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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by goofychickens, Aug 15, 2015.
Guys please vote in the poll this time
There's no comparison for clean water. A nipple system is best by far. Any open container will get dirty.
Chickens can't drink out of a nipple as easy, I have heard from a friend that lost a pullet to dehydration
I've not had any experience with a nipple system but I do know this whole germaphopic gotta have crystal clean water business is a bit overblown. I've watched my birds drink from a puddle of water in a hoofprint down at the barn many a time. Then head for the next pile of horse apples to kick apart looking for bugs n bits of grain.
Not cutting on what works best for you, just sharing my experience.
That is very true. I can have a clean fount with fresh water and they'll drink out of a puddle.
That said, consider a few things. Free range chickens will consume lots of bacterium, viruses, protozoa, worms and other pathogens even with clean water so they aren't being deprived of a healthy level of exposure.
A poultry nutritionist I spoke with acknowledged the same thing. He said, "Sure they'll drink dirty water, but given the choice, would you drink muddy water or clean water?"
Even old timer poultry husbandry men will disinfect their water founts at least weekly.
Founts left exposed to the sun will get algae growing in them. Blue-green algae can quickly prove fatal to poultry.
Moreover, a bulk water nipple system saves an incredible amount of time. With 8 flocks, a nipple system can save me 10 hours of work a week easily.
I agree that to someone with large flocks then a nipple system would be better. But for me even when I do 30 broilers it doesn't take much time to fill up 2 waterers from a 5gal. bucket.
This is what I use in the summer n then switch to a heated dog bowl in winter.
I agree free range chickens r going to be more hardy n what may be a drink to them would sicken confinement birds.
Based on trying several watering methods, I will not use anything but horizontal nipples any longer for my adults birds... Vertical nipples come in second but they tend to be leak prone, so I limit their use to brooders and small chicks because they are economical...
They work equally well with small flocks and can reduce maintenance and cleaning even with a few chickens... No need to get fancy with a regulated piped system, you can screw nipples into a bucket for a small flock...
My primary waterer is a poly 55 gallon drum, that I drilled an tapped holes in the side of to install horizontal nipples... I also installed a float valve inside the drum so I can attach a garden hose to fill it and not worry about overflow or I can even leave the hose attached and it's always topped off... Fresh clean water every day at every hour, and no mess to clean...
I don't know what u mean by "reduce maintenance n cleaning"
I take the pretzel jug off the glass base n fill it from the 5 gal.bucket of water I keep by the coop door.Once or twice a wk I take another full bucket out. If the jug gets to smelling 'skunky' I pour some fresh water in swish around n dump b4 I refill. Not a whole lot of time needed to water 24 free ranging birds.
In the winter I do the same thing with the heated dog bowl,it mite need to be dumped more often due to them kicking stuff around. Half a minute 2-3times a wk ain't a lot of time. Takes longer to walk 50yds to the barn to get their feed n feed them than to give em water. How do you keep the hose n barrel system from freezing during the winter?
That is still more than I do, I have no worries about 'skunky' water nor do I have any worries about them 'kicking stuff around' and getting it in the water requiring a cleaning... And I don't have to even check it every day as the 55 gallons will last 7-10 days on average without refilling... During the summer months I keep or can keep a hose hooked to the barrel and it self fills all summer all by itself... Basically all spring/summer/fall the only thing I do is hook up the hose and turn on the water once in the spring and that is all I do until the winter freeze... During the winter, I don't keep the supply hose hooked up due to potential to freeze, so about once a week I hook up a hose and fill the barrel...
I use vertical nipple waterers for the tiny chicks, and as soon as they are stronger they get switched to the horizontal nipples along with the adult chickens. Have had no dehydration issues, can fill the bucket from outside the run, and never have to worry about my 9 year old granddaughter being able to keep their water going and fresh when we leave town and she's in charge of the coop/run. Good enough for me!