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Nipple wateres vs. cups; My experience.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by FarmerJ0hn, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. FarmerJ0hn

    FarmerJ0hn Out Of The Brooder

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    I thought I would share my experience and why I ultimately am using cup waters. I originally bought nipple waters because they seemed to be the way to go as they are used quite extensively. The cup waters made more sense to me but they were more expensive and I saw more people using the nipples, both backyard flocks and commercial. However I have definitely changed my opinion.

    Nipples:

    I know many have no issue with the nipples, but I could not get them to stop leaking. I did not have them over pressurized, they were gravity fed (from not too high an elevation) I threaded them direct into PVC and initially had some of the threads leak, so I pulled them all and sealed with silicone. That sealed the threads but the nipple itself was also leaking. I made sure they were clean, still leaked, made sure they weren't at angles, still leaked. I'm confident the issue is that the pin does not come back to rest in the appropriate spot sometimes (big leak) and the sealing surface itself is not designed well enough (causing a small leak) that the weight of the pin can provide a seal. Also, once you put them in they are in, it's very hard to relocate move or service them. Also harder to teach the chickens to drink from them.

    Cups:

    I switched to the cup waters and found the design to be infinitely better. The sealing surface is actually an O ring that is around the yellow "lever", the yellow lever has a spring that keeps it extended out into the cup (pulling the O ring against the sealing surface, sealing the hole) this action insures no leakage. The Oring itself is a far better seating service than the nipples. The Oring is both larger, more malleable, and possibly held to the seating surface with the spring. The result is it takes larger particles to cause any leakage. This is VERY easy to service, worst case you have to replace the O ring. Even when the inside gets dirty you don't have to take it apart simply pushing the yellow lever in fully unseats the O ring and any dirt that was causing a drip gets flushed out. Even if you did have to take it apart it comes right out in 2 seconds top clean.

    Any action on the lever, up down left right or in, allows water to run and fill the cup. The chickens only need to see the water once and the rest is completely intuitive. Additionally, since you can (and probably should) supply them with water through flexible 1/4" tubing it is very easy to add or subtract cups or relocate them and work on them. Running the lines themselves is also far easier, no glue needed, no cutting really except 2 seconds with a pair of scissors or razor. You don't even have to measure really, just cut as you go.

    The one issue I have found is that gravity feeding them from only about a 2 foot height doesn't supply enough water pressure for my liking. IMO at that height (around 1psi) the cups fill too slowly. I would prefer that when the cup gets half empty and they hit the lever, it nearly fills back up again (at which point they wont hit it) as it stands now it has to get to only 1/2 to 1/4 full before they start activating the lever, and then it only gives them enough for a sip or two.


    Summary:

    Nipple pros:
    Cheap, (ideal if you need like 500 of them)

    Nipple cons:
    Leaky
    Harder to teach
    Harder to service/relocate/add or subtract.

    Cup pros:
    Don't leak
    Easy to teach
    Easy to service/relocate/add or subtract

    Cup cons:
    More expensive
    Requires considerable height for gravity feeding to fill, in my opinion, adequately.
    MAYBE dirtier, not in terms of poop, but it is a bowl so stuff can get in it like dust. Not really an issue when the entire thing is cycled each time they drink.



    I hope this helps those trying to decide between the two.
     
  2. FarmerJ0hn

    FarmerJ0hn Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 20, 2011
    Some photos for reference.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. MIKE555444

    MIKE555444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 8, 2009
    Pliny, West Virgina
    Thanks for sharing....!

    I may try the cups with the new building
     
  4. Neil Grassbaugh

    Neil Grassbaugh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 1, 2008
    I am sure that you would have had a better experience with nipple drinkers made in the USA or Europe. There have been many dissatisfied users of the very low price ones available on e BAy that are from China.

    The nipples you pictured are a product produced for the third world. There the price, and not the quality or performance, is the overriding factor. The leaking you have described would not EVER be tolerated in an industrial poulrty operation in the more progressive parts of the world.

    BTW. The use of cups for chickens in cages or housed on the floor is also pretty much restricted to the third world as well.
     
  5. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    My Coop
    Quote:We switched our birds over to nipples (in a 2-gallon bucket) about two months ago. They're doing find with them, but we were only ever filling the bucket about 1/3 to 1/2 because they didn't drink that much and we weren't pitching a gallon of water when we changed the water each day.

    Now that they're drinking more, we started filling the bucket more...and it's leaking! If we fill the bucket more than halfway, every single nipple leaks. We twisted, cleaned, poked, prodded, all of it to no avail. It's not the seal where they are screwed in, either, but the darned nipple itself. Sooo mad (a 2-gallon bucket we can only use 1-gallon of - what a waste).

    So we're planning on getting new nipples. Where do you suggest finding the ones of decent quality that you mentioned? We keep water in the coop and plan to continue to do so (in case weather ever makes it a necessity they stay in) and just cannot afford to have it leaking like a sieve (especially with winter approaching). Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  6. MIKE555444

    MIKE555444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 8, 2009
    Pliny, West Virgina
    Quote:We switched our birds over to nipples (in a 2-gallon bucket) about two months ago. They're doing find with them, but we were only ever filling the bucket about 1/3 to 1/2 because they didn't drink that much and we weren't pitching a gallon of water when we changed the water each day.

    Now that they're drinking more, we started filling the bucket more...and it's leaking! If we fill the bucket more than halfway, every single nipple leaks. We twisted, cleaned, poked, prodded, all of it to no avail. It's not the seal where they are screwed in, either, but the darned nipple itself. Sooo mad (a 2-gallon bucket we can only use 1-gallon of - what a waste).

    So we're planning on getting new nipples. Where do you suggest finding the ones of decent quality that you mentioned? We keep water in the coop and plan to continue to do so (in case weather ever makes it a necessity they stay in) and just cannot afford to have it leaking like a sieve (especially with winter approaching). Thanks!

    I wonder... since the added water increases your water pressure... would lowering your bucket allow you to add more water without adding more pressure?
     
  7. clanreed

    clanreed Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:FarmerJohn

    The cups also made more sense to me, but I have been struggling for a few weeks to get my system leak free. Can you explain a little more about how your cups are set up? Mine is a pressurized system, but I have a pressure reducing valve that is adjustable between 0 and 10 psi. Mine is leaking at any pressure setting. I currently have them screwed directly into a 1/2 pvc(leaked), then I used pvc cement(some leaked), used epoxy on leaking cups(still leaking).

    Any suggestions you have would be great.

    Shannon
     
  8. kevs-chickadees

    kevs-chickadees Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm thinking of trying the cups. We have the nipples right now and they work perfectly, except for the small problem of the chickens don't want to use them. I've tried everything sooooo to cups I guess it will be.
     
  9. FarmerJ0hn

    FarmerJ0hn Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 20, 2011
    Quote:Sounds like it's leaking from your thread attachment. Unfortunately no matter what anyone says the idea of threading these or nipples directly into PVC holes is poor. Threads are meant to mate with threads, not make there own. I used silicone on the nipples which managed to seal the threads, you could try that. My suggestion however is to get the appropriate adapter, or at the very least tap the hole before threading them. I am using these brackets which adapt the threads to a 1/4 nipple Here and using 1/4" tubing off of it. They also make brackets that you can glue to pvc pipe, but I have not used those since it's so much easier to use tubing.

    Quote:That was always one concern I had with the nipples, unfortunately I still have this worry with the cups as they are fairly empty when they drink from them and hit the lever (not enough water pressure from my gravity feed.) But I can fix this.

    Quote:Do you have a link to the high quality ones? I would like to see pictures of the insides of them. Regardless though, a lot of the other pros still apply even if they did not leak at all.


    Quote:I don't see why.

    Quote:I think they have them screwed directly into the bucket, so that wont help.
     
  10. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    My Coop
    Quote:I think they have them screwed directly into the bucket, so that wont help.

    Yep, they are actually screwed directly into the bucket. We picked it up at a swap at a feed store already assembled for cheap...it's true that you get what you pay for, I guess. [​IMG] We just wanted to see if the chickens would take to it because this set up saves a ton of floor space in the coop. Just need to find out where to get well-made nipples...ours don't even come apparently to be able to access the bearing, so I'm guessing they're the cheap-is-free variety.
     

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