Bruce owns a small farm and loves to grill since his early childhood. He’s a professional cook, but hiking and enjoying the great outdoors is his no less favorite part of life.
Last updated: February 26, 2022
BackyardStyle is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Any chicken owner has a responsibility to provide their flock with the essentials of life: food, water, and shelter. Providing your chickens with clean water is essential in maintaining their overall health, and chicken waterers can come in various shapes and styles to suit different situations. This guide will take a look at the best chicken waterer options on the market.
We reviewed 38 different chicken waterers, finding that the Farm Innovators Model HPF-100 was the best option for most situations. Ideally suited for use in all seasons and weather conditions, this heated water fountain is thermostatically controlled and prevents water from freezing. It’s also easy to fill and can be positioned in various ways, either hung or placed flat on the floor. We also gathered seven more popular chicken waterers.
Our team spent many hours reviewing the top chicken waterers on the market, evaluating and reviewing each model based on a variety of factors including the type of waterer, whether it’s automatic or self-contained, for example, and the capacity of water it can store at any one time, as this affects how often you need to refill it and how many chickens it can provide for. We also looked at the dimensions and weight of each model to determine how much space it will take up inside your chicken coop or elsewhere on your property, as well as looking at the materials used to make each waterer. The table below shows all the best chicken waterers we found, followed by reviews and a buying guide.
More features: thermostatically controlled, easily fills from the bottom
Starting off our list of the best chicken waterers, we have the Farm Innovators Model HPF-100. If you’re looking for premium quality in all aspects and the best heated chicken waterer on the market, this might be the perfect option for you. The Farm Innovators Model HPF-100 is an all-seasons model, ready to cope with any conditions and handle even the lowest of temperatures.
How does it do this? Well, this model is a self-heating chicken waterer. It can be plugged in to a power outlet and then heated up from the inside. This keeps the water at a comfortable temperature for the chickens, even in winter, and it prevents the water from freezing too, which can be a major concern for chicken owners living in frosty areas.
The Farm Innovators Model HPF-100 is a three-gallon model. It can be either hung up via the handle provided, or placed flat on the ground, providing flexibility for the user, and it’s super easy to refill too. The only real issue users have found with this particular model is the provided power cord is quite short, so you’ll almost definitely need an extension.
More features: great for 80 Degree days, installation with 3/8″ drill bit to create holes, 1″ above the base of the bucket or use 5/16ID + 7/16OD tube, comes in packs of 2, 4, 6
Next up, we come to the RentACoop Automatic Chicken Waterer. Unlike other chicken waterers on our list, this is actually more of an accessory than a complete waterer. With the RentACoop Automatic Chicken Waterer, you buy little automatic water cups in packs of 2, 4, or 6.
They’re very reasonably priced and flawlessly made, building on the original ideas of chicken water cups but enhancing on those classic designs in some innovative ways. These cups can be attached to almost anything, be it a small bucket, a rain barrel, a PVC pipe, or a classic plastic storage container. They attach around the outside of the container and have been smartly designed to automatically let water through so that they’re always 3/4 full.
The RentACoop Automatic Chicken Waterer keeps chickens comfortable all through the warmer months of the year and is made from top quality plastic to minimize the risk of any breakages or other issues too. The only real negative to this product is that you need to provide your own container, and they obviously won’t work so well in winter when the temperatures drop.
Weight and dimensions: 1 lbs, 9 x 9.7 x 10.9 inches
Capacity: 25 gal
More features: accommodates up to 32 poultry or game chicks, twist-lock system, metal handle
If you’re looking for a chicken waterer with strong build quality and a good design, as well as a great price, the Harris Farms Plastic Poultry Drinker might be the perfect option for you. This is one of the most affordable entries on our list, making it a great option for newbie chicken owners and those who don’t want to spend too much on their drinkers, but still want to provide their birds with clean and healthy water.
The Harris Farms Plastic Poultry Drinker is a self-containing waterer with a 5 quart capacity and a very large, wide trough. Since it’s quite big, it can accommodate over 30 chickens or chicks and can be used in conjunction with other Harris Farms products like the Harris Farms Heated Poultry Drinker Base if you need that heating functionality.
The Harris Farms Plastic Poultry Drinker comes with a twist lock system, making it quite easy to open up, refill, and secure back in place. It also has a metal handle so can be hung up inside the coop to keep the trough free of debris and dirt. It’s a quality waterer overall, but it can be a little tricky to use as water will flow out unless it’s placed on a totally flat surface.
More features: thermostatically controlled, water filter ring, spill proof cap, shape eliminates roosting, 2-year warranty
Next up, we have another top quality self-contained chicken waterer in the form of the K&H Pet Products Thermo-Poultry Waterer. If you’re looking for a waterer that can stand up to the pressures of winter, this is a great option to choose. In fact, it may be the best chicken waterer for winter on the market right now.
The K&H Pet Products Thermo-Poultry Waterer comes with a power cable that can be connected to a power outlet and powers a thermostatically controlled heating system inside the waterer. This prevents freezing and eliminates any icy build-up inside your chickens’ water.
The K&H Pet Products Thermo-Poultry Waterer has also been designed in such a way to eliminate roosting, which helps to keep it clean and prevents any droppings in the water or around the tank. There’s even a filter tray that speeds up the cleaning process too, plus a 2-year warranty. The only issue users really seemed to find with this product is that there’s no slot or space to store the power cord when not in use, meaning that chickens may peck at it and could damage the wire.
Weight and dimensions:1.87 lbs, 8.9 x 8.9 x 9 inches
Capacity: 2 gal
More features: horizontal nipples, removable cap on lid, handles 4 hens up to 5 days
When you’re shopping for chicken waterers, one of the top things to think about is the capacity. This is especially true if you’ve got a busy schedule, so you can’t be around to keep on refilling the container again and again throughout the day. If you don’t have many chickens, consider the RentACoop 2-Gallon Poultry Waterer.
This is a 2-gallon chicken waterer with a really smart design. It can actually be attached either inside the coop from the hook provided, or on the outside of the fence with the little nipples inside. This helps it stay clean and fresh, giving you lots of options in terms of installation and still providing your chickens with the water they need.
It comes with four horizontal nipples that prevent ground/bedding from getting wet and you can easily feel the bucket with water, plus the whole thing is made from safe BPA-free plastic. On the downside, some users reported that their chickens had a hard time getting used to the cup system and needed a few days to figure it all out.
More features: sits or hangs above the litter, handles 10-20 chicks
Not all chicken waterers are designed for fully grown chickens. There are specialized drinkers for little chicks as well, and the Premier Chick Nipple Drinker is one of them. This is one of the best waterers you can find for chick. It has a small capacity of just 1 liter, but that will be enough for most groups of chicks since they don’t tend to drink in great quantities.
The Premier Chick Nipple Drinker comes with a wall bracket to let you attach it to the side of a coop and hang over the litter, letting the chicks drink comfortably and ensuring that every single drop of water they get is clean and unaffected by any dirt or debris.
The Premier Chick Nipple Drinker can also be used in conjunction with Premier’s Chick Heating Plates, and it can work for groups of up to 20 chicks in total. It’s made from top quality BPA free plastic for total safety and is definitely one of the best rated nipple drinkers out there. The only downside for this model is that the screws aren’t included for attaching the wall bracket, and installation can be a little more involved than with other models.
Weight and dimensions: 4 lbs, 31 x 10 x 8-10.5 inches
Capacity: not specified
More features: garden hose connection, large holes, detachable legs
If you’re looking for the best automatic chicken waterer, the Premier Automatic Waterer is a terrific option to choose. This unit can actually be hooked up to your garden hose, supplying it with a constant and steady stream of water for your chickens, as and when they need it.
With the Premier Automatic Waterer, you never really have to worry about topping up the waterer or ensuring that the chickens have enough to drink, as it always stays topped up to a set level. It can work flawlessly for chickens, but also for ducks, geese, and turkeys too. It comes with large access holes on the sides to let chickens drink comfortably without actually getting inside the unit and raking any dirt in there, so it stays clean for a long time.
The Premier Automatic Waterer comes with detachable legs too that can be used or removed to add or remove height from the unit. It’s a top quality automatic chicken waterer, but it does come with a very high price tag, so you’ll need to spend a little extra if you want to enjoy the benefits of this model.
More features: suits 4-6 chickens, easy straight to mesh attachment or to a wall
If the quality of the materials and manufacture is what matters most to you when shopping for the best chicken waterer, we have to recommend the Royal Rooster Chicken Poultry Twin Waterer. Usually, chicken waterers can’t be described as aesthetically pleasing, but this one really looks nice thanks to the high quality materials used to make it.
The Royal Rooster Chicken Poultry Twin Waterer features European-made, valve-operated drinker cups and durable PVC plastic that can resist UV rays too. It keeps the water inside very clean and fresh, minimizing the risk of algae and ensuring that your chickens get the healthiest possible supply.
The strong materials used to make the Royal Rooster Chicken Poultry Twin Waterer also mean that this unit is highly durable, ready to last for years to come. It can be hooked right onto the mesh fence or attached to a wall with separately sold brackets. Chickens also take it to it quite well and can understand the cup system quite easily. On the downside, some users say that the PVC pipe can be very slippery when wet, making it a little difficult to carry this waterer around for refills.
Why did it make our list?
Easy to use
What is not ideal about it?
Can get slippery
Things to Consider
Now that you’ve seen some of the best chicken waterers in our chicken waterer reviews, it’s time to take a closer look at how chicken waterers work, what makes each model different, and what separates the truly best and most effective models from the rest. This chicken waterer buying guide will introduce you to the various features and aspects of chicken waterers, from the materials that make them to the shapes and features they each have. Read on to broaden your knowledge of chicken waterers and see why it’s so important to buy the right one.
Features to consider while buying the best chicken waterer
Too many amateur or inexperienced chicken owners fail to understand the importance of choosing a top quality chicken waterer. Some people even simply fill a dish or plastic tub with water and place it in the coop, expecting that it will be enough for their chickens, but it’s vital to invest in a good quality drinker if you want your flock to be happy and healthy. When shopping for the best possible chicken waterer, you need to take various factors into account, including the size of your flock, the size of your coop, the type of waterer, how much water it can hold, and more. Read on to learn more.
One of the first things to decide when shopping for a chicken waterer is what type you want to buy. In general, chicken waterers are divided into two main categories: automatic and self-contained.
Automatic chicken waterers, like the Premier Automatic Waterer, are connected to your garden hose and fed that allows them to provide a constant and steady supply of water to your chickens, ensuring that you don’t have to worry about refills.
Self-contained chicken waterers, on the other hand, like the K&H Pet Products Thermo-Poultry Waterer, are usually formed in a set shape, with a ring-like trough around the outside and a main central dome that holds the water and drips it out gradually to the surrounding trough. These types of chicken waterers are sometimes called bell waterers due to their bell-like shape. They’re easy to use and can usually be hung up to stay clean too.
There are also some other types of chicken waterers you might like to consider, like the nipple drinker. An example of this type would be the Premier Chick Nipple Drinker. These types of chicken waterers can usually be hung up or attached to the side of the coop, so they’re really easy to keep clean. Plus, they’re easy for the chickens to use, as they simple push on the ‘nipples’ to receive more water. They do tend to be a bit more expensive though.
When shopping for any kind of chicken waterer, one of the first things you should be thinking about is the materials that are used to make it. The materials can affect many things, including the durability of your chicken waterer, the price tag, and even the health of your chickens too, so this factor should never be overlooked or ignored.
Don’t forget about the primary purpose of a chicken waterer: to provide chickens with clean water and good health. This is why it’s so vital to focus on healthy materials. So if you’re going to choose a plastic chicken waterer, be sure that the plastic is BPA free, as seen in the Harris Farms Plastic Poultry Drinker and Farm Innovators Model HPF-100.
Ideally, it makes sense to choose strong and sturdy materials too, as waterers, especially self-contained models that are placed inside the coop, can get knocked around a lot and exposed to the elements on a regular basis. The materials used in the Royal Rooster Chicken Poultry Twin Waterer, for example, are some of the strongest around, resistant to UV rays and sure to last for years if looked after properly.
Weight and dimensions
Another factor you don’t want to forget about when shopping for the best chicken waterer system or reading through any Britetap chicken waterer review is the size of each model. You need to think about where you’re going to place it, whether that be inside the coop on a flat surface, hung up somewhere around the coop, or even attached to the outside wall of the coop, like the RentACoop 2-Gallon Poultry Waterer.
It’s vital to consider exactly where your chicken waterer will be positioned and measure the area, comparing those measurements with the dimensions of your chosen model to make sure that it will fit properly in place and not cause any issues.
If you buy a waterer that turns out to be too big, you could wind up wasting a lot of time and money. Similarly, you don’t want to buy a waterer that’s too small if you have quite large chickens who might be able to push it around with their weight. One of the most compact models you can buy is the RentACoop Automatic Chicken Waterer.
One more factor to think about when shopping for the best chicken feeder and waterer is the capacity. This determines how much water can be stored inside the waterer at any one time. With automatic models like the Royal Rooster Chicken Poultry Twin Waterer, the capacity is less important than with self-contained models, but it’s always a significant factor, and the right capacity for you will depend on how many chickens you have and how big they are.
If you’re just dealing with chickens, a small feeder with a 1 liter capacity like the Premier Chick Nipple Drinker should be more than enough, but if you have a large flock and need to supply a lot of water at all times, something bigger like the 2-gallon RentACoop 2-Gallon Poultry Waterer may turn out to be a much better option.
If you’re investing in a self-contained chicken waterer, don’t forget that you’ll need to refill it all the time. The lower the capacity, the more often you’ll need to refill it, so this is definitely something to take into account, especially if you aren’t around during the whole day and won’t always be able to refill the drinker. In this situation, it makes sense to buy a waterer with the biggest possible capacity to provide for your chickens, even when you’re not around.
Don’t forget to think about the warranty when investing in a chicken waterer. These drinkers get exposed to a lot of different things throughout the average day, including potentially dirt and debris raked around by the chickens, excrement from the animals themselves, and the elements like rain, frost, snow, and more.
Even the best chicken waterers, made to withstand almost anything, can break or develop little faults over time, and it helps to have a strong warranty policy from the manufacturer If ever any issues do develop. The longer the warranty, the better, as this will ensure that the manufacturer covers the cost of repairs or replacements to your drinker, should they be needed. The K&H Pet Products Thermo-Poultry Waterer comes with 2 years of coverage.
One more thing you have to consider when shopping for a chicken waterer, or almost any other kind of item in life, is the price. Some people think that most chicken waterers must be more or less of equal value, but they are then surprised to see that the cost of a typical waterer can vary quite a lot, depending on different factors like the type of chicken waterer, the capacity it can hold, and the materials used to make it.
In general, chicken waterers can vary from as low as under $10 up to $50 or more in certain cases, so there’s quite a big difference between the low-end, affordable chicken waterers like the Harris Farms Plastic Poultry Drinker and the more expensive models out there. In general, automatic and nipple drinkers tend to be a bit more expensive than classic bell-shaped, self-contained chicken waterers, so this is one big factor that can affect the price.
You also want to consider the different features too, as these can all impact the price. For example, a self-heating chicken waterer will be more expensive than one without this feature, as it requires the inclusion of wiring and a heating unit. Similarly, chicken waterers with bigger capacities tend to be more expensive as they’re more expensive to make and require more material, so think about what you really need and try to find one that matches your situation and budget at the same time.
Last but not least, it’s important to think about any potential extra features offered by your chosen chicken waterer and decide whether or not you need these features, or whether they’re not really relevant to your situation. For example, the Farm Innovators Model HPF-100 has a self-heating feature that lets it withstand super cold temperatures and prevent water from freezing.
This kind of feature is very important for those who live in frosty and snowy areas, but if you live somewhere warm, it won’t be so important. If you live somewhere sunny, it might make more sense to invest in something like the Royal Rooster Chicken Poultry Twin Waterer, which is made with specially UV resistant plastic.
This is one of the most common questions asked by new chicken owners, and the answer really depends on the size and age of your chickens. Of course, the time of year and surrounding temperature can also have an impact, as chickens will tend to drink more when it’s warm in the summer months, as compared to the cooler temperatures of fall and winter. In general, large adult chickens will drink about a pint of water per day. Some chickens will drink a little less than this, while others will drink more. Chicks don’t drink a lot, but it’s still vital for them to have a constant supply of water when they need it. Don’t forget that chickens need more water when they’re laying and when it’s warm, so it’s always important to check your chicken waterer and ensure it’s always topped up, but especially in the summer months.
This is another of the most common questions asked by many people when shopping for chicken waterers. If you don’t have much experience with chickens, you might think that simply positioning the waterer almost anywhere will have the same results, but this simply isn’t true. Chickens aren’t the cleanest of creatures and can often walk dirt or debris into their waterers or even excrete on or around them too, so it’s vital to position the waterer in a good spot. Try to place it in a cool, shady area in the coop, ideally in a spot where the chickens don’t tend to congregate too often, as this will reduce the risk of dirt and excrement getting into it. It will also help to keep the temperature down. Of course, if you buy a waterer that can be hung up, like the RentACoop 2-Gallon Poultry Waterer, it’s easier to keep clean.
Our top rated chicken waterer is the Farm Innovators Model HPF-100. A true all-seasons waterer, this model is thermostatically controlled and can heat up when the temperatures drop too low to ensure the water doesn’t freeze. It’s easy to refill, simple to use, and easy to clean when necessary too.
The next best chicken waterer on our list is the RentACoop Automatic Chicken Waterer. The perfect automatic waterer for your chickens, this model allows a constant supply of water to be in place without the need for you to constantly be worrying about refilling it.
Our third best rated chicken waterer has to be the Harris Farms Plastic Poultry Drinker. Made from top quality mateirals like long-life plastic, this is a strong, sturdy, and highly affordable model that can work well to provide water for larger flocks of over 30 chickens or chicks.