Nipple vs. cup waterers and auto fill - Page 7
I also use nipples for watering my chickens, but I took a 2 gallon bucket I bought at Home Depot and installed a toilet fill kit inside then hooked it up to my automatic irrigation system. Every couple days it gets filled up and doesn't overfill due to the float inside which stops the water when full. However, I will say the plastic does promote algae build up so must be cleaned out every couple months.
I use the water nipples. As chicks, I started them with a half gallon milk jug with a nipple attached in the cap. I tapped the oldest chick's beak on it. She learned and showed the others. So when they went to the coop they got the nipples attached to a PVC pipe with a fitting to a clear tube run through the 1/2" hardware cloth. The tube has insulated pipe covering on it. It leads up to a 5 gal bucket with a gamma seal lid screwed on lightly so the water stays clean and the water can move into the tube. Works great, but we are having a triple digit heatwave here in NorCal and I'm trying to think of a good insulator for the bucket.
I'm going to be using the watering system where they have to use the nipple and the 5 gallon bucket.
Edited by DeepDishChix - 6/12/15 at 8:45am
Switch the bucket to a 5gal orange construction water cooler (or a regular rectangular blue Coleman type chest). I'm in Texas and that's what I'm fixing up this summer. Also freeze soda bottles - drop 1-2 in each morning or at noon (remember to leave room in the bottle for expansion of the freezing water).
Edited by TerryPy - 6/15/15 at 12:19pm
Hello everyone, I have recently switched to cup and horizontal nipple drinkers. After years and years of filthy water in no end of different drinkers, I thought there had to be a better way.
I found the horizontal nipples online from the only vendor this side of the pond. I bought 8 and attached 2 to a dark blue, 25 litre (6 1/2 gallons) drum. We made a small pilot hole (can't remember the size, but since the threads on the horizontal nipple are tapered, the hole was the size of the narrowest part of the thread) and simply screwed the nipple gently into place by hand (no tools). Done, no leaks or drips!
I ordered a 20 litre black drum and double cup outlet from Dine-A-Chook in Australia. The rate of exchange between OZ and England, meant that it was quite economical for me in the UK to make the purchase. My girls LOVE the cups. I also purchased 3 cups, locally, that are similar to the Aussie cups, but are attached to their water source with tubing. I didn't like that set-up, so we attached those cups to a black, 20 litre drum, and a black, 10 litre drum the same way we attached the horizontal nipples. The 20 litre one is perfect, but we're going to have to use a sealant or O-rings/washers on the 10 litre drum because of leaking. The material of the 10 litre drum is slightly less dense than the larger one.
I place the horizontal nipples and cups attachments about an inch from the bottom of the drums. I set the drums on hollow tiles or breeze blocks so that the cups are actually lower than the bottom of the drums, but are at a good height for the birds to drink. Where possible, I try to minimise the amount of sun on any of the containers.
The cups I've used have little yellow tongues/floats. These are not used to let water into the cups, but to prevent the water overflowing, so the hens don't have to learn to move the floats. There is always water in the cups and that's what draws the hens to them. Also, my use of black or dark blue has been predicated on the knowledge that the darker the container the less chance there is for the water to go green with algae. I could never understand poultry drinker manufacturers insisting on white or light-coloured containers for their products. I will probably have to make adjustments to the water situation during winter.
My hens are fed from a 15 litre bucket with a couple of 4" holes into which are placed two 4" 90 degree elbow joints. The amount of feed I am saving daily is astonishing. I am making 2 more feeders using square, 17 litre (4 1/2 gallons) buckets as per RobBob in Australia on YouTube.
After almost 20 years of providing food and water to my hens the "old way," I will NEVER go back!