So You Need A Drinker?!

So You Need A Drinker?!

Posted by Jerry Gagne on Feb 17th 2021

If you are new to the pigeon hobby, or maybe it is time to replace your old drinkers, you may want to consider the following. Generally, your choices are, metal, plastic or a combination of each.  When considering a metal drinker, which have been available for decades, you must consider what changes have been made over the last 50 years or so. It used to be rare to have medications that went in the drinking water, but that is not the case now. There are now available 100’s if not thousands of different meds, vitamins, probiotics and natural liquids and powders available. When you use these products singularly or in combination, you will gradually notice a breakdown of the metal and rust will appear. Using products to clean the drinkers will add to the corrosion. I am not a champion of metal drinkers, but they are still available and many fanciers still use them and are quite satisfied. Another thing you should know about the drinkers is that the use of Apple Cider Vinegar or lemon juice, because they are very acidic, will cause rust over a much shorter period of time. Now plastic has far surpassed the use of any other material when it comes to drinkers.

When considering what drinkers are best for you, ask yourself some of these questions. How many pigeons do I have? Do I live in a hot zone or a zone where I may get some water freezing or in many cases, the drinking water will freeze overnight and in some cases, it will stay frozen for days or longer? If you have had the same amount of pigeons for a good while, you should know how much your birds drink every day, and then you have an idea as to what size drinker you should use. Keep in mind that the pigeon’s drinking water should be changed every day, if possible. Another thing you may want to consider is how easy or how hard it is to clean the inside of a drinker. The two piece drinker, made of plastic, is very popular, but consider how you will clean the inside on a regular basis? Most of the 1-3 Gallon two piece drinkers have a large enough opening where you fill them, to allow you to slide your hand in with a cloth or sponge etc. to clean the inside of a drinker. This is important and should always be considered, as you do not want scum to collect inside a drinker. Another thing to consider is the ease in filling it, and once filled, is it easy to carry with a handle of some sort for easy gripping with one hand. There are so many choices, but think about what you need and then order.

My personal choice, and one that I have used for over thirty years, is a combination drinker that has metal and plastic. The Foy’s company and other pigeon product sellers may also sell the same one. If you want to go to Foy’s site to see exactly what if looks like, type in #315 Large Ideal Drinker. I find this drinker very easy to clean every day, and the bowl is very solid and will last you for years. I use the #317 for each section or loft. I also have an extra bowl for each section or loft. I live in a cold winter climate and have never had a bowl break because of the very cold, freezing weather. Each morning, I carry out a bowl that I cleaned the night before. I remove the bowl from the day before and replace it with a new bowl and bring the old bowl into my house and clean it in the laundry tub, ready to go the next day. The cone top of the drinker is metal and birds do not perch on it. The sides of the drinker are metal spokes that allow a number of birds to drink at the same time. The bowl holds one gallon of drinking water, and since most meds, vitamins, probiotics, and supplements require one gallon of drinking water, I do not have to measure a gallon.

Well that is enough about considering a drinker, and I have not even discussed the use of cage drinkers, we will do that down the road sometime. If there is anything, regarding pigeons, that you would like me to discuss, send an e-mail to Veronica at

Warm regards,

Jerry Gagne

Chairman, NPA-Legacy Fund Trust