“Build a better [waterer], and the world will beat a path to your door” I don’t know about you, but I am always on the look-out for a better, sturdier, easier-to-use poultry waterer. We have tried several over the course of our poultry ownership and I thought I’d give my honest two cents on two of our favorites in case it would be helpful to any of you. Here they are, in no particular order:
· K&H Manufacturing Poultry Waterer, 2.5 gal – This waterer has some great features that make it one of our favorites. Our hose is a good walk away from the coop so we love the feature that allows us to fill it and seal it with the cap and walk back to the coop without sloshing. A bump on the base releases the water when the water tank is installed, filling the base. Another unique feature is the filter insert that can be pulled out to clear any litter that may get in the water trough. Lastly, I like that the water tank is shaped so that no chickens can roost on the top at night, but I will say it makes it a bit tricky to balance when you’re filling it with water.
There are a few other quirks about this waterer that I should mention. First, it’s hard to clean because it has such a small opening for the water. This can be remedied with a splash of bleach in the water from time to time, but without that, the water can get slimy. Also, when you remove the filter while water is in the tank, the water fills in and overflows a bit when you replace the cleaned filter. That isn’t a problem if you have your water outside, but can be more of an issue if you keep your waterer in the coop where overflow can make for wet bedding.
other major plus is that K&H has awesome customer service. We managed to lose the screw-on lid for the
water tank at one point, and when I inquired about purchasing a replacement,
they promptly sent me another one, free of charge. They also have a plug-in heated model of the
same design that we have not yet tried. Overall,
this has been one of our favorite waterers due to the sealed water tank. So in summary:
üFilling and transporting water from the hose without sloshing or splashing out
üFilter for the water trough
üGreat customer service
üHard to scrub clean due to the small opening (remedied with bleach)
üCan overflow when replacing the filter while the water tank is full
üPrice is a little high for being just 2.5 gallons
Harris Farms Plastic Drinker, 3.5 gal – This waterer gets the prize for longevity. We used this waterer for many years and it stood the test of time. There were many featured we liked about this design and a few that made it less than ideal. First, the good news is that this is one of the most affordable waterers out there and it tops the size of the other two waterers we have used at 3.5 gallons. It is easy to clean since the base of the water tank is the size of the base of the trough. The base was sturdy plastic and stood up to many cold winters of breaking out ice.
Since our hose is a decent walk from the coop, the biggest knock for us was transporting the full waterer. If you held the metal handle and carried it, water sloshed on the ground and on your legs and boots as you walked. If you held it upside down, it was awkward since it was heavy and you had to hold it by the water trough. One other frustration was the u-shaped metal handle would often slip out of the holes in the top of the water tank. Overall, as mentioned before, this waterer gave us a lot of good years and was worth every penny we spent on it. So in summary:
üSturdy and long-lasting
üEasy to clean
üGreat 3.5 gallon size (big enough to water a lot of chickens but not so big that it’s too heavy to carry!)
üHard to transport any distance
üMetal handle can be unreliable