Help me decide which waterer!

graceupongrace

Chirping
Apr 23, 2017
46
44
69
Central Washingtom
Gah! I cannot figure out which system is going to fit my needs best.
I'm going to our local farm store this afternoon to purchase a new waterer. (I missed the memo that if you drill a small hole into a standard waterer it would loose it's vacuum quality or whatever and the water would just run out! Super frustrating!!)
So the options here are a 5 gal standard style waterer that I would probably prop up on a pedestal to keep clean OR a 3.5 gallon with 4 nipples. I like the nipple concept but have 2 questions.
I've heard people say they didn't think their chickens drink enough water with the nipples - true or false?
Secondly, I have 12 chicks. Is 4 nipples enough for them in the heat of summer when they are fully grown? If not, could I easily add more nipples to the bucket and remedy the situation?
TIA
 

SueT

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
May 27, 2015
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I LOVE the water nipple system! Water is always perfectly clean. It's an inexpensive DIY project, just drill holes in a bucket, and screw in the nipples. We made one and I introduced it to ours at 3 weeks, and they immediately began pecking at the nipples and drinking. There was no transition necessary and it's all they've had for a month now. . It is recommended 1 nipple per 3 chickens. Yes you could add more nipples later.
Here's a video a I made of a couple of ours using the bucket at6 weeks of age:
 

~KH~

Songster
9 Years
Jun 16, 2011
191
169
216
Southern CA
My Coop
My Coop
I also vote for a bucket with nipples. I had one with my last chickens and am making another one for my new chickens here. I found it very easy to maintain and deal with and the water stayed very clean.
 

SueT

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
May 27, 2015
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Oh, btw, in the nipple bucket you DO need a hole for air, as opposed to the gravity waterers which would lose all the water. If a nipple container were airtight, water couldn't flow. And do put a lid on it so the chickens can't fall in or perch on the edge and poop in the water. I don't know if my type of bucket is airtight but I drilled a hole near the top just in case....
 

Birdinhand

Crowing
May 23, 2016
1,113
1,764
277
Pacific Northwest
I've found this nipple waterer to have the best nipples/least waste: http://www.atwoods.com/poultry-feeders-watering/cheery-chicks-chicken-kooler-35-gallon.htm

the chicks have no problem figuring out how to use it, but you have to remove all other sources of water. they will preference open watering containers because they can get more water at once but they don't understand the value of clean water that won't get them sick. it seems that three or four birds per nipple is about right.
 

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