Saturday, March 7, 2009

An automatic watering system for Chicken Tractors

Once you've built your chicken tractor, you're going to need a way to provide fresh water to your chickens constantly.

Here's one of the best ways we've found to provide water to our chickens. This watering system can be moved very easily.

This clever way of providing water to chickens was invented by Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms.

It utilizes gravity to fill a bell shaped poultry waterer.

This type of waterer is used in conventional poultry houses. It works off of water pressure from a water line that runs down through the house. The water flows down a 1/4 in. black plastic pipe to the top of the poultry waterer. The pipe is connected to the waterer by a small plastic screw on connector. The water enters the top of the waterer and comes out of two white valves on either side of the neck of the waterer. The water collects in the lower "bell" part of the waterer where the poultry drink.

A ballast underneath the red "bell" stops the water flow once the waterer has been filled.

In conventional poultry houses, the waterer is hung from the ceiling on a chain. In our case, we hang it from a middle support beam in the tractor. A "S" hook attaches the chain to the waterer.

A 5 gallon plastic bucket is seated on an edge of the tractor and feeds water to the waterer through a 1/4 in. flexible pipe.

To insert the pipe into the bucket, simply drill a hole into the bucket a little bit smaller than the pipe. Then, pull the pipe through. It shouldn't leak unless the hole is too big.

These type waterers are manufactured by Plasson and can be found on the web at:
Thanks for stopping by!


Anonymous said...
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motherofblessings said...

Does the lid have to be securely on the bucket of the system to work? I am have hardest time getting those bucket lids on and off.

Nathanael said...

The lids don't have to be on super tight. We just set the lids on top to help keep bugs from getting into the water.

Joseph said...

Is it possible to run that bell waterer completely from a gravity fed bucket? If it is the Plasson Poultry Drinker it states a minimum of 6psi is needed which is not reasonably achievable with a small bucket at the top of a coop.

Thank you for your time.

Deja said...

I can;t find this drinker waterer on plassons site any other source?

Joseph said...

We ordered ours from QC Supply (SKU# 275030), with shipping worked out to around $50/each. They are working great and simplify the work in the summer with our TX heat and keeping the chickens cool.