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Frozen nipples finally working

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jetdog, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. HillBillyFiveO

    HillBillyFiveO Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 18, 2014
    I'm new to the game so take it for what it's worth.

    I have the vertical nipples and have bought the copper inserts for the winter. I've replaced the stainless wight eh copper and am using a heater inside the 4" pvc water tube. So far, so good (unless the water level gets below the heater. ooops!)

    Just a thought, if ya don't wanna go with the horizontal ones.

    Floyd T.

    PS: Does anyone have a link to a vendor selling the horizontal? I am curious to take a look, in case these fail. Thanks.
     
  2. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Um, yeah, they can freeze. Mine did. Have a stock tank heater on the bottom of the 5 gallon bucket and went out to find that the horizontal nipples not only froze, they made icicles from the nipple all the way to the ground. Ken is having to go out and run a heat gun over them to thaw them. I didn't get out there in time to take a picture of the icicles but did get one of Ken thawing the nipples (and you can see the ice puddle under them) and the other picture shows what's left of of one of the icicles after he thawed it. Then he went back with the heat gun again and dried off the water from the defrosting. We haven't been above zero in a week, well, except for today when we finally hit 19 this afternoon, and have been as cold as -17.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Nope, the nipples aren't leaking, there are no leaks in the bucket, and the water inside is remaining liquid, not frozen. When the girls drink out of it, a little water remains behind in the red cups. Eventually they overflow, freeze, then another drip or two from the next drink adds to it, and eventually the entire thing is encased within an icicle. Don't know yet how we're going to solve the issue but whatever it is will have to wait until our heat wave next week, when we could see temps up into the 30s.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my experience, the horizontal nipples work best with a heat mat UNDER the bucket rather than a de-icer inside the bucket. You can use much less wattage this way as well. Last year we got temps down to -18 F and I never had a frozen nipple problem with the containers setup with heat this way. I even had a 2 quart drinker for my polish sitting on a seedling heat mat.....it never froze up.
     
  4. chickensnducks7

    chickensnducks7 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well darn...that is super! I just ordered mine. Temps here don't generally get that cold so I am holding onto the concept I have a chance...[​IMG]
     
  5. chickensnducks7

    chickensnducks7 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 7, 2014
    They are on amazon and ebay. They all seem to come from http://www.allboutchickens.com/. The copper nipples don't appear to work in the saddle type nipples I have installed...I used them over the red ones that are a dime a dozen because the reviews seemed to suggest they didn't leaked as much... I have been happy with them up until the freezing issue. Thanks! Best of luck with your set up.
     
  6. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Don't let our experience put you off using the horizontal nipples....lots of folks use them in winter and with great success. i just need to take advice from the ones who have found the secrets and get out there as soon as it warms up above 30 degrees and use the idea I think will work best for me. I'd rather go out and spend a few minutes getting them to work properly in the cold temps than ever go back to the mess of an open waterer system.
     
  7. Settle4nuthin

    Settle4nuthin Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2014
    the nipples will work on 3/4" pipe i have a setup just like you are speaking of, but due to the cold weather I went back to my 5-gallon bucket with 4 nipples and have an aquarium heater in it. it has been down to 10 degrees so far this week and no issues with freezing. Once the weather improves this spring I will return to my pipe setup. I have 2- 5 gallon buckets with a 3/4" pipe coming off the bottom of each one. I use garden hose to connect to each 3/4" pipe and ran that to a 2-way splitter. connected each bucket hose to the splitter and the single end I used another garden hose to attach it to the 4" pipe that has 6 nipples in it. i put a drain valve on the very end to drain everything in case it gets clogged with dirt or grime. I will have to take some pics of what I got set up so you all can see it.
     
  8. Cluckies

    Cluckies Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I have nipple waterers in the summer, spring, and fall. But for winter I went with a big heated metal dog dish, inside this I put a rubber dog dish (I bought two for easy change out). I have these in the run and just change out the rubber dog dish daily in the morning, because even with the heated dog bowl, the rubber bowls will still freeze over night when it is below zero, but they don't freeze during the day when the chickens need the water. I'm in Minnesota and have not seen a guarantee that the nipple waters will work in below zero temps. I wanted the rubber bowls inside of the metal one because I didn't want to have unplug the dog dish and clean it every day. Now I just clean the rubber dishes and change them out every morning and add new water. If it stays below 20 degrees below zero, i'll probably have to take the rubber bowls out and have the water in the metal bowl directly. I'll be keeping an eye on this thread to see if there is a sure fire way to make the nipple waterers not freeze, if so, i'll change to that...
    Here is the heated dog bowl
    [​IMG]
    Here it is with the rubber dog bowl inside, they cannot be flipped

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  9. katbriar

    katbriar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had luck keeping the verticle nipples set on the bottom of a five gallon bucket from freezing by using a submersible bucket heater. The heater is a thick plate that sat on the bottom of the bucket so the water never froze there.

    Problem I had is that each time the chickens drank they would drop a two or three drops of water. It wasn't the fittings, it was messy chickens. Over time it made a mound of ice on the floor of the coop. I didn't like that they had to stand in/on it to drink so I switched to a heated fountain style this winter.
     
  10. Cluckies

    Cluckies Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    pawtraitart, what kind of heated mat do you use? I switched back to the bucket and horizontal nipples with a floating tank heater shown above as my chickens were getting frostbite waddles, 2 of them stick their whole face in the water when they drink. hopefully this helps...
     

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