What type of waterererererer...waterers?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by The Lazy L, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2011
    As a Newbie I've tried to read all the post I could find on waters and I'm more confused then normal.

    Appears there a 3 basic types.

    What Grandma used .

    The nipple .

    The water cups .

    Northern Indiana winter temperatures usually in the 20 degrees (Fahrenheit). Low temperatures of the teens or single digits sometimes. So the water will have to heated.

    Probably because of nostalgia I'm leaning toward what Grandma used. Take a clean refilled water out in the morning and swap it out. Use either a store bought water heater (thermostat controlled) or home built (I can controlled the heat thru a X10 device ).

    The water cup method looks like the "guts" are outside of the bucket/pipe and the water would have to be heated hotter to prevent freezing.

    But the nipples system I could install on the bottom of a suspended bucket with either an aquarium or bucket heater. Have a second bucket with a second heater cleaned and filled, swap it for the one in the the coop. A bit more work unplugging the heater but doable. Doesn't use any floor space, cleaner with less wet bedding.

    I leaning toward Grandma's method. If it was good enough for her it's good enough for me! But then there's the thought if you're doing it the same way as they did 20 twenty years ago chances are you're doing it wrong (fast pace of modern technology).

    Am I missing any pros or cons?

    Suggestions for a first time Chicken Rancher (in regard to waterers)?

    What's your experience?
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
  2. blueberrychickens

    blueberrychickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2010
    Hudson, MA
    I use a 1 gal waterer on a cookie tin heater to keep it from freezing in the cold months. I bring them fresh water every other day when the hose is frozen. I say if it worked for grandma, then it would work for you too! Don't over think the simple things!
    Oh & [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011

    MR.PEEPS Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 25, 2011
    I use the nipples and I sell them I haven’t had any problems with the nipples freezing yet. Mine are on the bottom of a 5gal bucket inside my coop my coop is note heated. You can put sum kind of heater in the water like an aquarium tank heater or one from the farm store they are more pricey and use more power. If you decide you what to try the nipple let me know k.
  4. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    Ok, here's my observations. This applies to my chickens, YMMV. I just started 14 weeks ago, so I'm no old-timer by any stretch of the imagination but I try to observe my chickens and learn. We don't have the extreme frost you have but it has gone below freezing on a couple of occasions over the past month.

    I have 14 14 week old chicks. I have all three of the systems above, because I couldn't decide. First I had only the nipples, inside the coop the 1/2 gal container they were screwed in froze solid at about 20 degree nights and 28 degree days.

    Then I put a de-icer (TSC - the one that is safe for plastic) in a 5 gal bucket outside and ran a hose to a piece of PVC pipe and screwed in the cups into that. Stupid me didn't insolate the hose or the pipe so that froze. I am going to run some heat tape from the pvc pipe up the hose to remedie that problem.

    But I couldn't solve the problem immediately and I work all day so I can't swap out water either multiple times a day, so I went and bought a heated base and a galvanized 2 gallon waterer at TSC. This I put inside the coop and has stayed thawed.

    Now here's were my observation comes in. Since they have the 2 gal. waterer they drink a lot more water. From the three systems, I think my chickens drink the most from the traditional setup, then from the cups and then from the nipples. They were used to nipples from 1 wk old, so it's not that they don't know how they work. Consumption of water rose by about 30-50% so I will not offer nipples as sole source of water again. I am convinced that for my chickens they don't like them. I didn't have the cup system unfrozen for long enough to really compare and they have always had another source of water besides it so it is hard to say whether they drink more or less from it. Time will tell I guess.

    Point with the heated waterer is that you need to set it higher up on a cement block to prevent bedding and other muck from getting in it. My chicks are pretty rowdy but haven't tipped it over or soiled it in any way. I think experience taught me to go the old fashioned route. CHickens are old fashioned creatures (at least mine are). My only regret is that I can't put ACV in the galvanized waterer. They'll have to go without for the winter. Anybody tried putting a plastic waterer on top of a heated base?
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    There are multitude of water systems described and photographs shown here on TBN.

    One not yet mentioned is the the simple heated dog dish. Some folks pour water into the dog dish, while others, like myself, prefer to set a re-cycled ice cream gallon pail into the dog dish. I've a half dozen of these little plastic pails, so it is easy just to swap them out, especially during zero weather.
  6. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    I'm a big fan of the waterer cups. Any watering device in the winter is going to take some real heating options. I like the de-icer bucket waterer in WA because the winters never get too cold 15 degrees or so. In places that get seriously cold winters, I would recommend a bucket heater that keeps the water nice and warm. The way the cups work is to let out water when chickens drink and not keep much in the cup when they are not so using a heated bucket keeps the water warm enough that it does not freeze when used with the cups attached directly to the bucket. If you have a bucket with a line to the cups, you will want to move it into a heated coop or use another winter method because the line will freeze.
  7. Miz Mary

    Miz Mary Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2008
    Pacific NW
    I agree .... my chickens prefer the old fashioned waterers rather than the nipples .....they drink more also !!! Looking for a resource to get a few more that wont break the bank !!
  8. jmagill

    jmagill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2009
    Western Wyoming
    I use the bucket and nipple method with an aquarium heater. I only need to clean it once every couple of weeks in the winter. It is the simplest option for me. I use a 2.5 gallon bucket with a lid for 12 chickens and fill it up every two to three days. I know they have clean unfrozen water at all times and do not have to worry if I get home late or sleep in.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
  9. clairabean

    clairabean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    We like 'what grandma used' but in plastic. We get months and months of freezing weather and a month of way freezing, so we use a heated 'grandma' waterereer.

    ETA: why I prefer it. I like the simplicity of being able to take it all apart and hose it down in the yard. No small parts. Easy breezy.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
  10. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

    I use these:
    The plastic/rubber tubs that are really easy to get ice out of.

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