Helpful people I just encountered with quail chick watering


11 Years
Jan 1, 2009
Columbus NC
I posted questions about automatic watering of quail to which I didnt get any help so I googled the subject and emailed several people. I got one reply from Lynn at This is what they sent me and I was so impressed I had to share with everyone. I have pics if anyone want to see what they sent me that I could upload. They have an awesome flight pen design on their site too. I in no way work for these folks but just that impressed with their customer service (and I didnt buy a darn thing from them)

Hello Randy,
Thank you for the compliment on our water system and for visiting our website!

To answer your question about nipple drinkers we make our own nipple drinkers using 3/4 inch PVC and the nipples we use are from FarmTek. See attached picture of chicks with pipe nipple drinker. I also attached a document I put together showing a simple gravity flow type system you can make.

They (Farm-Tek) make several different nipples, I have included a link to the page of the one we use. It is a 360 degree hit type nipple, meaning that the chicks can hit the trigger from any direction and the drop of water is supplied. I also pasted a picture of the same nipple below. All you do is drill a slightly smaller hole than the threads of the nipple put a little teflon tape around the threads and screw it into place, we back that up with a dab of silicone too.

Making your own, you can make them any size in length, and add as many nipples that you may need. We hook this up to our water supply the same as in the ranch water system on our website. Meaning we use tanks in the ground with a pump and hook it up to the PVC pipe and then let the water run all through the enclosed pipe with nipples and back out into the tank. You can hook them up for water supply directly from a spicket source, but then you will need a pressure reducer as shown in the second picture I pasted on here. The second FarmTek link shows nipple drinker systems that are complete, if you are interested in that route -vs- making your own. They have drinkers that have a supply cup like shown in the third picture I pasted here, but I do not suggest using any type cup system for quail chicks, just a nipple will do great. Too much of a chance that the chicks will get too wet using the drip cups.

Here are some common questions we are asked on this subject:

1) How high do you hold the water nipples above the chicks ?
For day old chicks we have the bottom of the nipple (the trigger) at 2 inches from the floor. This height works great for the first few weeks. As the chicks grow it is recommend that you raise the nipple. For us it has been trial and error as to the proper height. You have to watch your chicks closely and be sure they are getting the water they need and are able to reach the nipple. After about 2 weeks, we usually raise it to about 4 inches from the floor and leave it there until the brooding period is over, which is when the chicks reach 6 - 8 weeks old.

2) I plan on getting 500 chicks this spring. The plan is to make up 2 - 5ft section [7 nipples per pipe]of pipe for watering the chick. Will this be enough?
No, you need to plan on 20 - 25 chicks per nipple. So you need to have at least 10 nipples per your 5 foot section of pipe, place the nipples 6 inches apart. You want plenty of access to water, you don't want the chicks to compete for access to the nipple. Another common question in this area has been (do you have to show or teach the chick to drink from the nipple) the answer is no, the chicks will figure it out on their own, it is really amazing how they do this. After thousands and thousands of chicks, it still amazes me how they find the nipple on their own and when one does it seems to trigger the others to learn quickly.

3) Can this watering system be use all the way till the birds get older ?
All quail, any age can use the nipple drinker. Chicks, young quail, grown, and even breeders. You may want to increase the number of nipples per bird if used with grown birds, they drink more and more often. The older birds need about 1 nipple per 10 birds. The nipple height for grown quail is 8 inches from the floor.

I hope you find this information helpful, if you have any other questions, just ask.
Thanks and have a great day,
Lynn Webster
I dont want to take credit for any of their work. Go to the website to see flight pen and their watering system setup. Here is a picture of the nipple auto-watering system they sent me the idea for.

Here is my system


THAT IS A PRETTY COOL SETUP for a larger brooder/grower pen looks like it would work well. My biggest concern it getting the litter wet. I like to keep the oder down but it might work well for an open cage system like yours.
I ordered 40 of them so I should have it up and running with a week or so. The conceptdesign is not supposed to leak and not have wet shavings. I will let yall know how well it really works out and take some pictures to share.
I'm thinking of building one of these myself but I want to use a fresh water supply & hook it up to running water.
I would think just use a pressure reducer and that would work fine. I ordered one for a cup type system and paid about $14 for it. When it came I was suprised to find it was just a normal ole propane type like for a grill.

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