken waterer you choose provides enough water to your flock, that it doesn’t get dirt inside, and that you can refill it easily. Below, you will find the best chicken waterer options for you and your flock:
1. Farm Innovators heated plastic poultry fountain
This heated poultry fountain by the Farm Innovators brand is a great option if you live somewhere cold, or you tend to get long winters. It has a thermostatic control which only kicks in when it gets cold enough to freeze the water, so you don’t waste any power, but you still have the peace of mind that your hens won’t be pecking at ice rather than being able to get a nice, fresh drink of water.
It’s also super easy to use as you can simply fill it from the bottom, rather than having to remove the top each time you want to pour more water in for your flock. There’s a 3-gallon capacity, so you should be able to simply top up once a day, or less, depending on how many chickens you have – and how thirsty they are. One of the best chicken waterer for winter options on the market!
2. RentACoop Automatic Fill Chick Cup Drinker Waterer
If you want to ensure that your chickens’ water doesn’t get dirty as they scratch around, or that they don’t spill it, or try to bathe in it, then a good option is to look for a chicken waterer which attaches to the cage or coop so you can keep it off the ground, while still making it accessible for your flock.
The RentACoop drinker attaches onto the outside of your cage, with the drinking cup feeding through to the inside of the enclosure for your chickens. This makes it easy and mess free for you as you can simply open the top and refill the water from outside. This one is a relatively small container when compared to the other options on our list, making this rentacoop chicken waterer a great choice if you are rearing chicks.
3. Harris Farms Double Wall Poultry Drinker
If you’re a fan of traditional farmhouse-style design, as well as needing a larger drinking container for your hens, then this could be the one for you and your flock. Depending on how many chickens you have, you can choose either a 2-gallon or a 5-gallon option in the same style.
Whichever one you go for, the vacuum process will ensure that your chickens have a constant supply of water, which is drawn down for them automatically as they drink, ensuring no wasted water and no spills. It has rolled edges, so there are no sharp sides for your chickens to catch themselves on as they drink, and there’s an attached handle, so you can choose whether you want to hang this up, or just use it for carrying it when you want to fill or clean.
4. Harris Farms poultry drinker
Another one from the popular Harris Farms brand – but this time in a heavy duty plastic rather than metal. With a capacity of 6.25 gallons, this plastic poultry drinker is a good choice if you have a large flock, as it can accommodate up to 100 hens. For smaller flocks, there is also a 3.5-gallon option.
Reviewers say they have used the smaller choice for chicks and the larger option for full-grown chickens. Both sizes are moulded from long-life plastic, so should give you a long-lasting option. They’re also very easy to fill, as you simply lift the lid off at the top.
5. Harris Farms Poultry Drinker, Cup-A-Water, 4 Gallon
If you like the idea of a water drinker with water cups rather than a bowl, but you have a large flock of chickens, then you could look at the Harris Farms Cup-A-Water design. For ease of use, you can hang this outside your coop and feed the water cups into the cage.
This way, you can simply lift up the hinged lid and refill from outside the cage whenever it needs a water top up. You’ll find there’s enough water to give around 24 birds enough to drink.
Things to consider before buying a chicken waterer
Once you start looking, you’ll be surprised at just how many different shapes, sizes and designs of chicken waterers there are to choose from. Here is what to consider before you make your choice:
What size will you need
The size you choose will depend on how often you want to refill your chicken waterer and how many chickens you have. If you have a large brood of chickens, you will want to ensure there is enough available water for all of them, and that there is enough room around the base of the waterer for a reasonable number to drink at any one time. Although, of course, your chickens won’t all be gathered around the water drinker at the same time, so you don’t need it to accommodate all of them at one given moment.
How easy is it to refill
As well as being easy for your chickens to drink from, the chicken waterer you choose should provide a convenient option for you. Think about how you would like to refill it, as you will be doing this regularly.
You can look at options that you pour water in from the bottom, or that you simply lift the lid off at the top to fill. You can choose a waterer which you fill from the outside of the coop, or the inside. Think about what will work best for you.
The material it is made from
Depending on where you keep your chickens, your chicken waterer could be inside or outside. Either way, you will want to ensure that it is hard wearing and long-lasting. Most options will either come in a choice of galvanized and treated metal, or a tough plastic. Either should work in any environment, so it comes down to personal preference on the design.
The weather where you live
If it dips below freezing frequently where you live, then this will be an important consideration for you. It’s vital to ensure that your chickens are still able to take a drink when it is very cold, without the surface, or all, of their water freezing over so they can’t get to it. You may want to consider a chicken waterer which has a built in heating system, or to invest in a separate warmer you can use when it is particularly chilly.
The age of your flock
Do you have fully-grown hens, or do you also intend to raise chicks? If you have chicks, it’s important to ensure that the waterer is big enough to provide them with regular water, but that they are also able to reach it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much water do my chickens need to drink each day?
This will depend on your individual chickens, the feed they have and the weather. But, as a general rule, one adult chicken will tend to drink between one pint and one quart per day. So it’s important to think about the capacity of the drinker you choose, how many chickens you have and whether you will be able to fit enough water in each day without having to refill too many times.
How can I prevent water from icing over in cold weather?
Most of us, unless you live somewhere where it is very warm, will have faced going out to refill water for our livestock, only to find that the surface has frozen over. For your chickens, you will now find that there are chicken watering products on the market which automatically heat your water if the temperature dips below freezing.
Another choice can be to look for a separate chicken waterer warmer base. Of course, you could always go out and pour in warm water. However, this will be an extra hassle for you and the water will soon freeze again. Plus, you will usually find that chickens don’t like drinking lukewarm water, so you may find they don’t drink enough and become dehydrated.
Is it okay to put the water container on the floor of the coop?
Yes, you can simply place your waterer on the coop floor. You’ll find that if you choose a chicken waterer with a rim around the bottom, then there really isn’t enough space within it for the water to get too dirty.
However, if you were to just pop a bowl down on the floor, it would soon be full of dirt. Another option is to look for a waterer that you can hang for extra cleanliness or to put your waterer on a platform.
Will a chicken water make a difference to my flock’s health?
If you’ve previously only had a bowl or two for your chickens to drink from, and you switch to a proper watering system where they have unlimited access to clean, fresh water, you may notice improvements in the health of your flock. They may even begin to lay more eggs for you
Do I really need a waterer for chicks?
Yes, it’s really important that you have a waterer, rather than a bowl, for your chicks. Otherwise, you will find that they walk into it, become wet and may become ill. Tragically, you could also find that some chicks drown in a bowl. They really do need a proper waterer in order to help safeguard your chicks so they can grow up safe and well.
We hope that you now feel better informed about making your choice of chicken waterer. The one you choose will depend on the size of your flock as well as what will be most convenient to fill and clean for you.
If you are raising chicks, we would suggest the RentACoop automatic fill chick cup waterer. This has a 1-litre capacity which is ideal for little chicks, and it’s easy to fill from the outside of the cage. However, for fully-grown adult chickens, you will clearly need a larger option. For those of you with flocks of between 50 and 100 chickens, or who need a commercial chicken waterer, the Harris Farms large fill drinker would be a smart choice.
However, if you do live somewhere cold, then you may wish to consider a waterer with an integrated heater. In this case, the Farm Innovators heated plastic fountain is a great choice.
Have you found the best chicken waterer for you and your flock here? We do hope so. You can let us know in the comments below.
Plus, if this guide has been useful to you, then please do share it. You may help someone else in their search for the best chicken waterer.