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Water nipples or cups? And question about in coop watering systems...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by beautifulpirate, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. beautifulpirate

    beautifulpirate Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What would you suggest? And why?

    Also, are in coop watering systems a yay or nay? I realize moisture around chickens in the coop in the winter is bad. But I fear they won't want to leave the coop on very cold or snowy days in the winter. I would want to provide them with a water source then. I know I would have to have a way to heat it as well or at least keep it in constant motion. Of course, first time chicken mama here so not entirely sure about their behavior. We are in Oklahoma so you never know whether we will have good or rough winters. We've had blizzards with 2-3 foot deep snow banks and -30° temps (within 24 hours it was in the 70s that particular time) and we've had mild winters that never drop below 25° and barely a dusting of snow. It should be noted, we are more prone to wicked ice storms than snow. I know I have a long time before I have to worry about this but I want to be prepared in case of the worst.

    Pictures and descriptions of your setup would be great if you have an in coop waterer. Or if you are strongly against it, please explain to me so I can understand why I shouldn't chance it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
  2. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am a total newbie but decided to go with the watering cups. I didn't want to hang a bucket inside my coop to put nipples on the bottom. I had several plastic 5 gallon water jugs and the cups were available at my local TSC. I literally drilled two holes, screwed them in, and filed the jug with water. No leaks so far and the chicks picked it up real quick. I filled them with water the first time and as they drink it down to empty they hit the spout trying to reach the bottom of the cup which adds more water. They have emptied it once and none are dead so I assume at this point they all know how to drink out of it. It's been well over a week, I can't comment on any other waters.

    The only thing I noticed about the cups is that when people complain about them leaking it seems to be due to the size of the container used. I have seen people try to install them on a 1/2 inch PVC pipe. Since it takes a 3/8 inch hole for the waterers to screw into I would think I would take a decent size container (unless you use something square). The larger the container the flatter the surface will be that the cup screws into.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  3. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in Montana and keep both food and water outside of the coop year round. The run is covered. I also put clear shower curtains around the sides so snow does not drift in and there is no wind in the run. The girls are only in the coop for sleeping. Otherwise they are in their run. As long as you keep a breeze off the birds they do fine in the cold.

    For water I use a rectangular tote I bought at Walmart. It holds about 10 or 15 gallons of water. The tote is semi transparent so it's easy to see when it needs filled. The lid keeps the dirt out. It just gets filled with a 5 gallon bucket. I use horizontal nipples with the tote and in winter there is a stock tank heater inside it that is okay to use in plastic to keep it all from freezing. It got down to -12 this winter and it didn't freeze. For food I use a large galvanized chicken feeder. However I have been researching feeders where the chickens peck at a bar and food falls from the feeder. I might try that out this year. A garbage can could hold 100 pounds of feed which would mean only having to refill it about once a month.

    For summer I won't be able to use the water tote I use in winter as it would grow too much algae. I think I'll get a tote you can't see through for summer and still use the horizontal nipples. I'm home all summer so can check up on the water level all the time. In winter the house sitter takes care of the girls while we're in Arizona. I try to make things easy for him. Love those horizontal nipples, by the way. Much better than anything else I've used.
     
  4. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe I should add that the shower curtains are removed when the weather gets warmer. Only use them for winter. Also the run is not completely enclosed as I leave some area away from the wind open so that moisture doesn't build up in the run.
     
  5. bigt447

    bigt447 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have both that are equally used....a bucket with 4 nipples underneath (hanging near door inside a large pen) & 3 cups attached to pipe (inside pen fed by bucket outside pen.)
     
  6. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    You are going to need a heater in your area in extreme weather, moving water only slightly lowers the freezing point and might help in mild winters but won't work as the temps continue to drop to extremes... Also you have to factor in the water on the outside of the container or in the nipple itself that is no longer moving and thus will freeze...

    I have found nothing better then the horizontal nipples and you will have to heat the water container somehow and possibly break some ice off the outside of the nipples in extreme weather, if the chickens don't do it first...
     
  7. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used vertical nipples for the summer. However, after reading a lot I realized that those vertical nipples are prone to freezing in cold weather. That's why I switched to horizontal nipples. What is also nice about horizontal nipples is that when using a bucket you don't have to worry about damaging the nipples if you set the bucket on the ground to fill. I have never used the cups yet. Guess I'm just so pleased with the horizontal nipples that I can't see using cups.
     
  8. potato chip

    potato chip lunch-sharer Premium Member

    No freezing here so nothing to contribute about what's best in your climate, but I went for cups because I can see that the water is sitting there for them to drink. I don't really trust nipples, what if they were clogged up somehow, or somebody wasn't working them properly???? (yes, I'm a worrier, but I live in a hot climate and am paranoid about access to water)

    I also have a huge pot that I keep filled up with water.
     
  9. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    I choose the nipples because I don't want water sitting around, collecting dust, dirt while slimming and muddying up that was what I was getting away from with other standing water options and switching to nipples... Plus they won't work in the winter for me as they would be frozen blocks...

    I have 10 nipples on my waterer, the chance of all 10 failing at one time is statistically non-existent, and part of my daily routine it to verify they are flowing with a simple tap not much different then you looking to see if water is standing in your cups...

    [​IMG]
     
  10. potato chip

    potato chip lunch-sharer Premium Member

    I know it's not rational. Part of my mistrust is that I bought a bunny bottle and it had a spring in the outlet and my little bunnies couldn't work the spring.... I know the mechanisms work, I know they'll probably be working fine, and I know that if you have multiple, the failure of any one is not a problem. Nonetheless, I like to see a container, with water in it. As I said, I'm "funny" about water, given our awful hot climate. I've got bowls and tubs all over the place....
     

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