I've decided to give up my nipple waterers / observations

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by LauraG, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. LauraG

    LauraG Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2010
    Upstate, NY
    With the winter here, I have decided it will be easier to get a galvanized waterer with a heated base instead of using the nipple waterers.

    I could keep my water from freezing with my nipple waterer, but the nipples were not always un-frozen. A drop would freeze here & there & they would lock up. (I have decided not to heat my coop with a heat lamp)

    Also, even when they werent frozen, as soon as I let the hens out, they would go running to the pond and start gulping. Frankly, I dont think they were satisfied with the amount of water they were getting from the nipples.

    I put a regular plastic waterer in there yesterday & bam! They all gathered around it slurping it up.

    That was it.

    Now, I do believe it was a **godsend** for when they were chicks and I will definately train new chicks on the nipple waterer.

    It kept their brooder dry, they always had CLEAN water and no little babies drowning. Drives me nuts to see filthy water with the little ones, but its inevitable I guess with the dirty little buggers.....
    I think the drip from the nipple was adequate for them as little ones and plus it kind of gave them something to peck at besides each other....

    Just thought I'd post my observations, in case anyone was considering this type of watering system.
  2. Schroeder

    Schroeder Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 9, 2008
    Central Indiana
    My Coop
    I've been wondering about this very thing. I am in the initial stage of building my ultimate 12 x 20 coop, and have been spending a lot of thinking time mapping out the inside. My plan to this point is to attach a 10 gallon water jug to PVC piping that would run into 2 or 3 seperate pens. I would install the nipples along the length of the 3/4 inch pipe. When freezing becomes an issue, I'm thinking 5 gallon buckets with nipples, hanging in frames, and a birdbath heater in each. Obviously you would advise against this. Have you resigned yourself to hauling water every day?
  3. PineappleMama

    PineappleMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've noticed the gulping thing too. When I'm filling the bucket some will run off onto the ground and they'll just swarm it like they were in Death Valley and came to a mirage. So I check the nipple thinking maybe it malfuntioned since yesterday... NO... I think maybe they just like being able to get a big ol' mouthful. They do get enough to survive with the nipple, but gulping is maybe more satisfying??

    Agree 100% about the brooder as well. We had one of the typical chick waterers, plastic 'jar' with the screw on thing... boy they made a mess of that. Had to clean it minimum twice a day and the surrounding area was a swamp! I took a Motts AJ bottle, put the nipple in the lid, and used a wire hanger to make a 'harness' and hung the bugger from the faucet (shower brooder) and it was SO much better. A drop here or there, but NOTHING close to the mess. Just have to remember to poke a hole in the bottom (rather top) of the jug... took me two days to realize the dern thing wasn't working due to vacuum. Good thing I still had the other waterer in there just in case.
  4. River Rats

    River Rats Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 15, 2010
    I also use the 5 gal. bucket wth the nipples. I use the bird bath heater, It stops the freezing all together. They work fine, but I also notice the samething. They would much perfer the normal waterer or a puddle.
  5. jmagill

    jmagill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2009
    Western Wyoming
    I know that mine prefer buckets and puddles.

    I stick with the nipple waterer because the water is clean and I know that they are getting enough because egg production is good.
  6. Henny Many

    Henny Many New Egg

    Oct 17, 2010
    I'm giving mine up too:(
    I love the idea of clean water, but I drop a regular fount in with them they gulp like they'd been without water for a day! They will drink out of the nipple jug, but my fear is that it is so much more work that they are only getting the minimum of what they need, and not really satisfying their thirst. I know lots of folks who use them and have for a long time, but I'd rather the hens be satisfied;)
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Mine always drink from puddles instead of waterers if they can find any. I've never owned nipple waterers and probably never will. It does make sense for baby chicks, I agree, but I use broodies. For them, the water stays pretty clean with bricks for steps going up to a raised plastic waterer. They're out there in the puddles in a few weeks, anyway.

    I have a spigot just outside the coop door, and there's a nearly permanent puddle there.
  8. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

    Oct 18, 2009
    I gave up on them too. <sigh> I agree that the girls stampeded the regular waterers after having had no access to them for a while. I always felt they weren't drinking enough from the nipple waterers. Oh well, it was worth a shot.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010
  9. jomoncon

    jomoncon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2010
    New Orleans, LA
    I've been wondering about this. I have 8 RIRs that are 8 weeks old. I've had a nipple waterer for them since they were in the brooder. Recently, the nipple waterer sprang a leak from being dropped, and while it was down being repaired, I put in their little brooder waterer (plastic 'jar' with the screw base). They swarmed all over this. Now I'm beginning to rethink the nipple waterer thing. But I need to figure out a different homemade automatic waterer.
  10. Organics North

    Organics North Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2009
    Wisconsin Northwoods
    Quote:Any frozen nipples with the aquarium heater?

    My coop is like 23F this morning and the nipples are not froze. (The only thing I have inside the coop is the nipple water, and dry food.) Out in the run is the open dish of water and their wet mash)

    Over open water mine actually perfer snow!..[​IMG]

    (This does not mean I will not provide open water..) Me, I am sticking with the nipples..[​IMG]


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