Monday, June 13, 2011

New Pig Watering System

For weeks and weeks I have hauled buckets of water down to the pig pen and poured them into a giant-sized dog dish looking thing - only to watch the pigs take a big drink, lie down in the dish, and then tip the whole thing over and wallow in the resulting mud.  It's pretty funny to watch them flop themselves down and wallow around - but then a little while later they're squealing for water and it's exhausting to have to keep hauling it to them!

I don't want to take credit for this pig watering system idea.  Maybe it's been around and I've never heard about it.  But, I read about in in one of my favorite magazines - either Mother Earth News or Countryside - and adapted it to what we have available.

To create this, I got a 1/2-inch pig nipple waterer at Tractor Supply Company and a water barrel at Worth W. Smith Hardware in Olean.  I found that the water barrels sold locally tended to have been used to store toxic fracking chemicals, while the Worth W. Smith ones had been used to store cappuccino mix.  Guess which one I would rather use for the pig I'll be eating next winter?

SMB Mfg 324905 Hog Nipple Drinker SS 1 / 2"
Pig nipple waterer

The design is like a giant-sized rabbit water bottle.  Fitz cut a half moon out of the top of the water barrel so that he could reach down into it, then drilled a hole near the bottom of the barrel and inserted the nipple waterer valve.  Rubber gaskets on the inside and outside of the drinker keep it from leaking and a nuts hold it all in place.  He put screen over the hole he had cut out so that insects can't get into it and it was ready to go.

We attached it to a fence post so that the pigs, as they grow larger, won't push against it and knock it over.  After the pigs came to look at it they took about one second to figure out how to use it.  They walked up, bit the valve down, water went into their mouth, and that was it.  You can see from the water underneath, they have figured out how hold down the valve so that it drips onto the ground and they can create a wallowing hole.  They're not dripping too much and the little bit of mud makes them much more comfortable so I'm happy to let it go.

Don't forget to Barn Hop over to Homestead Revival!


  1. What a great idea, and what happy pigs you are raising! On behalf of those pigs, all I can say is ''OINK''!!

  2. They make these for chickens too! I've been debating on getting some because they're always knocking shavings into the water.

  3. I made the same thing only I used a 5 gallon bucket rather than buying a barrel. Mine is not working really well; I'm wondering if the larger barrel idea is used so that more water creates more pressure on the nipple. Any suggestions?

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  5. What keeps it from getting to hot in the summer

  6. What keeps it from getting to hot in the summer

  7. Sorry! We've never had a problem with the pigs finding the water to be too hot. It may become tepid, but never heated.