Nipple waterer users!


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 18, 2011
Littleton, Colorado
My chickens are only 8 weeks old and have a PVC nipple waterer in their run. We just added sand to the run floor and now the waterer is too low to the ground for them to use. I would like to raise it up to the hight they will need when they are full grown, I figure they can just use their chick waterer until they grow into it. How high off the ground should it be? I have barred rocks and jersey giants. I'm sure it should be best to wait till they are full grown but I'm being impatient and would like to move it now! Thanks!
I am a first-year chicken person, so take this with a grain of salt. I hung my bucket nipple waterer to what I estimated to be their adult size, and put 2 4x4 posts under the water so they could hop up and get a drink. Now that they are bigger, I took the 4x4's out, but I am now thinking that I estimated too low, and will need to move the waterer up when they get bigger. My understanding is that the nipples should be at their shoulder level.

We are using sand in their run and in the roost box. I am loving that. It is easy to clean, and the chickens seem to like it. What do you think of it so far?
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I just recently installed my bottle nipple water device in my coop.

The nipple is 16" high, measured from the tip of the nipple to the floor.

My hens are using it, but I it seems that they don't get enough water out of it. However, I am sure that they will learn.

Check out the last picture of my coop design for the inexpensive watering, nipple, system installed. I used a old lemon juice bottle.
It's supposed to be high enough so they can reach up to it.

You can either place it at full grown height, and place steps right up to it for short hens, or have the unit adjustable.

Mine are adjustable in the coop/run. I have one vertical PVC nipple that is secured with a bracket that I can adjust accordingly. I also have a 5 gal bucket nipple that I have hanging on a chain, which is also adjustable depending on where I place the S hook. I also have one hanging by clothesline with special knots to make adjustments easy.
I love mine. I start them out as chicks and let them grow into them. Here's some of mine. I vary the height of some of mine using cement blocks.




I'm at 20" right now with a 20-week-old LF mixed flock (no giants). My cockerel has asked me to raise it a bit so that's on the to-do list for today. I think positioning the nipples too low is a very common mistake. The birds should be able to stand underneath and then reach up a bit to drink. With only one waterer, you hang it for the tallest ones and put in a booster for the shorter ones. I've used wood scraps and bricks of various sizes. Whatever works.

Can you rig your PVC line with a flexible hose connection so you can adjust the height on the wall just by moving the mounts? That might be easier than guessing at how tall your tallest birds will be when full-grown.

ETA: Oh, and I'm using a hanging bucket. It really is helpful when you have growing birds to be able to easily adjust the height.
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My waterer is attached to the outside of the hardwire cloth and then feeds through a hole cut through the wire which is why I'm hoping to do it just once more. I guess my safest bet is to wait until they're full grown. Thanks all!

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