A Water Tower Chicken Coop
Story and Photos by Michael Gay
For six weekends, Michael Gay worked away in his backyard in Sylvania, Georgia, to build their backyard coop, one their friends have named, “The Taj Majal.” While it might not have a solid gold roof, it does have a water tower that collects rain, complete with a painting made for the 12 chickens, and a separation fence to allow for easier integration of new and old flock mates.
The painting, finished by Michael’s fiance Joanna Bastarache, helped cover the rudimentary, but completely functional, water tower, which started as a 30-gallon plastic trash barrel and some PVC pipe. “Boy was it ugly,” reported Mr. Gay. With some friend’s donated scrap metal and some metal bolts — and Joanna’s paints — they dressed it up a bit.
How Michael Built the Tower
• I drilled a few small holes in the lid and put it on the barrel upside down to catch rain water and prevent debris from getting in the water supply. I used four screws to secure the inverted lid.
• Then, I drilled a 1/2-inch hole near the bottom of the barrel to insert the PVC pipe and sealed it with silicon caulking. I raised the barrel up four feet so gravity would create the water pressure needed to push it through the lines. I ran out the pipe, adding a T-joint to split the line; one runs underground and back up to the coop, the other off the leg of the water tower for washing up. The line to the coop comes up one foot and feeds a six-foot, horizontal PVC pipe with self-waterers every 12 inches.