Winterizing an Automatic waterer and design questions


In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 3, 2011
I already have a pressure regulator to use with the watering nipples, but i wonder if one is enough since the nipples require only 1 PSI and i need about 32 or so feet of pipeing which will include a 6-7 ft vertical rise. I'm thinking about building the waterer for the chickens with 6 nipples and kind of zig zagging the pipe so that i can have 2 nipples at a low height for bantams, 2 nipples at a normal height for large fowl chickens and ducks, and 2 nipples higher for the turkeys. I would mount this to the back of my rabbit shed which is part of the chicken yard and then run the pipe inside the shed, up the wall about 6 or so feet and then across the shed 20ft. I would then attach small water lines to the pipe over head and run them down to about 21 watering nipples that would be mounted to all of the rabbit cages. Does this sound like it would work well? Is one pressure regulator enough for that many nipples and length of pipeing?

I don't have actual water lines going out to that part of my property yet so i use about 200 feet of hose connected to my house to fill up their water dishes and the rabbit water bottles. How could i stop the hoses and waterers from freezing without costing an arm and a leg? i've seen 200ft heated hoses but they are over $200.

Any insight or advice will be greatly appreciated. I'm very tired of filling up water bottles every morning before work haha.

I have a 50 gallon barrel for my watering system. It is elevated above all the runs. I have three different coops and I used PVC pipe to connect all three. I got tired of watering 8 Turkey in one run meaties in the next and layers in the third. nipples thread right into PVC pipe. The height does not matter, my Turkey have one that was low enough for them at one month and the pipe slipped off its mount and hangs low. All they do is get down and drink from a crouch. as far as winter I Have a water tub heater that can handle 100 gals of water. I will leave the last nipple in the line loose so water drips out. This should prevent line freeze. Auto watering is the best. I plan to put up a gutter and down spout going to the barrel to collect water as well.
so the water will flow down that pipe and back up the vertical section without added pressure from a pump?
One thing I'd add.... You shouldn't fill you barrel with water more than 27 inches from the bottom. At that point the water pressure created will go above 1 PSI which is the recommended limit of the valves. Still 27 column inches of water is plenty of water. Hope that helps.
Can medicators be added onto a system like yours? So if i wanted to worm them i could just dump in the wazine and it would automatically dilute the wazine to the appropriate dilution rate? How would that work? would the system have to be flushed after adding medication/dewormer so the medicated water is at the nipples?
Commercial operations routinely vaccinate/medicate birds via the watering system and these commercial systems rely on poultry nipples. I am not knowledgable about Wazine but I suspect it won't be an issue at all.

Many folks want to add apple cider vinegar to the chickens water to prevent worms. These acid will corrodes the metal parts of the valve over time. Frankly, I don't really see this as a big deal for backyard flock owners who use the BriteTap chicken waterer. If a valve does corrode out, they are easy and cheap to replace - just screw the old poultry nipple out and put in a new one. I sell replacement poultry nipples and gaskets at my web site. You can replace both valves for $4. Here's the link to all the replacement parts:

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