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How to Make a No Mess Duck Waterer

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DIY Duck Waterer: No Mess

How to make a simple no mess DIY duck waterer.

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If you have ducks, you might know that they love water. They love to splash in it and get it dirty. They love to tip it over.

They also NEED to get their bills in the water to eat. It’s part of their deal. So you can’t just use a nipple waterer like you would with chickens.

Most duck owners fight the constant battle to keep their water clean- and fail. They’re out changing water twice a day which is a large time commitment for animals that are otherwise fairly easy to care for.

I decided to make our own DIY waterer, based on what I’ve seen other duck owners doing. It works well and keeps the muck in the water down to a minimum. I can change it once a day (3 ducks) without an issue.

Note that they also have access to other sources of water during the day to swim in and in the winter we use a heated water bucket so the water won’t freeze.

Supplies for a Duck Waterer

DIY Duck Water Bucket Tutorial

For this project, you’ll want a clean 5 gallon bucket with lid. I use a top on the finished product to keep debris from getting into the bucket (our bucket is under a tree so I didn’t want leaves in it).

We cut three holes around the top portion of the bucket. You want them to be high enough that you have room at the bottom for water, but low enough that the ducks can reach inside to get the water.

If you have a smaller breed of duck, you may want the holes to be lower than I put mine.

Cutting was dangerous. The bucket is awkward to hold and you’ll want a good tool for the job. We tried a spade bit, but didn’t have a large enough one to do the job.

We finished up with a Dremel… I edited the part of the video where the blade fell off because we put it on wrong. Nobody got hurt, but I will re-emphasize to be careful when cutting. BE CAREFUL. Wear protective gear- including steel toed boots, safety glasses, and gloves. You may also want a respirator if you are sanding.

I think a hole saw or jig saw might be better options.

Spade bit to make a hole in bucket.
Dremel to make the hole bigger.

We added three holes. I accidentally put one where the handle falls. I’d recommend avoiding the spots where the handle falls (both sides), otherwise the handle will end up blocking the holes.

Afterwards, I sanded down the edges so they weren’t sharp. So far it’s worked well. We haven’t had poop in their water. They get some food debris in there, but it’s not nearly as bad as before.

Sanding edges of the holes so the ducks wouldn't get cut by edges.

The water DOES get dirty on its own if left- it’s still standing water. But it’s far cleaner than it is otherwise and I change the water out once a day.

If you’re a bit scared to try this, you can try this other option for a Duck Waterer Solution with purchased items that don’t require a lot of changes.

Interested in other duck tutorials? We used this easy fencing for an open run around the secure run. Our smaller DIY run is secure against predators and this is our duck house. This is how we setup our duckling brooder.

Here are some products in my store that you might be interested in!

Video Instructions for a Duck Waterer



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How to make a no mess duck waterer. White 5 gallon bucket with holes in the side in the duck pen.

duck waterer diy
Yield: 1 Duck Waterer

How To Make A No Mess Duck Waterer

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Intermediate
Estimated Cost: $10

Make your own DIY duck waterer. It's easy and inexpensive to make and also saves time on keeping up with refilling the ducks water.


    1. Cut three holes around the top portion of the bucket.
    2. We used a dremel, but a hole saw or jig saw might be better. Be sure to wear safety equipment.
    3. Sand down the edges so they aren't sharp.
    4. Place a top on the finished bucket.

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