In pure self-interest, I wanted to come up with something so that I wouldn’t have to feed and water the girls every day (or multiple times a day, like when they were little). You could get a jumbo version, but since chickens are pretty messy (just raise a few chicks if you don’t believe me), I didn’t want to need to clean the poop out of the water every day either, so I rigged up this system. It keeps the water elevated (out of poop range), and allows for infrequent fill-ups – you could attach the pipe to a 100 gallon tank if you wanted to, I suppose.
It’s simple to put together – for the most basic version, take some 1″ PVC, put a cap on one end, drill a hole in a bucket, and stick the other end in there. I added a couple elbows to change the level a bit, but same concept. The keys are these chicken nipples (not as dirty as it sounds). These screw into the PVC, albeit not perfectly, since the PVC won’t have threads, but with a little Teflon tape, they should be just about watertight. Put the whole thing up high enough that the chickens can easily get under the pipe to the nipples. Voila.
I know this is ingenious, but I can’t take credit for the concept, as there are many other people who have similar set ups out there. Lots of people even tap into a water line, so you never have to fill anything. I just decided to keep the plumbing to a minimum.