Cleaning a PVC/Nipple watering system must be a Pain!!


12 Years
Jul 22, 2008
South Central MA
It is a heck of alot easier to clean out a big rubber bowl than to have to take apart and clean the inside of a 1" pvc pipe, not to mention getting the guts of a nipple clean.

Right? This misery holds me back from even venturing into such a system......................
What would you be cleaning out of a nipple watering system based on pipe? No light, no algae. Mine has a hose bib on one end for draining it, but other that for winter I don't see any need for other cleaning.

I have a really simple water system. I took a 5 gallon bucket and drilled holes in the bottom for the push in type chicken nipples. I have extremely hard water from a well. The rust and sand settles in the bottom of the bucket which i just scrub out with my hand. My chicken nipples have never clogged. It really beats having to clean it out every day because they have scratched dirt in to it. You can buy 5 gallon buckets with lids from Lowes and they have a nice dark grey one the keeps the light out. Here is a link where they give you directions on how to build your own including the drill bit size.;pgwc1045.html
thank you both.

i never thought about it deeply enough (obviously) to get to the point, 'no light, no algae'!!!! That is JUST what i thought one would need to scrub out.

But don't nipples tend to leak,, and you gotta have the piping (if that's what you use) absolutely level, or else, more leaky nips??
Nope they don't leak you just have to make sure you don't let the water level get to low because part of the nipple is higher than the bottom of the bucket. I didn't use any pipes just hang the bucket from a chain and hook from the roof of my coop. Three nipples per bucket is good.
Agreed, no light, no algae and the chickens love it. I have cleaned my last standard chicken waterer that is for sure! I have nipple waterers in my run and in my brooder and they work awesome. I was skeptical at first but very easy to install and they work! Took me a little work to stop the screwin style from leaking and had to adjust the pressure down some but no leaks now(pics are from first hour in coop). Just have screen door screen on inlets and outlets to stop debri and add acv every now and then. Poured some out of tank into clear glass last Sunday and was crystal clear...

i am a firm believer in giving fresh water every day.

isn't one of the reasons people use the nipple system that: 'They won't have to give fresh water every day, but only have to fill it every few days,etc." ?
It is, I would give my chickens gourmet meals every day also if I could but you need to find a balance between it all, time, nutrition, safety and health. I dont feel in any way we are harming are birds by using nipples and the chickens will pass up most human based water sources to drink out of a mud puddle. To each his own for what works for them I guess.

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