Chicken water cups can make a useful little addition to your coop.
These cups help to reduce wasted water, keep the water clean and best of all, they are economical.
There are a few different styles out there including no peck, in line and more. So which one is right for your flock?
In this article we explain the different types of water cups and also review the 5 best on the market, so you can pick the best one for your flock…
Contents and Quick Navigation
- 5 Best Chicken Water Cups
- What to Consider When Buying a Chicken Water Cup
- How To Install Water Cups
- Chicken Water Cups Explained
- 4 Reasons Why You Need Chicken Water Cups
5 Best Chicken Water Cups
|Editor’s Picks||Brand||Our Rating|
|Best All-Rounder||RentACoop Chicken Water Cup Kit||4.5|
|Cheap and Cheerful||Sansheng Chicken Drinking Cup||3.5|
|Best Automatic System||Mewtogo Automatic Poultry Water Cup||4.5|
|Best Cup||Oasis Chicken Watering Cups||4.0|
|Runner Up||Cruzadel No Peck Chicken Water Cup||4.0|
Best All-Rounder: RentACoop Chicken Water Cup Kit
The RentACoop Chicken Water Cup Kit comes with six drinking cups. These cups are self-filling which means your chickens do not have to peck anything to get water. The cups have a screw in fitting and need to be fitted to a bucket. Once you have fitted the cups you should check for leaks.
- Made in USA.
- These drinking cups are very easy to install.
- Automatic water flow.
- Helps to keep the water very clean.
- The cups are easily broken so be careful where you place them.
- Can be difficult to clean.
Best Automatic Watering System: Mewtogo Automatic Poultry Drinking Cup
The Mewtogo Automatic Poultry Drinking Cup is perfect for anyone looking to make an automatic watering system. The cups are slightly different in that they are designed for a piped water system. Each cup is attached to a T piece to fit onto PVC piping. Each pack contains 6 cups and all the needed PVC fittings.
- Keeps water clean.
- Cups are thick plastic and very durable.
- This system is fully automatic.
- Easy to install as cups pre-fitted with PVC connection.
- Chickens need to peck tab for water.
- Not suitable for very cold climates.
Best Cup: Oasis Chicken Watering Cups
Welcome to the Oasis Chicken Watering Cups. These cups are made by Backyard Flock and are very good quality. The cups are no peck free filling cups which means that even older chickens should be able to use them. Each pack comes with hardware, instructions and a special drill bit so installation is very easy.
- These cups are very durable and well made.
- Extra large cups so other poultry can use them as well.
- Comes with a free drill bit so installation is easy.
- Because of their size the cups are easy to clean as well.
- Not suitable for very cold climates.
- Are a touch more expensive than other cups.
- Only comes with 4 cups in each pack.
Runner Up: Cruzadel No Peck Chicken Water Cup
The Cruzadel No Peck Chicken Water Cup is a fairly new addition. These cups use the new no peck style which means that your chickens do not need to peck a nipple to get water. This makes them well suited for older hens. Each pack contains 6 cups so is suitable for up to 18 chickens. Overall a good option for those looking for no peck cups.
- Each pack contains six cups.
- Fairly easy to clean.
- Includes all the hardware needed.
- Uses new style (no peck) cups.
- Sometimes the float can steak and leak water.
- Good price but has some quality control issues.
Cheap and Cheerful: Sansheng Chicken Drinking Cup
The Sansheng Chicken Drinking Cup is the cheapest on our list. For around $7 you get a pack of 12 cups which are suitable for up to 36 chickens. You do however need to be careful when installing these cups as they are very delicate. Overall they are a good option for those on a budget.
- Affordable and good value for money.
- Each pack comes with 12 water cups.
- Good option for backyard chicken keepers on a budget.
- Water cups are very thin and delicate.
- Chickens need to peck to get water.
- Thin plastic so not suitable for very hot summers.
If you are looking for a standard waterer then read the 5 best chicken waterers: the complete guide.
What to Consider When Buying a Chicken Water Cup
Before you decide to buy water cups for your chickens there are a few things you should consider.
First of all, if you have an older flock and you want to use cups, try to get the no peck type since older birds can be difficult to train. They have a very hard time changing from the standard waterer to cups so the no peck type cups should make this change a bit easier for them.
Chicks that are raised with the peck type cups usually have no problem in dealing with them since they have nothing else to compare them with.
Next, you might need to change where you keep your waterer. The cups stick out from the container, so they can easily be knocked and damaged (if they are hit hard enough). If a cup gets damaged you will need to remove it and replace with a new one. So you should try to put the waterer someplace where it won’t get in the way but can still be easily accessed.
If you raise ducks or geese then it is going to be very difficult for them to use these cups. They have large bills and unless the cups are particularly big, they will have trouble getting enough water. In this case it would be best to use a regular waterer for these large birds.
Finally, you need to think about the climate you live in. If you live in an area that is cold and snowy in the winter months then you will need to keep these drinking cups ice free so they can work properly – making sure your chickens always have access to water is very important. The other side of the problem is the extreme heat. In the heat of summer, the sun will start to bleach out the colored plastic and age the plastic rapidly so try to keep the waterer out of direct sunlight.
How To Install Water Cups
Most of these cups come with instructions on how to fit them.
In addition to your cups you will need a large bucket (at least 5 gallons), a drill with the appropriate sized bit and some plumber’s tape or silicone paste.
Four cups per bucket is a good ratio and gives your chickens plenty of space to move around.
You should drill the holes at the recommended level, insert the necks of the cups and then screw into place. It is generally a good idea to test each cup beforehand. You should check that the float valve moves freely – if it does not then try to move it until it becomes less stiff.
Once you have installed the chicken water cups and your waterer is in place you should fill it with water and watch your chickens for a while. This is a good time to watch and make sure that the cups are working as they should. You should have no problem in persuading your hens to drink from the cups as they are naturally curious and will sample the water voluntarily.
If you have chosen cups where the birds have to peck the cups it is a good idea to have a regular waterer at hand since they may struggle to use the new waterer at first.
Chicken Water Cups Explained
How do I get my chickens to drink from a water cup?
If the concept of having to peck something for a reward (water) is new to your chickens then they may take some time to train. Training your chickens can take a few weeks so you should make sure they have access to a regular waterer as well so they do not dehydrate.
Generally younger hens and chicks will learn fine, but some of your older hens might struggle. Sometimes they just can not get the hang of it at all.
How do chicken water cups work?
The mechanism in these cups is a simple float valve.
When the water level in the cup drops, the valve opens and water pours in. This water raises the float until it blocks the water hole and the water is automatically shut off.
How many water cups do I need?
You should look to use 1 cup for every 3 chickens in your flock. If the cups are larger in diameter (3+ inches) then you can probably get away with 4 chickens per cup.
A good way to check if you have enough cups is to watch your chickens. If they are constantly crowding around the cups then you should add an extra cup or two.
How do you keep chicken water cups from freezing?
Because these cups are plastic they can split and break when frozen so do not let the cups freeze.
In very cold climates you will need to keep these cups above the freezing temperature. You can use an immersion heater in the bucket to stop them from freezing.
4 Reasons Why You Need Chicken Water Cups
There are lots of reasons why people buy chicken water cups.
The most popular reason is because they want to make an automatic waterer. It can be tiring to constantly take buckets of water to and from your coop. Chicken water cups can be used to create an automatic waterer that keeps the water flowing all year round.
Next, they help to conserve water. Every time a chicken bumps into a standard waterer the water gets spilled and wasted. If you are metered for water this can significantly increase the cost of your water bill. Also in many areas water can be rationed in the summer months so using cups makes more sense.
Using water cups also helps to keep the drinking water clean. Chickens love to scratch in the dirt and this can kick up dust, straw and poop into regular waterers. Cups on the other hand are a smaller target to hit and they are also elevated. This means that the muck cannot be scratched up into them and helps to keep the water clean (which is very important).
Finally they are cheap to buy and easy to install. You can buy good quality cups for around $10, this is much cheaper than regular waterers. Also they are very easy to install as long as you have a suitable bucket.
So there you have it, all you need to know about chicken water cups.
They certainly do conserve water and keep that water cleaner than the larger waterers.
Just remember to keep the cups elevated from the coop floor to prevent your hens from scratching dirt and debris into the cups.
Most of the products mentioned here are fairly easy to clean. If you clean them regularly then they will last quite a long time.
When considering these items for yourself just remember that in general the lower the price the quicker you are going to have problems with them. It really is worth spending a little more money for a better product.
Each purchase you make helps to support us. This means if you buy a product via links on our website we can earn a small referral fee (learn more here).