So confused about waterers... in coop? outside coop? Horizontal Nipples, cups?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Des R, May 20, 2016.

  1. Des R

    Des R Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2016
    Maryland / Delaware
    I currently have 12 chicks in a brooder. I had the typical waterer but they were fouling it up faster than I could keep it clean. I purchased 4 vertical poultry nipples and a bucket and made a hanging waterer. The pine shavings under the bucket are also soaking wet, I'm changing them twice a day now to keep it dry. I've watched the bucket and they are not leaking, it's simply the chicks making the mess when they peck at the nipples. So now I've been trying to research if this problem will be resolved with a different poultry nipple. I'm not sure how the horizontal ones would be any different if the water leaks when peck at? I read mixed reviews about the cups refilling and it sounds like they are really meant to have a slight water pressure behind them to keep the cups filled, which I won't have. I also worry they'll just kick bedding or poop in the cups also?

    I've been reading thru tons of threads and I'm realizing that people seem to keep their waterers outside the coop and that hadn't even crossed my mind. Our girls will be closed into their coop at night, and let our into their run each morning.. so they would need access to water in the night... correct? Also, I live in Maryland where we do get snow and cold temps in the winter... so even if I could keep the waterer in the run, it would still need to be inside the coop in the winter, correct?

    I guess I'm trying to determine if worrying about wet bedding is even an issue? If it's out in the run then the vertical nipples I have now will be fine. If I have to put it inside the coop, then I have to figure out another solution.

    So confused... I'd appreciate your input!
    Last edited: May 20, 2016
  2. SteveMadonnaJ

    SteveMadonnaJ Out Of The Brooder

    May 1, 2016
    With that many chicks do you have more then 1 waterer? My chicks were fowling theirs up so I put an untreated piece of 2x4 under it to elevate it a little.
  3. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2015
    SW Ohio
    We keep the water in the run. The auto pop door shuts at dark and opens at dawn (time depends on the season). They don't need water at night.

    When mine were chicks and locked in the coop while the run was being built, the water was in the coop, we set it up on a square of bricks, it worked pretty well at keeping the shavings out.
  4. BrushyHillGuide

    BrushyHillGuide Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 17, 2015
    When we're raising chicks we always elevate the waterer to head height. When they first arrive we keep them in plastic totes and use a cheap 1qt waterer that sits on a piece of 2x6. When the can get on the edge, we switch to a cheap 1 gallon waterer sitting on 2 pieces of 2x6, laid flat. When they can tip that over, we switch to a 3 gallon plastic waterer that sits on 2-4 pieces 2x12. If it's at least half full, even a full grown bird won't tip it over. By keeping the tray high enough that they can just get to it, you don't get much bedding in the tray.

    I'm about to install a Chicken Fountain in our big coop. I think that adult birds will be less likely to make a mess than chicks. Lots of people rave about it (and other nipple waterers) and our plan is to install it in the coop. If it doesn't work out, and they make a big mess, we'll move it outside. There's a lot of places they can water on our 24 acres so I'd prefer to have the automatic system inside the coop - for days when weather our our plans keep them in the coop.

    I think elevating a regular, inexpensive, waterer might solve a lot of problems. Chicks, though, are sloppy by nature. I end up doing much more cleanup for them. Just part of it. Lol!

    Good luck!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. bigoledude

    bigoledude Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2011
    SE, Louisiana
    Chicks will find the water nipples fast and will use them. As for wet coop floors, I want to put, below the nipples, hardware cloth covered with a much smaller screen. The water that drips to the floor wound pass through the screen and the shavings wouldn't. The shavings above would have some air passing through to help it dry out.

    Our chickens, as they enter the coop for the night, eat and drink like crazy. I'll always provide food and water in and out of the coop.
  6. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use horizontal nipple waters. I keep them inside the coop. I placed a pizza pan under the water to capture all dribbles. My bedding remains dry. There are links in my signature, you may find them helpful.
  7. tinakevin

    tinakevin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 1, 2015
    New hampahire
    I use the vertical watered and I love it. I live in nh and of course the winters r very cold. I bought the electric heated de icer and put that in the water bucket and I didn't have any problems with freezing. I also keep it on the coop and it's been dry ever since nut u only have 6 hens so there is enough nipples for them. I did just get 18 more babies so I will have to wait to see how that goes. Maybe because they are babies they make more of a mess.
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Horizontal nipples do not leak as much as the verticals and they work better with heaters....there's some drips when they drink but not enough to soak bedding in coop.
  9. Des R

    Des R Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2016
    Maryland / Delaware
    I appreciate all the responses. For the meantime I moved the bedding and put a paver in their brooder under the bucket (they have a huge brooder area). Twice a day I just scoop up any bedding they kicked up there and got wet. The paver seems to dry very quickly, so I'm hoping it's ok. Then I'll order new horizontal nipples and a bucket and try this again. =)

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