By Leo Muller – I would like to share with readers how I was able to make a homemade pig waterer for my feeder pigs without the use of electricity. We are not off the grid, so when the electricity goes out on our homesteading land, it is an adventure around here.
I started raising feeder pigs to supplement our grocery bill three years ago. I didn’t realize that this would help out so much. At the high price of pork, in my opinion, raising pigs for meat is one of the best things that you can do when homesteading today.
When the power went out, the pigs had no water to their pens. At times the power would be out for some time and I had to hand water them from water storage barrels used specifically for watering my garden.
I’m getting up there in age and at times it is hard on my knees and back. Then it dawned on me to water my feeder pigs automatically using rain water harvesting and the water storage barrels I already had.
This particular setup cost me just over $10 … $7 for the bulkhead flange and 3/4″ bib spigot, and $3 for an oscillating sprinkler. I already had the water barrel and hose. If you follow the instructions provided you should be able to “McGyver” this homemade pig waterer for yourself.
Gravity-Fed, Homemade Pig Waterer
1 plastic food grade, 55-gallon barrel (or equivalent)
1 ratcheting sprinkler (you use just the base)
1 hog water nipple
1 length of garden hose
1 3’x4′ piece of 1/4″ plywood
1 water spigot splitter (optional)
1 bulkhead flange and 3/4″ bib spigot (See figure #2.)
Cut a hole approximately 2 inches up from the bottom of the plastic water barrel to the size of the bulkhead flange threaded length. See figure #1.
Push the bulkhead flange through the inside of the barrel. Be sure that the foam washer is on the inside of the barrel, and thread the nut onto it. Thread the bib spigot into the bulkhead flange and tighten securely. See figure #3.
Remove the “fixin’s” from the base of the sprinkler. With Teflon plumbers tape wrapped around the threads of the hog water nipple, screw it into the base of the sprinkler.
Measure the diameter of the water nipple and cut a corresponding hole through the plywood sheet, 20″ or so up from one side.
Push the water nipple through the hole and with drywall screws secure the base to the board. Be careful not to drill through the water hose area of the base. Drill into the feet and attach base to the plywood. See figure #6.
Make a platform approximately four feet high and place your water barrel on top. I used five identical pallets, four for the sides and one on top for a platform. Be sure to build this securely as this amount of water is very heavy.
Attach your hose to the water spigot. Fill your barrel and open the spigot. Be sure to check for leaks and remedy them if necessary. Also check that the water nipple is flowing freely.
I also went a little further. I located the pigs and the water barrel close to my vegetable garden and with a drip irrigation hose buried under the mulch, I attached the end of a garden hose to the water barrel with a spigot splitter. This gives you two water openings that are adjustable on and off and not only watered my pigs but when I wanted, I watered my garden.
Good luck making this homemade pig waterer on your homestead.
Originally published Countryside November / December 2004 and regularly vetted for accuracy. Note: Prices from 2004.