Are Nipple Waterers Worth It?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by I Love Layers, Jan 22, 2017.

  1. I Love Layers

    I Love Layers Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 25, 2015
    North Dakota
    We are looking to make my coop more efficient and a easy way it seems is to use nipple Waterers.
    I'm wondering what everyone thinks of them.
    Horizontal or Vertical?
    And what your experience is/was with them
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    I use vertical nipple waterers for some of my chickens. The nipples are an improvement over normal bell-shaped waterers since the birds can't tip over the hanging nipple waterer and waste water. They also can't kick debris into the nipple waterer. The result is cleaner water and drier litter.

    The only problem I've had with the horizontal nipple waters is that the nipples can freeze in cold weather. Even if most of the water in the reservoir is unfrozen, the nipples may be frozen due to their smaller mass/less water contained.

    Still, I highly recommend nipple waterers.
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    You can't beat nipples for providing clean water.
    It is a bit of a learning curve though. The amount of head pressure can overwhelm them and the water has to be perfectly clean or the seals will foul and they'll leak.

    I find the opposite to be true of vertical vs. horizontal nipples with freezing conditions.

    The seal in vertical nipples is external to the water supply so they'll freeze faster than horizontal nipples with the seal inside the water reservoir.

    They are definitely worth it. A well designed system prevents having to fill and carry founts every day and if heated, eliminates lots of work in winter. Just be careful to test the system daily to make sure it is still providing water.
    Make sure the system is designed so there isn't a vacuum or the water won't flow.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
  4. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2013
    Kalispell MT
    I've used both horizontal and vertical nipples. They're both much better than any other watering system I used. I use horizontal nipples in winter attached to a 10 gallon plastic tote and with a stock tank deicer that is safe to use in plastic for my winter water. It only needed filled once a week for 15 chickens and stayed thawed down to -22 F. I tend to use vertical nipples and a bucket in the warmer weather. The clear tote gets too much algae growing in it when it's warm. Am trying a black tote that will keep the light out and put it in a shady area this summer with horizontal nipples and will see if the water gets too warm or not.

    Has never taken my birds longer than 2 hours to figure out how to use the nipples. As long as the nipples are the only water available they will use them. Even my neighbors' chickens learned to use the waterers at my house rather than go home to get a drink.
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    They are invaluable for raising chicks or keeping chickens in spare pens for any length of time. They keep the water cleaner and there is less danger to chicks of drowning or getting too wet. I can't say I like the horizontal nipples...none of my birds could seem to get enough water from them, but did better with the horizontal nipple with the cup attachment.

    LOVE the vertical nipples for chicks...they learn it easily and they don't leak if you don't put your lid down tight on the bucket in hot weather.
  6. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My birds would rather have a muddy puddle but I find my vertical waterer to be very useful for providing fresh, clean water without taking up a bunch of floor space. I haven't had any issue with leakage so far. They do freeze over when it gets cold enough but I haven't had too much problem thawing it out by briefly soaking the nipple in warmer water.
  7. rachelsflock

    rachelsflock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 3, 2015
    Detroit Metro Area
    I like the horizontal (side) poultry nipples I bought and drilled and screwed into the side of a 5 gallon bucket. They let the chickens have clean water that the ducks can't get into. So far no ducks have been able to turn it into a duck shower or muddy them so I think they're just great. Not so great when below freezing though unless you get a bucket heater. I haven't looked hard, but I so totally want one.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
  8. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2015
    Long Island, NY
    I started out with vertical nipples and it was great until freezing weather hit. I switched to a 3 gallon bucket with horizontal nipples and use an aquarium heater and harbor freight fountain pump hooked up to a thermocube and haven't had any freezing down to 15* F which is as cold as it really gets by me. The water always stays clean and no leaks or spills.
  9. rachelsflock

    rachelsflock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 3, 2015
    Detroit Metro Area
    That's genius. Now I need an extra fish tank heater.
  10. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2015
    Long Island, NY
    It wasn't my idea. I got it from a writeup on here last fall.

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