(also water fountain), an automatic watering device that enables agricultural animals to drink the necessary amount of water at any time of the day or night. There are individual and group waterers.
Individual waterers are used for cattle kept indoors and for swine kept in individual stalls. The waterer is secured to a post between two adjacent stalls, making it accessible to two neighboring animals. It is connected to the water supply by a stand-pipe.
Group waterers are used to water cattle kept unconfined, poultry in large poultry houses, and swine and sheep kept in large groups. Group waterers are also used at summer camps, in pastures, and in open areas. They may be stationary or portable. Stationary waterers are connected to a water pipe. Portable waterers are ordinarily used at summer camps and pastures that are situated far from sources of water. The operation of group waterers is based on the principle of connecting vessels. Vacuum-type group waterers that work on the principle of a tipped vessel filled with water beforehand are also used. This kind of waterer is usually placed in poultry houses.
In cold weather, waterers with heaters are used for agricultural animals. A pump operated by an electric motor, an electric pipe heater, and a mixing tank to which water is supplied are connected to the waterer system. The pump and the electric pipe warmer are turned on only during cold weather. The waterers used abroad employ similar working principles and differ only slightly in design.