So, who likes cleaning out their old-fashioned, galvanized chicken waterer? Not me. That's a chore that I did not look forward to everyday. Fortunately, I ran across another idea on backyardchickens.com. The basic design is to attach a specially designed water nipple to the bottom of a plastic bucket. This design is similar to what a guinea pig or hamster might drink out of.
I purchased 6 of these nipples from FarmTek.com for $2.05 each.
I bought a 2-gallon white plastic bucket from Home Depot ($3) and drilled 2 holes (3/8 " in diameter) into the bottom of the bucket. Then I screwed the nipples into these holes. Based on reading about someone else's experience, I didn't think I would need a washer and a nut. But I did. The bucket leaked without adding a rubber washer and a metric-sized nut to the inside of the bucket. Home Depot didn't have the washers and nuts, but a nice guy at Napa found them for me in his store. (He also mentioned that his adult son wants to get chickens. I encouraged him on this, of course.)
I was concerned that the chickens might not know how to use the nipple waterer. But it only took them about 30 seconds to figure it out. Smart girls.
This was such as easy project! I'm so glad that I found out about it. It's nice not to have to deal with the mess of the old waterer. And even more importantly, I like knowing that the girls always have clean water to drink.
This is my feeder, which also is working well.
Notice that it's raised off the ground, which seems to prevent spillage...to some degree.