Black bucket chicken waterer with lid, base, and two pair of hooks
Black bucket chicken waterer with lid, base, and two pair of hooks
Black one-gallon gravity-fed poultry nipple waterer
Red hen drinks from a poultry nipple waterer
A one-gallon bucket hangs from a pair of wall hooks in a chicken coop
Handle of a black bucket chicken waterer hanging from a pair of ceiling hooks
View inside the henhouse of The Basic Coop stand-alone chicken coop design of a hanging nipple waterer and feeder

Poultry Nipple Waterer for Backyard Chickens (1 Gallon)

Our 1-gallon chicken nipple waterer is ideal for a smaller flock and/or coop. It comes ready to hang and use.

It’s not a kit. Your waterer arrives fully assembled with a lid and two pairs of hooks. Just fill it, close it, hang it, and let your chickens do the rest!



Clean water that lasts.

Eva tells you all about our chicken waterers in the video below, or you can read on for the details:

  • FDA-approved, fully recyclable plastic bucket. Made in the USA. Our poultry waterers are made of certified food-grade black HDPE plastic with strong metal handles for hanging. (See FAQs for why they’re black.)
  • Durable stainless-steel nipples. The 1-gallon chicken waterer has two push-in style nipples fitted into the bottom of the container with a silicone grommet for a tight, long-lasting seal. The poultry nipples have a stainless-steel mechanism encased within a hard-plastic outer casing. Each nipple is adequate for around 10–15 chicks or chickens to share, so your birds can keep themselves well hydrated.
  • Recloseable lids. A removable lid protects the water from being soiled while hanging in your brooder, coop, or chicken yard.
  • Hooks or cage mount for hanging. Your chicken drinker come swith two pairs of hooks, so you can hang them anywhere. Ceiling hooks attach beneath a structure, screwing directly into the wood. Wall-mount hooks attach to the face of a wall and come with four 3/4″ screws for attaching.
  • Changing base. Because the nipples extend from the bottom of the waterer, you need a base to set it on when changing the water. We include a wood block with your chicken waterer for this purpose. You could also use a brick, flower pot, or anything that elevates the base of the container an inch or more off the ground.
  • Instruction sheet. Not that it’s hard to figure out, but we include basic instructions and tips so that you can be sure you’re doing it right. We also include information on how to return/exchange an item should it arrive damaged.

See the poultry nipple waterer in action.

As you can see in the video below, some chickens are more graceful at it than others. But they all figure it out. 🙂

What are the dimensions of the 1-gallon chicken drinker?

The 1-gallon waterer measures 12″ from the top of the fully extended handle to the bottom of the nipples. The bucket, with closed lid, measures 7.5″ from top to bottom and has a diameter of 8″.

The waterer weighs under a pound empty. Water weighs roughly 8 lbs. per gallon, so if you fill the container to capacity, you’re looking at about 9 pounds.

The hooks we include with your waterer are more than strong enough to hold the weight when properly secured to a suitable support surface. The ceiling hooks are rated to hold up to 50 pounds each (100 lbs. for the pair). The wall-mount hooks are rated to hold 100 pounds each (200 lbs. for the pair).

Though our waterers can work in any coop or run, the 1-gallon waterer is designed to hang on the side wall of The Basic Coop and from the wall between the henhouse and run on The Garden Ark for the best clearance. (Click to see a photo of placement in The Garden Ark.)

Frequently Asked Questions

Poultry nipples are a simple device used extensively in commercial poultry operations and more and more today in backyard coops. When a chicken pecks at the metal pin from any direction, this opens the flow of water enough for a few drop to trickle out, right into its mouth. There’s less waste and no evaporation, which means more water for your floc

Most chickens figure it out on their own within minutes. Chickens will peck at anything, and the red plastic casing especially draws their attention. Once they notice that water flows from the nipples, they’re trained. (For more tips, check out the comments thread on this post.)

Chicks can be started on nipples in the first few days after hatching, but if you bought your chicks at a store or by mail order, please allow them a day or two with a dish waterer first to make sure they are fully recovered from the stress of their journey.

This 1-gallon waterer is intended for four chickens or less, particularly if they’re housed in a small coop like The Basic Coop or a mobile chicken tractor like The Garden Ark.

The 3.5-gallon waterer (this listing) is good for four to twenty chickens and larger coops like The Garden Coop and The Garden Loft.

If you’re starting with new chicks, our Brooder Bottle is intended for a brood of up to ten chicks.

Obviously, the more chickens you have drinking from one container, the more frequently you’ll have to refill it. And if you’re in a hotter, drier climate, factor that in as well.

Yes! It’s not difficult to make a nipple waterer, and there are several tutorials online, including one of our own on how to make a nipple waterer for your chicks.

The trick is gathering the right food-safe container, lid, nipples, drill bit, hooks, and so on to put together what you want. (You might also want to buy a spare container in case you make a mistake drilling the holes.) Add up the costs for materials and shipping on mail order items to see if it’s worth it for you.

Or buy one of our ready-to-use waterers. We’ve streamlined the process by buying the parts in bulk and assembling it all for you!

If you decide to go the DIY route, the poultry nipples we sell are the same ones we use to make our waterers. Some basic instructions are on that product page.

You can hang your chicken drinker from above or from a post or wall. You’ll want to hang it out of full sun. Partial sun should be fine, but keep an eye on the temperature of the water from time to time. A bungee cord, chain, or rope is useful for adjusting the height as needed. Or you can set your waterer on a base. For your convenience, we ship two types of hooks with your order.

Though our waterers can work in any coop or run, the 3.5-gallon waterer hangs perfectly beneath the henhouse on The Garden Coop and The Garden Loft.

Hang your poultry drinker so that the nipples are just above your chickens’ heads. If you can’t get it quite that high, a little lower will be fine. Chickens have to raise their necks to swallow. One of the nice things about this kind of waterer is that you can position the water above their heads, so it trickles right into their mouths when they drink.

If you have chickens of different heights sharing a single waterer, position it at the height that’s best for your tallest bird. Then provide a platform (a wood block will do) for the smaller birds to stand on to reach the nipples.

You do not have to hang the waterer. You could set it on a cinder block with the nipples to either side, or devise another raised platform for it instead.

The buckets we use are made of FDA-approved, food-grade HDPE (High Density Polyethylene). This is a versatile plastic with a variety of applications, and it’s one of the few plastics that can be fully recycled.

Normally, HDPE has only fair UV resistance and will become brittle with extensive outdoor use. But with the black pigment added, the UV resistance of the material is greatly enhanced.

The black color also inhibits algae growth on the inside of the bucket, looks nicer (less noticeable) inside your coop, and serves as a good reminder to keep your waterer in the shade, where it belongs.

We do not offer other colors at this time.

CAUTION: If you’re going the DIY route, be aware that some black HDPE plastic is not food grade. Check with your particular supplier to be absolutely sure before you buy.

This is an issue with any type of unheated waterer, unfortunately, so take care that your waterer does not freeze solid, as damage could result to the nipples (and your chickens will get thirsty!).

Freezing is most easily solved by using a submersible birdbath heater (see our Buyer’s Guide). Customers have reported success with these for years. This solution works great with our 3.5-gallon waterer. Just keep in mind that the heater needs to stay below the water line to function properly.

If you prefer to go the “unplugged” route, our best advice is to:

  1. Fill your waterer with warm water when you set it out. The thing you often hear about warm water freezing faster than cold water is not true, by the way.

  2. Bring the waterer inside your home on freezing nights and back out in the morning.

  3. Have multiple waterers so that you can alternate should one start to freeze midday.


There are nipple watering systems that work like that, but this chicken waterer is gravity fed. So there are no hoses to hook up, and no water pressure changes to deal with. Just rinse out and refill the bucket when it’s near empty.

We only sell the poultry nipples separately (in packs of 5 and 10). These are the same push-in style nipples we use to make our waterers. They are made of quality stainless steel parts inside a durable, hard, red plastic casing, and they’re sealed with a long-lasting silicone grommet. Made in China.

While vinegar can corrode standard metal waterers, it will not damage the food-grade plastic of our containers. It may, however, corrode the stainless-steel mechanisms within the nipples after a few years of frequent use. If this happens, you can always purchase a set of our push-in nipples to replace them with — they are easy to remove and install.

Ordering & Delivery

It is your responsibility to make sure that any project you undertake is safe, effective, and legal for your situation. The information and plans offered on this site are offered AS IS for information and entertainment purposes only.

The Garden Coop LLC makes no warranties or representations of any kind concerning the accuracy, suitability, or safety of the information contained on the site or in the plans. By using the information or ordering the plans you expressly acknowledge having read and understood this disclaimer and the waivers contained in it, and you agree to hold The Garden Coop LLC, its owners, employees, and agents or anyone else who has been involved in the creation, production, or delivery of this site or the plans harmless from any damages or injuries of any kind to you or any person that might result from your use of or reliance upon the information or from any errors, omissions, or other causes.

Uses and permissions

Unless otherwise noted, The Garden Coop LLC is the legal copyright holder of the content on this website and in the plans. Content is intended solely for the use of the purchaser, and may be printed for personal use only.

No images or content from this website or the plans may be published, resold, shared, or distributed without written consent from the copyright holder.

Keep in mind that we’ve priced the plans for personal use only. If you’d like to build our designs to sell, please contact John, the designer, directly. If you feature a coop or run built with one of our designs (even if modified) online or in other marketing materials, please use your own photography, credit the design as “Built using design plans from,” and link to the web address (

Thanks! And contact John with any questions.

Once your payment is processed, you should be taken to a “thank you” page that has a secure download link to your plans. You will also receive an automated email from us containing your download link(s). Click on the download link and save your plans to a memorable location on your computer or device.

If you have an active spam filter, please add “” to your safe senders list before purchasing. If your confirmation/download email does not appear within fifteen minutes of your completed purchase, please check your junk mailbox.

Still nothing? (This happens very rarely.) Let us know, and if possible, include a phone number or alternate email address where we can reach you.

We ship our chicken coop hardware kits via USPS Priority Mail. Please allow 1–2 days for processing and 2–3 days for delivery.

We ship poultry nipples, brooder bottles, veggie feeders, and coloring books via USPS First Class. Please allow 1–2 business days for processing and 2–3 days for delivery.

We ship bucket nipple waterers via USPS Parcel Select or Priority Mail depending on cost, which varies by destination. Please allow 1–2 business days for processing, 5–7 days for Parcel Select, and 2–3 days for Priority delivery. 

International orders will incur additional fees, and delivery times will vary based on destination and carrier. 

We want you to have the best coop and products for you and your chickens.

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, let us know within 30 days, and we will arrange a return and refund.

For digital downloads (e.g., coop plans), email to let us know that you would like a refund, and we’ll send instructions. 

For kits, waterers, and other tangible items, please open and inspect your items right away! In the event that your item arrives with parts missing or damaged, you must let us know by email within seven (7) business days of receipt. In the case of damage, attach a photo to your email clearly showing the extent of the damage, if possible. We’ll make it right or arrange a refund.

You may return items to us in new, complete condition within 30 days of purchase for a refund of the purchase price, less our initial shipping costs. You will not be charged a re-stocking fee, but you are responsible for return shipping costs.

Email us first to let us know that you’d like to make a return, and we’ll send you further instructions. We’ll issue your refund once we’ve received your item.

Make sure to follow all manufacturers’ instructions when using tools, materials, or equipment — and use the appropriate protective devices when building, such as work gloves, eye and ear protection, boots, etc. Secure your work as you build. Know what you can handle physically as well, and work within your limits.

Remember, do-it-yourself doesn’t have to mean all by yourself. Share the fun of building with your friends, family, and neighbors!