The point of this post though, is not how the chickens get their water but what goes on behind the scene when you're not there. Unless you have a very unusual breed of 'calm' chickens they can cause a lot of chaos. Our chickens are a six-ring circus...they have been from the day they were delivered to our door. To new chicken keepers, the amount of 'trouble' they get into is astonishing. I'm not trying to talk anyone out of getting chickens just trying to warn in a positive way. Ours have been worth every bit of 'trouble' they get into (and they haven't even started laying yet)!
Not long after they were living full time in the hen house I went out and found their water container completely dry because it was tipped sideways. I knew I didn't hang it like that...and I didn't know how long they had been without water! Hmmm, chickens to smart for their own good.
So I am frequently checking their water container...cleaning, changing or adding water as needed. They must swing from the water container like it's a trapeze. They have learned how to get it tipped and hanging sideways from the hook. That will drain the water out in no time. Another trick is constantly flapping their wings near it - that will make it swing back and forth and if they do it enough most the water will slosh out. They get above it and poop in the water, not good. They also manage, somehow, to put food in it. The type of food that's floating in it can make the water rancid and slimy.
I am NOT overly obsessed with their water, I'm just aware of what chickens can do in the name of fun and entertianment. This is just heads-up for new chicken keepers!