Waterers- cups or nipples?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by theabee, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. Cup

    9 vote(s)
    60.0%
  2. Nipple

    6 vote(s)
    40.0%
  1. theabee

    theabee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 18, 2013
    Which do you prefer- cups or nipples?
    I don't even have chickens but I'm planning on getting some in the spring.

    I've been researching feed and watering systems.

    Cups seem okay, but it seems like dirt still gathers in the cup and you have to rinse them out... also, people have trouble teaching chickens to use them?
    [​IMG]



    Nipples seem better to me... people seem to say they are preferable to chickens and that chickens take to them pretty quickly. I guess they prefer stretching their necks to drink? Some people say they leak. What brands have you tried that don't leak?
    [​IMG]

    Also, how to you heat your cup/nipple watering system? I was thinking of rain gutter cable-
    [​IMG]
    or a submersible aquarium heater-
    [​IMG]

    Thanks!
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    I use both the nipples pictured, and the water cups pictured for my chickens. Both have their drawbacks, and their advantages:

    Water Cups

    Pros: Chickens (even my tiny bantams) quickly learn how to use them. They seem to enjoy using the water cups; some are more harsh on the cups than others when drinking from them (my roosters yank at the yellow plunger, while the hens daintily sip). Easy to clean, sturdy, don't drip.

    Cons: If they get dirty, they overflow and cause all of the water to leak out. To solve this problem, I usually use my fingers to "plunge" each cup; that helps dislodge dirt in the plunger mechanism. They seem more prone to overflowing when they're filled up high.

    Nipples

    Pros: Chickens learn how to use them relatively fast, though not as fast as with the water cups. I've never had an incidence of the nipples leaking. Don't seem to get dirty, and are very durable.

    Cons: Chickens don't seem to like using them much. They drink enough to live, but not as much as they want, or so it seems. In the summer in particular, if I offer them water in a dish, they gulp it down as though they are dying of thirst--I suspect that they don't really drink enough with just the nipples. Also, you have to watch the level of the water in the waterer carefully--if it gets lower than the tops of the base of the nipples (the part that is normally submerged in water), then the birds can't drink.

    Although the leaking is annoying, I prefer the water cups. I've only used them one year, though, so I don't know how they'll fare when it gets freezing outside. I think that any type of heater that could prevent the water from freezing would work, but I guess I'll have to see.
     
    2 people like this.
  3. theabee

    theabee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 18, 2013
    Thanks! How often do you have to clean the cups? Maybe I will get one or two of each.
     
  4. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    I also use the water cups pictured. Every day or so, I just wipe out the cup with my finger or with a paper towel. They don't get as dirty as normal waterers, so daily cleaning isn't quite as neccesary (at least for me--your birds might get the cups dirtier). Its still a good idea, though, to clean the cups every day, as the chickens often coat the cups with a thin layer of fine dust and kick in some wood shavings. Overall, I find the cups very easy to clean and use. I'd definitely recommend them!
     
  5. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    I clean out the entire watering system about once every 2-3 months. I don't really clean the drinking cups that thoroughly; I just use my finger each morning to wipe out any shavings/dirt that have collected in the cup. If the cup gets a growth of algae on it, or is really dirty, I use a paper towel to wipe it out and scrub the inside. But I don't usually have much of a problem with algae growth or any other mold buildup, as I put a mild disinfectant known as Oxine in the water at a rate of 1/8 teaspoon/gallon of water. That dosage won't harm the chickens, and it keep things much cleaner.
     
  6. LoneOak

    LoneOak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2013
    West of Atlanta
    I use both the cups and nipples you pictured and the horizontal nipples as well. There are different situations where each has its best features. Before I discovered the nipples and cups and before I greatly expanded my chicken operation I used the Little Giant Auto Water Founts on a gravity feed system for about 10 years, when my bowls started cracking and wearing out I began searching for something new and discovered all this new stuff that I didn't know existed before.

    I use the cups inside because they don't leave a wet spot under them in the bedding. I keep an eye on them daily and if they have junk in them I just use my finger to run a little extra water in they and wipe em out. Most of my mounts aren't real tight either so I can just twist them a quarter turn or so to flush out the gunk without having to take them off. I found that by raising them almost head high that the birds don't kick nearly as much stuff in them.

    I use the nipples like you pictured in outside locations where it doesn't matter if they leave a wet spot underneath or not. I have several small pens that I move around and change up on occasion and the little red nipples work good for temporary set ups that I might want to change at a later date. They work good to try new designs and configurations of waterers. Can we say I tinker a lot.

    When I put together a permanent outside water system these days I have gone to the spring loaded horizontal nipples that I bought from Rich386 here in this forum. I believe he is selling mostly on Ebay these days. These things are really durable and work great and so far with about 6 months of use have been flawless. They don't break and they don't stop up and the birds have no problems with them at all. I just set up my brooder pen last week with a two nipple system using these nipples and the week old birds I've got in there have already started getting curious about them. I expect they will be using them just as soon as they get big enough to move the spring loaded nipples. These nipples don't drip nearly as bad as the standard red ones either so I think they would be ok to use inside and not worry about wet spots underneath.

    Finally I want to say that I have no problem what so ever getting any of my birds to use any of these waterers. I have a real hard time understanding all the folks that say their birds won't drink out of the cups or they won't use the nipples. The first time I showed some of my birds how to use the red nipples I took out the old waterers and we haven't gone back at all. I can move my birds around to different pens or cages with different systems in them and just about the first thing they do is find the water and check out the nipples or cups to make sure they have some fresh water in them. All these items work for me the way they are advertised to work and I have no problems with them at all. I'm thinking seriously about starting a topic asking why so many people have problems getting their birds to use cups and nipples and what we can do to train the people as much as we train the birds.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. theabee

    theabee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 18, 2013
    Okay, thanks! So, cups inside coop, nipples outside? That kinda makes sense. Maybe I'll do that. How high do you mount each? The nipples would be higher, right?
    Do have pictures of your cup setup? I haven' looked into them as much as nipples. But now I think they'd be good for inside the coop...

    Oh, and make sure to vote at the top of the page!

    Thanks again!
     
  8. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, I use cups inside the coop. Nipples, I've heard, do best outside the coop, as there is always the chance that they might leak. I have bantams, and I mount the cups about seven inches off the ground. For large fowl, you'd want to mount them higher (maybe around 12 inches or so). Nipples should be mounted at a height that the birds can reach by stretching their necks.
     
  9. LoneOak

    LoneOak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    West of Atlanta
    How about these pics

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    I had to raise some of these when the birds grew up to keep them from kicking junk in them.
     
  10. Bama Rambler

    Bama Rambler New Egg

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    Oct 17, 2013
    I have used both the nipples and the cups and right now I have changed everything out to the cups. The ladies love them and had no problem learning to use them. I like them because I can go down the row and fill them up with my finger and it's like a treat for the ladies. I've never had a problem with them leaking. (Yeah, I probably just jinxed myself)!

    They're about 8" off the ground and I've never had a problem with them getting dirty. (maybe we have really clean girls) [​IMG]

    I have a piece of 1/2" tubing ran from the PVC pipe to an ice chest that is filled with water. It keeps the water ool in the summer and keeps it from freezing in the winter. The tubing will freeze but we don't have enough cold here to worry about it as it thaws out in an hour or so.
     

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