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How to choose the Best Chicken Waterer

How to choose the best chicken waterer. A few considerations so that you make an informed decision.


Since I designed the first Dine a Chook Automatic Chicken Waterer almost 8 years ago, I have discussed the poultry hydration with thousands of clients, both in Australia and internationally.

Although the majority of our customers are backyard chicken keepers with small flocks consisting of 8 to 30 birds, the best chicken waterer system for their needs varies greatly.

Let’s start by looking at my own situation as an example:

I currently I have 10 chickens. Due to my flock size, I use two Lubing Cups, and because we live relatively busy lives and have access to mains water, I have a watering system that directly connects these poultry watering cups to the mains pressure water.

For information on setting up a mains waterer system using Lubing Cups, take a look at our Automatic Chicken Waterers

Choosing a chicken waterer system

One of the main concerns when choosing a chicken watering system is working out how often you want the water to last between refills. Mains water is the easiest option, but if this is not available in your chicken coop or you don’t want to do the plumbing, there are plenty of great waterers available.

Even though larger waterers last longer between refills, thus reducing your workload, they aren’t always suitable.

A 20-litre drum may look like a great option, but you do need to bear in mind that the drums we use are black (and our chicken waterers are made from UV-proof PVC). This isn’t an aesthetic choice; they are black because they prohibit the growth of mould and algae, which is a major problem with 99% of the chicken drinkers on the market.

A transparent container will be mouldy in a few short days. Consider how much work this will create. That said, there are other considerations to take into account when using a black container as the material will absorb heat and therefore needs to be placed out of direct sunlight, preferably in a cool, shady spot.

All that aside, our 20 Litre Two-Cup Chicken Waterer is one of our all time best sellers. 

The best chicken waterer for backyard poultry keepers

For most backyard chicken keepers, our most popular chicken waterer and, I believe, the best option, is our 4 Litre Chicken Waterer. And in 99% of cases, I suggest two waterers in order to give your birds access to water in two places.

New chicken keepers know that water is essential for their birds, but they don’t realize the importance of the location of their water sources until it is too late. Birds tend to move around during the day and often find refuge and shelter from heat under a shady tree or building. It is very important for them to have access to a drinker wherever they pass the hottest part of the day, so that the birds don’t constantly need to walk back and forth to get water. Having access to water in two places, as with a pair of 4 Litre Chicken Waterers, can be the difference between a dehydrated bird and one that can comfortably make it through a stinking hot summer day. This is particularly the case where chickens have access to a large area, and in hot climates.

The other great tip that I recommend when using our 4 Litre Drinkers is to keep on hand some freezer blocks. They fit wonderfully into the chicken waterers and will keep the water cool for hours! When the water is cool, your birds will consume and stay hydrated.