Last year we added ducks to our chicken coop. It worked quite well, except for the mess they made of the waterer. For a long time we had the waterer in the chicken house raised so only the chickens could get to it, and a general water trough outside. This worked for a while, but eventually became a mess in its own way. If only we had an automatic water system…
Then one day we got our FarmTek catalog in the mail. Looking through it, I saw that they had a plan for making a poultry drinker with a 5-gallon bucket and their Super Flow push-in Nipples. Basically you get a 5-gallon and drill 3 holes in the bottom. push the drinker nipples in, fill with water and hang it so the bottom is about eye-level for your poultry. We keep the lid on the bucket so that the water stays clean, but we only snap it on in 1 or 2 places so it’s easy to take off.
We ordered 6 nipples but just make one waterer to begin. We showed the poultry how to drink from it by holding their beaks to it and they will drink from it, but still prefer the outdoor water bowl. I think if we switched over to only this type of waterer, they would use it without problem.
We made a 2nd drinker when our ducklings were old enough to house with the rest of the chicks. The young chicks, ducklings and poults adapted more quickly to the new system than the older birds did.
Here are photos of the drinker in the chick nursery:
They are still using this waterer exclusively, however, when the rain fills their little pond up they prefer to drink out if that. Even though they have been trained to use this bucket drinker, drinking out of a trough (or puddles) is more natural to them.