1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Chicken Nipples causing wet litter...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Des R, May 20, 2016.

  1. Des R

    Des R Chirping

    Apr 27, 2016
    Maryland / Delaware
    I have recently switched my chicks over to bucket with poultry nipples instead of the traditional waterer in their brooder. (I'm gone 9 hours a day at work, and when I came home the other waterer would have feces in it.) So I made the bucket waterer like the one in the picture below, only with 4 nipples. The nipples don't leak when the chicks aren't drinking, but they are making a mess when they do drink. I'm coming home to find the pine shavings underneath very wet, and I'm aware when you combine the heat lamp with the feces and wet litter I'm asking for bacteria. I'm scooping the wet pine shavings and replacing with dry shavings... but there has to be a better solution. I expect I'll have the same problem out in the coop when they go out there... anyone have a trick for this issue?
    Last edited: May 20, 2016

  2. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Songster

    Jan 16, 2016
    I'm having the same exact problem. I'm wondering if I should keep the nipple bucket out in th run. I have an automatic door that opens at 8:am. Food is inside.
  3. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    Horizontal nipples with a pan underneath works well for me.

    All dribbles are captured and utilized.

    Here is a link:

    Unfrozen Nipple Watering for those cold days.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
  4. Doc S

    Doc S In the Brooder

    Mar 1, 2016
    X2 I've used both, and the horizontal nipples are far superior. They don't tend to leak and there's a little reservoir under the metal tip that catches most drips. That said, I use a pan underneath, too, because even with the horizontal nipples the ladies can splash a little!
  5. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    Those drinkers are normally used in commercial watering systems where the pressure is adjustable, commonly 6-12" of water column pressure. The pressure governs how much water is discharged each time the drinker is triggered. If the pressure is too high then the hen gets more than a beakfull and excess water goes on the ground. If the pressure is too low then they don't get enough water. Putting them on a bucket is a non-standard usage. When you fill the bucket full there is too much water pressure, around 24" and a lot of water goes on the ground when they drink.
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Try filling with less water and drill a hole in the lid on the bucket. This may help with the pressure behind the nipples. Another neat trick is placing a brick or two or a paver under the water bucket....seems to keep the shavings from getting too much of the water dripped.
  7. Des R

    Des R Chirping

    Apr 27, 2016
    Maryland / Delaware
    I did end up putting pavers underneath and that helped some. Now that I've moved them out to their coop I changed to a bucket with horizontal nipples and set it up on several pavers stacked and it's perfect! Barely anything ever drips out and when it does it dries quickly off the pavers. I also used sand in the coop so even if it were to get wet it's just a matter of stirring the sand a bit.

    For anyone reading the thread later... HORIZONAL NIPPLES are way better than the vertical kind.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by