How to make do-it-yourself drinking bowls for cattle

For a full weight gain, cattle need not only a sufficient amount of good nutrition. It is also important to equip the barn with high-quality and convenient tools. A drinking bowl is one of the most important items in an animal room.

The value of drinkers in animal care

Cows need about 80 liters of water per day, and dairy cows - up to 130 liters. To provide pets with uninterrupted access to liquids, individual drinking bowls of various modifications are installed in the cowsheds. The advantage of such devices, in comparison with a conventional bucket or a trough with water, is obvious:

  • the animal consumes liquid in a dosage, in accordance with its needs;
  • the infection will not pass through the system of communicating vessels (as occurs in group feeding systems) from one individual to another;
  • individual drinker is easy and quick to clean;
  • it is possible to feed a sick animal or calf in isolation.
Group drinking bowls are systems that are quite difficult to maintain after blockages, which leads to fluid stagnation.

Important! With attached pets, individual reservoirs are preferred, and with the herd moving freely along the barn, it is better to use one drinker per group of 15-20 cows.

Drinking Requirements

The correct arrangement of the device has a beneficial effect not only on quenching the thirst of cows and gobies, but also on their psychological state - they will not have to make extra efforts to just drink water. Winter drinking bowls should be heated, the water temperature in them must be maintained at about 12-15 ° C.

When installing drinking bowls, the following factors must be considered:

  • height - from 60 to 90 cm, for low-growing rocks you can lower the device by 5-8 cm;
  • width - group drinkers are organized at the rate of 5 cm per individual (after all, cows do not drink all at the same time), individual drinking containers can be much wider;
  • water depth should be at least 8 cm;
  • water purity - tap water, without stagnation.


Technical progress and experience gained over many centuries have helped to invent various types of drinking systems, even using computers and programming. But in private farms and small farms, everything is much simpler and cheaper - they use inexpensive purchased drinking bowls or devices made independently.

Learn how to make and equip a cow stall.


This type of watering device is suitable for a farm that contains one or more cows. You can use a simple large bowl, bucket or tub - that is, any improvised containers. Used and purchased containers as a general type, and specialized, designed for drinking livestock.

  • pros
    • low costs (or lack thereof);
    • ease of use (for humans, not for cows);
    • no need for specialized installation;
    • ease of replacement in case of failure.

  • Minuses
    • stagnation and spoilage of water due to lack of flow;
    • the need to wash the container frequently;
    • inconvenience of its use for the animal.

Special drinkers of an individual type with a personal supply of water are expensive and are designed for use in large farms where there is the possibility of serious financial investment.


The group system is suitable for both pasture and barn, is an inclined gutter with a water tank in its upper base. Below is a drain that allows unused water to leave.

  • pros
    • simultaneous thirst quenching by several cows;
    • simplicity of the device;
    • lack of stagnation of water.

  • Minuses
    • lack of control over the volume of water drunk by each individual;
    • high water consumption (a rather critical indicator in pasture conditions);
    • the possibility of infection by animals of each other.

Level Tanks

Group drinking systems can be a little complicated, for better and more economical fluid delivery to the boarders. Different drinker levels provide a portioned supply of water as it is consumed by livestock.

  • pros
    • lack of useless runoff of unused water;
    • dosage of drinking for each individual;
    • the ability to use multiple animals at the same time.

  • Minuses
    • as in a group drinker - the possibility of infection;
    • with a pause in use, fluid stagnation is possible;
    • technological and structural difficulties of implementation and, as a result, cost increase.

Any of these types can be implemented as an automatic drinking bowl. This requires additional costs and design work. Typically, such systems are installed for valuable cattle breeds.

Did you know? Despite stereotypes, the cow is a very neat animal. She will not eat stale water from an uncleaned feeding trough or drink stagnant water from a dirty drinking bowl.

What the drinking bowl consists of

The composition of the device for drinking cows should be functional and convenient. The main elements are three:

  • a ladle for drinking;
  • mechanical assembly for distribution;
  • supply pipeline.

The composition of the device for drinking cows: 1 - drinking bowl; 2 - pedal; 3 - rubber gasket; 4 - spring; 5 - drinking case; 6 - valve body; 7 - valve stem.

The design of such systems may be different, but it should be convenient for pets and minimize fluid consumption.

How to do it yourself

Given the cost of industrial cattle watering systems and their cost, many farmers prefer to make these devices with their own hands from available or improvised means using their own technologies. Materials can be completely different, but artisanal drinkers fulfill their purpose.

Read also how to use cow dung as fertilizer.

Cast iron

A cast-iron bowl with a valve attached to it for supplying water is not an optimal solution, but is easy to maintain and quite hygienic. Such drinking bowls were also produced industrially (in the photo PA-1A), but a similar design can also be made independently from an old frying pan or cauldron. Difficulty is only a set of transitional structures for convenient fastening and water supply, but an experienced designer will help to solve these issues. In the barn, such a device is installed on vertical racks connected to the water supply.

From wood

The wooden structure is made on several animals at once, as an individual approach is not applicable here. The sizes are arbitrary, but it is necessary to provide partitions in an impromptu trough so that the cows do not poke each other in the muzzle and do not push against each other. One meter between the partitions will be enough.

In the manufacture of drinking bowls made of wood, all cracks must be puttied with resin. After that, water is collected several times to wash out excess inclusions and check the tank for leaks. Depending on the shape, such structures are mounted on suitable logs and, if necessary, attached to an existing stationary structure.

Made of plastic

The most versatile material for arranging do-it-yourself watering systems is plastic. This neutral and durable material can be perfectly applied in cowsheds. The simplest drinker can be made of an inclined gutter cut from a conventional large diameter sewer pipe (30 cm).

We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the machine for fixing, processing and trimming cattle hooves.

You can create a whole system for feeding animals water from plastic pipes of various sections, adapters, couplings and troughs. It all depends on the imagination of the farmer, his creativity and convenience for pets. A large plastic pipe, cut along, will be a good inclined trough for group drinking - you just need to draw it along the pen.

Made of bricks

Brick drinkers are stationary and simple, but they have one serious minus - they are difficult to clean. If the design does not provide for draining the water, then it will have to be pumped out and the tank cleaned qualitatively. Size and height should allow the animal to place its face and drink water without poking at the walls. You also need to pay attention to the quality of materials - both the brick itself, as well as mortar and plaster, which are used for the construction of the drinking bowl. All components must be neutral and environmentally friendly.

Bucket for drinking calves

Calves do not always get high-quality colostrum from their mother. This further leads to a high susceptibility to various diseases. In such cases, babies need to be taught self-nutrition. To do this, use a bucket where milk is placed, colostrum or diluted quality milk powder.

First, two fingers are placed in the calf in the mouth, it starts sucking movements, and the hand is lowered into a bucket of milk - the fingers are not removed. After several such exercises, the baby will start drinking from a bucket without any help. You can also use a special bucket with a valve teat that mimics the nipple of a cow.

Important! When drinking from an ordinary bucket, you need to ensure that the baby does not drink "in one gulp." For this, the liquid must be portioned 2-3 times, then the mixture of milk with saliva will not form clots in the stomach that are difficult to digest.

How to make heating for drinking bowls

In the cold season, it is necessary to monitor not only the quality, but also the temperature of the water that is supplied to the cows. As mentioned above, the acceptable temperature in such a period is 12-15 ° C. To ensure this regime, farmers use two methods: heating water in each drinking bowl or centralized supply of already warm liquid to the system.

Given that the barn is often away from communications, the supply of warm water, and even with a certain temperature, becomes problematic. At a distance of even a couple of hundred meters, the water in the pipes will have time to cool significantly. The most budgetary way out in this situation is the use of group drinking bowls, in which the water is heated with the help of a heating element. In this case, it’s worth forgetting a little about hygiene.

Video: heated cattle group drinker

Drinking Tips

The drinker is selected depending on the size of the livestock - it is obvious that complex automated systems are not needed in a rural barn with two pets. The choice of a device for drinking is based on various factors:

  1. Climatic conditions. In a mild climate, a long and loose walk is possible, which suggests group containers for drinking from improvised materials. Severe weather makes most of the year to keep animals in a room where, in addition to heating, you can make a variety of fluid supply systems.
  2. Remoteness from communications. The transported water should be used carefully, therefore it is worth using individual tanks with metered addition of water.
  3. Dimensions of the breed. A drinking bowl, in which a cow of small dimensions can put its face, can be close for large representatives of the species. An animal can simply give up trying to quench their thirst.
  4. Labor input. With self-production, you need to evaluate your abilities, the availability of the necessary materials, the possibility of implementing the design features of the future and the product, etc.

Did you know? A cow cannot give milk constantly - in fact, this is preceded by a complex physiological process. For the constant production of milk, you need to inseminate the animal three months after the previous calving.

The best drinker companies from manufacturers

If you have the financial ability, it is better to buy a finished device made by professionals. This will save a lot of time spent on artisanal work, and will help in better care of animals.

The well-known organizations that produce individual and group drinkers are as follows:

  • LLC Agropromtekhnika (Izhevsk);
  • TD "AiS Agro" (Omsk);
  • "USS AGRO" (Izhevsk);
  • Mila-M LLC (Saransk).

In fact, there are many more manufacturers, and their products are of high quality and in line with demand. The main problem is the presence of many resellers, both official and not. Such structures are active in the market, and their activity is often difficult to reach a real manufacturer of equipment for the farm with reasonable prices. Drinking is one of the main physiological processes for representatives of cattle. Therefore, comfortable conditions for quenching thirst are an important incentive for good milk yield or weight gain by animals.

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