Water nipples? (Vertical, Horizontal/side mount, saddle) - Page 4
This is my first winter with chickens, but I feel I've already learned a ton in the few weeks it's been freezing temps.
I started with just the Tractor Supply red bottomed poultry drinker fount. 1 gallon in the coop, 3.5 gallons in the run. These worked fine in warm weather, but always got really dirty and needed to be cleaned/water changed every day. And as soon as we started having cold weather they froze over and the cleaning became a pain without the garden hose. Also, I noticed when the weather got cold and I closed up the windows on the coop that the bedding was getting really damp. I figured out after doing some research that the open founts allow for a lot of moisture in the coop... really kinda scary since dampness in the winter is bad news for frostbite.
So after doing a bunch of research I ultimately decided on horizontal nipples in a bucket with a bird bath heater.
I got a few 2 gallon food grade icing buckets from my local supermarket bakery (for free, just ask at the counter).
I bought horizontal nipples on ebay.
I bought a Farm innovators model c-50 bird bath de-icer.
I put the three together and on the first night it was in use we had temps down to 6 degrees with 20+mph winds, really darn cold!
I went out a few times to check and the water stayed liquid and the nipples never froze.
I can set the bucket anywhere because the nipples stick out the side not the bottom and the water lasts a long time and stays clean.
I've also noticed that the bedding is staying dry. There is almost no dripping from the horizontal nipples. It's really neat to watch the chickens drink from them, you think it's going to drip off and they slurp it up.
My chickens took to the new system really fast, as in within 20 seconds of showing them with my finger, they had it figured out.
Hope this helps anyone curious. I live in eastern Pennsylvania by the way.
I spent the first year with the regular old watering containers and was totally displeased with the results. The water was all ways dirty (poop,straw, mud,)and god only knows what els and I changed the water every morning and evening. I had to do something because I was scared that they where going to get sick from bacteria. Not to mention it was taking the fun out of having the girls. So I did a bunch of research and I did the saddles with the watering nipples 30 galon tank and piped it in . Well what a life changer there . I put valves on the top of where the tank starts the run on the pvc and at the end. To stop all water when I cleaned it. And to be able to drain it. It has been so easy that I now have (3 year's later ) pheasants, 3 types of quail, and rabbits all tied in to the same system all I had to do was keep adding pvc which is cheap and valves at the end so I can drain as well as add on. The only thing I would have done differently is put a 50 galon tank instead of 30. Lol I still drain it when I see it starts to look not perfect. Fill it in a minute and I'm good for the week. I do check the nipples every day 2 x just by touching them with my finger because I like to be sure it's good. But I get no leaks no soggy straw no poopy water and most rewarding of all they all love it. Cool fresh water whenever they want. Pvc is cheap 3 bucks for 10 feet and the saddles are .85 cent a peace the nipples I got on e bay 100 for 20.00 .. peace of mind enjoying them priceless. In my opinion
I love, love, love our horizontal nipples! The birds caught on quickly and when you insert them properly, they DO NOT leak at all! The convenient part is being able to sit the bucket on the ground to clean or refill should I need to dismount it. I have noticed my birds like the water at head level the best so we mounted it pretty high. Love it! eBay actually has the best price for these and they ship fairly quick.
For winter purposes we have a 5 gallon trough/Pail heater and it is thermostatically controlled so we're not wasting electricity. Another very simple, safe product to use to prevent freezing
Edited by AnthonyFlock - 1/15/16 at 11:54am