Nipple waterers

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by grullablue, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. grullablue

    grullablue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I just ordered a package of nipples. This is all new to me, I've always used a regular chicken waterer....until I get tired of cleaning that out, then I just go with the pail, which can be dumped and refilled much more easily. I'm quite intrigued by the nipple waterers I've seen....and since the nipples were pretty cheap, I decided to order some.

    My thoughts are to use a 5 gallon pail. To anyone who has made/used this type of waterer, does a lid need to have holes in it for air, or does the water do just fine without? Any tips? Since I'm getting some chicks to raise, should I start them off with these right away so they get used to it? I'm reading that chicks/chickens take to them quite easily.... but they're such curious critters and always have to be checking things out, so I imagine the nipples DO take no time at all.

    Thanks!
    Angie
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You don't need holes in the bucket but you do need to look at possible leaking issues before you finish the setup. I put plumbers tape on the threads and start with a smaller hole and go bigger if need be. The only spot I have had leak was right at the threads hence the plumbers tape to prevent it. They give you 2 sizes for the drill bit needed to put the holes in the bucket, more often then not it needs the larger size but every now and then if used in something thin enough the smaller size will do. Don't hook it up to a hose directly (for auto filling systems) because the pressure will make it leak. When you have it all set up and filled just tap the nipples and let the water fall a few times, that's all it takes to get them into using it. Day old chicks can figure it out and use it well as soon as they are shown that water comes out of it. This will be the best change for clean water systems you will make, it makes things so much easier.
     
  3. FossilPeak

    FossilPeak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ordered some as well...I've got a three compartment brooder that I was considering running the water all the way through the different compartments on one piece of PVC and hooking it up to a large reservoir so that it did not need to be filled as frequently. Is height a factor? If the little ones can reach it, can the 4 week old chicks reach it too?
     
  4. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You do need to have a small hole or don't snap the lid on tightly all the way around, it will form a vacuum and will not let the water come out.You can put one in the cap of a soda bottle for the chicks to use, they might need a little encouragement to use them just make sure they are getting the water they need, onceone figures it out they all will catch on.
     
  5. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, height can be a factor. You have a few options here, you can put in a piece of flex line attached to the pvc so you can raise the entire system as needed, set up the entire system with flex line (yes, it works just be careful drilling the hole) so it is completely movable, or do what I did (lazy way) and set it for the height of a full grown bird and place a few scrap pieces of wood under it for them to stand on until they are big enough to reach it on their own. You also want your water supply higher then the nipples (just an inch will do) because it is a gravity fed system.
     
  6. grullablue

    grullablue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 27, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Thanks for the replies!

    I'd read as long as they're "head high" they're good.

    I don't want to run a hose to it (we have air problems in our well if the hose is left on (with a hose sprayer with shut-off), so my plan is to just use a 5 gallon bucket and refill it. Or perhaps two buckets. How many nipples could a 5 gallon comfortably hold? Can ducks use these also?

    Angie
     
  7. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    4 is the most I would put on one, anymore would be too crowded. You don't need many as they tend to take turns. I am not sure about ducks, I can look up reviews if you would like. In my opinion it would be worth a try to see if they will.
     
  8. jmoss

    jmoss New Egg

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    Jan 9, 2014
    How many birds per nipple?
     
  9. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My package of nipples I think said 2-3 birds per nipple. But everywhere else I've read (mostly here in BYC) has said up to 15-30 birds per nipple. Both ends seemed extreme, either too many or too few nipples per bird. We have a 3 gallon bucket with 2 nipples in it for 12 birds, which seems fine. We have a second bucket we use in the summer, so there's even more nipples, but it's not so much for the birds but for me so I don't have to refill the buckets so often.
     

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