Last Updated on November 13, 2020
Don’t buy an expensive pig waterer. Here’s how to make an automatic pig drinker using a 55-gallon barrel and some cheap parts.
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So, you raise pigs and need a pig waterer but don’t want to spend a lot of money. No problem! I’ve taken the time to show you exactly how to build your own very easily and without spending a lot of money. And, you’re hogs will love it.
Parts You Need
55-Gallon Food Grade Plastic Barrel
The first thing you’ll need is a 55-gallon food-grade plastic barrel. I bought mine off of Craigslist for about 20 bucks. Be sure that it’s food grade because you’re going to be putting your pigs drinking water in it.
1/2 Inch Threaded Automatic Pig Nipple Drinker
You’re going to need a half inch nipple drinker like this one.
1/2 Inch Threaded Bulkhead
You’re going to need a half inch bulkhead like this one. This is going to be put into the bottom of the barrel and your drinker nipple is gonna screw into it.
Hole Saw Drill Bit
You’re going to need hole saw drill bit like this one that is large enough to drill a hole so the bulkhead will fit through your barrel.
You’re also going to need a wrench or some vise-grips to tighten the nipple drinker and the bulkhead once they are installed.
But the first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to saw the top of the barrel off. This will allow us to access the inside of it so we can install the bulkhead.
Removing the Barrel Top
To remove the top, simply take a circular saw and cut it off. They way I did it was I laid the barrel on the ground and, as I started to make my cut, I just rolled it until I cut the top completely off.
Next, we need to drill a hole in the bottom and attach the bulkhead.
Installing the Bulkhead
Using your hole saw, drill a hole in the bottom of the barrel. Now we can take the front part of the bulkhead that has a washer on it and put it in the hole.
Then, take the back part that also has a washer and screw on the back of the bulkhead from the inside of the barrel. Make sure it’s real tight so no water leaks around it.
Here’s what it looks like after it’s installed.
Adjusting the Flow
Now that we’ve got the bulkhead installed, we can install the nipple drinker in our pig waterer. But before we do, I want to show you something.
On the back of these, there’s a screen that’s used to keep sediment or any other material from making its way through the nipple and possibly clogging it up. You can actually remove the screen which reveals a way to adjust a flow setting.
Once the screen is off, you can stick a flat-head screwdriver in there and turn it to three different settings, increasing or decreasing the flow. I have mine set on the largest hole which gives me the most flow.
It is also possible to take a drill with a slightly larger drill bit than this hole and drill it out a little bit more which will give you even more flow if you want to.
Installing the Nipple Drinker
Now, simply screw the nipple drinker into the bulkhead and use your wrench to tighten it. Once it is installed, you can add some water to it to test it out for leaks and see if your flow is good.
If everything works good you’re ready to set it up for your pigs.
Setting It All Up
Here is the pig waterer all set up for my pigs. I put it up on two cinder blocks to get it up to their level and then I put four T-posts around it to keep them from knocking it over or moving it around.
If you have any questions, please post them in the comments below. I’m always happy to help.