One of the earliest lessons that anyone learns when they start keeping chickens is that water is heavy. Lugging around gallons of water for the chickens is not a fun thing to do, and the older we get, the clearer that lesson becomes. The solution is to have the water piped directly to the chickens.
I have tried just about every possible method of delivering water to my chickens, so I now have a box filled with waterers that I no longer use. Someone who uses city water has more possibilities, but our well water has so much mineral content that anything that uses a regulator or metal valves will last only months before it is completely useless.
In order to get a consistent supply of low pressure water, I decided that a gravity feed system is what I need. I also wanted a system that keeps the water as clean as possible and has enough pressure and volume to supply water to several places – not just a single chicken coop.
The tower was mostly built on its side. Having a flat concrete slab to work on helped keep things relatively square.
The parts were clamped into place, then pilot holes were drilled. The tower was assembled with stainless steel lag bolts.
With the main frame of the tower completed, we moved it into place near the chickens. We made sure it was far enough away from trees so it wouldn't be damaged by falling branches during a storm.
The valve section is just slip-fit into the pipe so that it can be removed if needed. The bronze water spigot is where a hose is connected using a double-female connector to pump water into the tank.
The tank is a 35 gallon sprayer tank from Tractor Supply. It turned out to be perfect for the project.
The main water line is buried with screw plugs placed every 10' (indicated by the posts of the chain link fence just a few feet back). This gives flexibility in where chicken coops are located in the future.
The end of the main water pipe has a stub so that more can be added to the end by cutting and adding a coupling. Since this photo was taken, I have replaced the end cap with a gate valve. When it is time to fill the tank, I open the valve to flush out the main supply line and empty the tank before refilling it.
View showing the roof and two sides. At this point, the back and the front door have not yet been added. The roof is hinged at the back and slopes toward the front. (If it sloped to the back, it would be pouring onto the 'chicken nursery' behind it.)
To get more use from the tower, cattle panels were attached to the sides, and pole beans and cucumbers were planted around the sides and front.
The cattle panel trellis was attached to the top 2x4 using stainless steel wire.
The completed tower, fully enclosed. It is important to keep the sun off of the tank to keep the water cool and to discourage the growth of algae in the tank.
When filling the tank, the front door is propped open with a stick.