Best Automatic Chicken Waterer for 2022

Picking the best automatic chicken waterer for your flock requires thought and research. As chicken keepers wanting to know this information ourselves, we did the hard work for you and spent hours of researching and finding the best value automatic chicken waterer available on the market. 

automatic chicken waterer
There are many different automatic chicken waterers on the market. Ensure you pick a suitable one correctly for your own situation and requirements.

After hours of looking we have put together our research on the top 3 automatic chicken waterers on the market. Our picks are based off looking at factors such as quality materials, capacity, ease of use and other practical features.

Read on to learn about some of the most important factors to account for when looking for an automatic chicken waterer and discover some of the best automatic waterers available to keep your flock hydrated and healthy. 

BEST OVERALL AUTOMATIC
WATERER

Little Giant Automatic Float Controlled
4 Gallon/15 Litres

BEST LARGE SIZE AUTOMATIC WATERER

Bell-Matic Automatic Ballast Waterer
5 Gallon/19 Litres

BEST SMALL AUTOMATIC
WATERER

Ademon Automatic Float Control Waterer
(0.6 Gallon/2.5 Litre)

What this article covers

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Automatic Waterers

Automatic chicken waterers connect to a water source such as a hose, and refill the water automatically as it runs out. This eliminates having to manually fill up the waterer.

Automatic waterers are generally purchased in the form of DIY kits. Automatic waterers can be fitted with any set up such as a trough/tray, nipples or cups. They come in a variety of sizes and material types.

Our 3 Top Choices for the Best Automatic Chicken Waterers

The following are our top 3 picks for the best automatic chicken waterers for your feathered friends.

These recommendations for the best automatic chicken waterers were selected to cover flock sizes from as small as 1 chicken up to as large as accommodating 20 chickens and more. With this in mind we also assessed the quality of materials, tank capacity, ease of use and other practical features to be mindful of for maintenance efforts.

Little Giant Automatic Float Controlled Waterer

  • FLOAT CONTROLLED – This automatic cattle waterer has float controlled refill feature that automatically refills the tank based on it’s water level.
  • STANDARD HOSE CONNECTION – This automatic watering device connects to a standard 3/4 inch garden hose, making it easy and convenient to set up.
  • 4 GALLON/15 LITRES WATER CAPACITY – The waterer has a 4 gallon water capacity making it perfect for accommodating multiple animals.
  • EASY FENCE OR WALL MOUNTING – This product includes metal brackets for over-the-fence or on-the-wall installation, also 30 in of hose is included with a female hose attachment.
  • MULTIPLE COLORS AVAILABLE – Available in a variety of colors including Blue, Green, Black and Red
Pros 👍Cons 👎
✔ Heavy duty plastic
✔ Large tank
✔ Durable
✔ Affordable
✔ Easy to re-fill and clean
❌ Can wear out quicker than metal waterers
❌Can get dirty easily with debris falling in

Bell-Matic Automatic Ballast Waterer

  • EASY DISCONNECT – automatically shuts off water flow allowing trouble-free cleaning and maintenance.
  • HIGH LEVEL OF SENSITIVITY – allows for very accurate control of water level.
  • LARGE BALLAST – increases stability and eliminates spillage. High quality of materials insures longevity and durability of unit.
  • RED COLORING – attracts birds so they will drink more.
  • RESISTANT to shocks, wear and chemical aggression due to sanitizing agents.
  • Includes saddle connector, 10′ PVC hose, 10′ rope, hose fastener, height regulator and hanging hook.
  • 5 Gallons/19 Litres.
  • Supplies water for up to 20 full-grown birds.
Pros 👍Cons 👎
✔ Heavy duty plastic
✔ Large tank
✔ Durable
✔ Affordable
✔ Easy to re-fill and clean
❌ Can wear out quicker than metal waterers
❌ Tray can get dirty easily with debris falling in
❌ Water pressure should be set to low

Ademon Automatic Float Control Waterer

  • FULL AUTOMATIC DRINKER is suitable for many kinds of places such as farms, ranches and yards. Compared with traditional sinks, it can achieve more than 30% water saving efficiency.
  • COMES WITH two floating balls as backup. When the water level drops, the floating ball descends, the water outlet is opened, and fresh water is added to the water bowl. When the water level rises to the set water level, the end of the floating ball blocks the water outlet, and automatic water addition ends.
  • INCLUDES: 1* water bowl, 1* water injection pipe, 2* water floats, 1* 1/2 quick-connect female head, 1* 3/4 quick-connect male head, and two countersunk head b
  • 304 STAINLESS STEEL to provide guarantee for the safety of animal drinking water.
  • ONE YEAR WARRANTY.
Pros 👍Cons 👎
✔ Heavy duty stainless steel
✔ Durable
✔ Affordable
✔ Easy to re-fill
❌Hard to clean out with no drainage hole
❌ Tray can get dirty easily with debris falling in


Considerations For Choosing the Best Automatic Chicken Waterer 

Choosing the best automatic chicken waterer for your flocks is going to depend on a range of factors. You need to consider the size of your flock, the environment in which you live and how much regular involvement you want in daily maintenance and upkeep in tending to your flock.

A Metal or Plastic Waterer?

Chicken waterers are typically made from either plastic or metal.

Plastic chicken waterers are generally more affordable. Unfortunately they can also be less durable and prone to cracking in extreme weather such as very cold temperatures. If you decide to choose plastic, go for something that is thicker and more durable. The automatic waterers we have recommended are made from thick and durable plastic.

Metal chicken waterers are more durable but due to the more expensive materials they are also more expensive. Ensure you choose a waterer made from galvanized metal that won’t rust or corrode over time. A metal waterer may not be suitable in very hot temperatures, due to the metal heating up and especially if the waterer is not placed in the shade.

The Size of Your Flock

The size of your flock will determine the type of chicken waterer you get and its size – i.e the size of the water holding tank.

Tank holding capacities range from 1/2 gallon to 5 gallons (2.5 to 19 litres). The average chicken drinks approximately 16 ounces (2 cups or 0.5L) of water each day. A 1-gallon chicken waterer will provide enough water for eight chickens per day.

If you have a small flock then a 1/2 gallon tank should be enough. If you have a larger flock than consider sizing up to a tank with a bigger holding capacity.

Its also worth considering the pecking order of your chickens too. Some hens can be bossier than others and hog the waterer preventing other chickens from accessing it. If this is the case with your flock its probably a wise idea to buy at least 2 waterers so the other chickens will have access as well.

Ease of Use

Ease of use with whatever chicken waterer you choose is very important. Ensure the waterer can be opened, cleaned and refilled easily.

Some of the automatic waterers will require more involved assembly than others. Keep this in mind when purchasing a waterer to make sure you are happy with the level of assembly involved. Generally it is not too complicated and most waterers will have instructions.

Also consider your chickens, their breed/s and what kind of chicken waterer would be easiest for them to use to use. Some chickens may easily learn how to drink water from a nipple and other chickens may be more suitable for trough or tray drinking.

Other Types of Chicken Waterers

There are many other types of chicken waterers available on the market that act more like semi-automatic waterers. We have listed the other options below with a description of how they function.

Gravity Fed/Standard Waterers

Gravity Fed or Standard waterers are the typical tank with trough or tray style waterers. These waterers utilize gravity to pull water downward as the trough or tray empties.

A float in the base measures water into the trough in a controlled manner to prevent overflowing. In terms of upkeep and maintenance the trough or tray will need regular cleaning due to the debris being on the chickens beak ending up in the trough/tray, the chickens kicking dirt into the trough/tray or the water becoming stagnant and growing algae.

The water in the tank remains clean and debris free as it is separated from contact . The tanks are easily refilled. These waterers are generally made from plastic or metal and can be hung off the ground or just placed on the ground itself.

Harris Farms Double Wall Metal 2 to 5 Gallon Chicken Waterer

Made from heavy-duty galvanized steel, this poultry drinker from Harris Farms is super sturdy and can be placed on the floor or hung from its handle. Its metal handle also makes the waterer easy to carry and the shape of the tank prevents roosting on top. The vessel’s gravity-fed design ensures chickens and other fowl have access to fresh water all day long.

Harris Farms’ drinker is available in 2 or 5 gallon capacities. The capacity you pick will depend on the size of your flock. This waterer is compatible with the Harris Farms Heated Poultry Drinker Base to prevent the water from freezing in the colder months, an additional must if you live in this type of climate.

Pros 👍Cons 👎
✔ Galvanised steel
✔ Large tank
✔ Durable
✔ Can pair with a water heater in freezing climates
✔ Affordable
✔ Easy to re-fill and clean
✔ Pointed top to prevent roosting
❌ Can rust
❌Should be kept out of hot sun due to metal

Nipples and Cups

Nipple-style attachments work by dispensing water when the chicken pushes a toggle with their beak. This style basically eliminates any their water becoming dirty as their beak does not sit in a water trough.

Subsequently these are a much lower maintenance option. Your chickens will initially have to learn how to use this waterer but chickens are pretty smart so it wont take them long! This style is probably best for a flock of only a few chickens as generally only one bird can access it at a time.

Cups are like the trough and tray set up and the water is dispensed into the cup. This will require some maintenance for the same reasons as the standard gravity fed waterer due to the bird dipping their beaks into the waterer and the possibility of the water becoming stagnant or forming algae.

Rent-A-Coop 5 Gallon Water Cup Chicken Waterer

Chickens will love the four easy-to-use cups on RentACoop’s 5-gallon waterer. There are no tabs for the birds to push and the cups remain half full at all times.

To accommodate coops of various designs, this chicken waterer is available in center placement or corner placement configurations, which either have cups on two parallel sides or two adjoining sides of the waterer. A cone-shaped cap on the vessel prevents roosting.

This waterer has a plastic carrying handle but do not hang it by the hand as when full the handle will not be able to support the bearing weight. The good news is that there is a separate and compatible hanging strap which is sold separately.

Pros 👍Cons 👎
✔ Cups stay half full automatically
✔ Large tank
✔ Lightweight when empty
✔ Can switch to nipples if desired
✔ Affordable
✔ Easy to re-fill with water
✔ Several access points for chickens to drink
❌ Washers can leak after time
❌ Handle is not strong enough for hanging
❌Plastic may crack over time
❌ More parts to clean
❌ Cannot be hung by the included strap

OverEZ Large 12 Gallon Nipple Waterer

The OverEZ Chicken Waterer holds 12 gallons of water and eliminates daily maintenance by providing clean water for up to a month (dependent on flock size).

It is a no-waste, drip-free system with nipples that allow multiple chickens to drink at one time.

The OverEZ Chicken Waterer is durable, made to last and comes equipped with a power cord access port for an optional de-icer.

Pros 👍Cons 👎
✔ Stays cleaner for longer due to use of nipples
✔ Very large tank
✔ Lightweight when empty
✔ Water re-filling is infrequent
✔ Affordable
✔ Easy to re-fill with water
✔ Several access points for chickens to drink
✔ Has the ability to connect a de-icer to the lid
❌ Washers can leak after time
❌ No handle to hang off the ground
❌Plastic may crack over time
❌ More parts to clean
❌ Some chickens cannot drink from nipples

Additional Options for Chicken Waterers

If you live in a very cold climate where temperatures get down to freezing, a heating tray or submergible de-icer to place underneath or inside of your chicken waterer is important to prevent it from freezing up during the cold weather periods.

When choosing a waterer with a trough, aim to get one with a curved top on the tank that the chickens cannot roost on. This will reduce the likelihood of dirt, poop and debris making their way into the water trough and therefore reduce the amount of maintenance and cleaning required to maintain a fresh water source.

In Conclusion

Chickens rely on a steady supply of clean water. Its important to choose a chicken waterer that is reliable and has the proper capacity for the number of chickens you have. For the majority of chicken keepers the Ademon Automatic Float Control Waterer will ensure a small flock of chickens will have access to a constant supply of fresh water.

For keepers with a larger flock, waters such as the Bell-Matic Automatic Ballast Waterer or Little Giant Automatic Float Controlled Waterer is a better choice.

FAQs 

Below we have put together the most commonly asked questions about automatic chicken waterers.

Q. How many waterers will my flock need?

Its best to have a ratio of one waterer for every eight chickens. Each chicken drinks about 16 ounces (4.5L) of water each day, so your needs will depend on how many chickens you have and how often you plan to change the water.

Q. Where should I place my automatic chicken waterer?

Waterers should be placed inside and outside the coop in an area out of direct sunlight so the water is kept cool and the growth of algae is discouraged.

Q. Can I put apple cider vinegar in the waterer?

You can if the waterer is made of plastic. If the waterer is metal the acid in the vinegar will eat away at the metal and corrode it over time.

Q. How high should a chicken waterer be?

Access to the water outlet should be placed at the chicken’s breast height.

Q. The waterer is getting very dirty, how can I keep it clean?

Your waterer may need to be raised higher to prevent dirt, poop and debris from falling into the trough or tray.

Q. How do I clean an automatic chicken waterer and how often?

Depending on how dirty the waterer has become and whether the waterer has a trough style, the waterer should be disassembled for thorough cleaning on a fortnightly basis. Waterers that have more closed systems such as a nipple waterer can be cleaned less frequently. The water reservoirs should be cleaned every 3 to 6 months.

Looking for the best automatic chicken feeder? Read our review article here.

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AUTHOR

The team at My Chicken Guide are chicken enthusiasts! Our team has over 20 years experience in raising and caring for chickens. Our head writer is a qualified Environmental Scientist with a passion for sharing accurate and scientifically based knowledge on chicken care.