Hey everyone, I'm Trish and I live in beautiful central NY with my husband and all our critters. I've just started on this new BYC adventure on 3/31/09 with 6 golden comets purchased from TSC. They really are like potato chips, can't have just one! We're up to 22 and the flock consists of 6 RIR, a Turken, 3 Polish, 4 EE's, 1 BR, and 1 BO and the 6 original comets.
But while having all my beautiful, cute, fuzzy and very messy chicks in their brooder, I realized the water situation had to change. It was grossing me out! It didn't seem to matter how many bricks I put under it, the shavings would find their way in. Then to make it worse, they would use it as a launching pad to get to the top of the brooder. So, that meant poo was getting in there. Well, that's all it took for me-something else needed to happen quick! So, after checking out BYC and poultry supply houses and any other site out there that dealt with poultry, I came across the Avian Aqua Miser. Loved it, but way too expensive, after studying the pics, I decided to make this:
A waterer made out of a milk jug, you could also use a plastic pitcher from the dollar store. I remembered seeing the nipples at teksupply:
Randall Burkey also has these, and check out ebay.
I became very excited about my new little project, so I went ahead and ordered my nipples & grommets and saved my milk jugs. I figured if they didn't work, then I'd go to the dollar store for the pitchers. That's all they used at the AAM site. When my order came in, I grabbed my dh's drill and went to town, I used a 3/8 drill bit and drilled out my hole, I also reamed it out a bit, verrrry carefully. You have to drill on a flat part of the jug, not the part where the bottom is crossed for reinforcement. When I got the size correct, the grommet was pushed into the nipple-then the whole thing was pushed into the jug. I wired it by the jug handle, filled it with fresh clean organic apple cider vinegar water, and voila-fresh clean water for my chickies! I know eventually the nipple will rust-but being stainless steel, it'll be a while.
When the waterer was first introduced, the chicks were 5 weeks and 2 weeks. I was a little nervous at first, they didn't know what to do-I had to introduce a couple of them to it by pushing the nipple with their beak. It was funny, they looked so shellshocked! They kind of stood there for a minute like, what the heck! Then they started to use it, the rest of the chicks watched and soon followed suit. I've had the waterers in operation for 3 weeks now and I love them! Can't you tell!
Ugh, so much less work and nastiness! I hope this helps someone as much as it's helped me.
Flat side of the jug-no leaks.

They had just finished using it-still no leaks!

The dates on these pics are wrong, they were taken about 5/24/09-somewhere around there!
Update 9/5/09-I have recently found out that milk jugs do not last forever!! I have had my chickens in their outdoor coop and I went out there one day and noticed a wet spot under their jug. I felt the jug and it was soft and I saw where it had been leaking-where the nipple is in the jug. I swapped out the jugs with plastic pitchers from the local Dollar Tree after I got out of work that day. I drilled out holes on the bottom with a 11/32 drill bit, and with a bit of pushing, installed new nipples on the bottoms. I swapped out the jugs with the pitchers, because I didn't want to worry about wet shavings/ammonia. The pitchers are obviously a much heavier plastic and will definitely last. I've no worries about these new waterers now!
Here's my 3 month old pullets enjoying ice and acv water in their new pitchers!

For the push in type use a 3/8 drill bit.
For the screw in type use an 11/32 drill bit.
I've used both the screw ins and push ins at this point (4/20/2010) and the drill bit sizes are close to accurate, careful reaming and you're good to go!

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