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DIY Pig Waterer

This automatic DIY pig waterer using a blue food-grade barrel and a hog nipple works better than the hanging PVC pipe design. This easy step-by-step tutorial is all you need to get started.

DIY Pig waterer nipple.

Are you tired of making trips to the pig pen to water your pigs multiple times a day? 

This automatic DIY pig waterer using a blue food-grade barrel and a hog nipple works better than the hanging PVC pipe design. This easy step-by-step tutorial is all you need to get started.

There are some definite tips and tricks to knowing how to get started with pigs, and even more tips for knowing how to properly kill a pig to butcher and how to butcher a pig in ten steps. These are all things we’re teaching here on Abundant Permaculture.

But there’s more!

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The video included in this blog post is the first iteration of my pig waterer. I’ve since perfected the method and have a complete step-by-step tutorial you can watch inside Abundance Plus. Sign up for a FREE seven-day trial of Abundance Plus here

The “DIY Abundance MEMBER Area” gives you my DIY video library (with a new one added weekly). PLUS, a private community where you don’t feel so “crazy,” and at the PREMIUM level, you receive direct access to me.

Anyone who signs up for A+ will also get exclusive discounts to Premier1, New Country Organics (where we get our organic alfalfa feed pellets), McMurray Hatchery, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Meadow Creature and many more.

Why You Need a DIY Pig Waterer

An adult pig drinks 4 to 5 gallons of water daily. If you have multiple pigs, this means a lot of trips numerous times a day to keep a watering trough full.

Pigs are messy and will slop water all over, wasting those precious trips you have made. Pigs do not regulate their temperature well; a wet environment can make them cold and prone to sickness.

In addition to pigs messing with the water, open watering systems allow light to reach the water, creating a breeding ground for algae to grow.

A pig next to a DIY pig waterer.

The Best Pig Watering Solution

When looking for pig watering solutions, you may have come across a DIY pig watering system using a PVC pipe. While this is a great design, I believe I have found something even better.

This pig waterer holds up to 55 gallons of water, so you only have to refill it once every few days. The weight of this amount of water provides an additional benefit making the barrel heavy enough so that the pigs can’t tip it over.

The nipple fitting dispenses water in a mess-free fashion, keeping your pigs’ area dry, and the lid at the top of the barrel closes tightly, keeping the water clean and free from algae growth.

A man holding a 55 gallon barrel on his back.


Just a few supplies are needed to make your automatic pig waterer. 

  • 55 Gallon Food Grade Blue Barrel w/Lid – The blue on the barrel works with the lid to block light and prevent algae from growing. Pro-Tip: You can buy these barrels in farm stores. I found mine on Craiglist.
  • ½ inch x ½ inch Thread Union Fitting – A PVC thread union fitting will hold the hog nipple in the barrel. It comes with a neoprene washer.
  • ½ inch Hog Slat Nipple Waterer – The hog nipple waterer allows the pigs to drink water on demand.
  • Hole Saw – To drill a ½-inch hole.
  • Wrench – A wrench is needed to tighten the threads on the thread union fitting with the nipple and barrel so there is no leakage. 
  • Plumbers’ Tape – It is a good idea to cover your threads with plumbers’ tape to create a tighter fit to help against leaking.

DIY Pig Waterer Step-by-Step

1. Drill a ½-inch hole under the second ridge line of the barrel.

2. Thread the union fitting: 

a. Put the rubber washer on the inside male threaded fitting piece to protect against leaking.

b. Have the male threaded part of the fitting go through the hole inside and stick out on the outside.

c. Take the plastic washer and nut and thread them outside the barrel. The nut threads backward, so you will tighten it counterclockwise.

d. With your wrench, tighten the nut so it is as tight as possible.

3. Wrap plumbers’ tape around the threading of the hog-watering nipple.

Making a DIY pig waterer with a blue 55 gallon barrel.

4. Put the hog-watering nipple into the female threading hole, and tighten it by hand.

5. Use your wrench to tighten the nipple so it is nice and tight. 

6. Take your DIY pig water to your pig stall, fill it with fresh water, and let your pigs drink.

7. Observe for the next few hours to ensure no leaking.

A 55 gallon barrel being filled with water for a DIY pig waterer.

And now, with just a little effort, you’ve saved yourself countless trips to the watering trough to fill up your pig’s water.

Shaving off valuable minutes of work and labor each day really adds up. It’s these time-saving hacks that I’m all about, and I love sharing them with you!

A man tossing feed to a pig.

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Hi, I'm Justin

I share from a love of teaching and the sustainable movement. Here, you’ll find exhaustive permaculture articles, plentiful photos, cinematic educational films and business tips and tricks.

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