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How to Avoid Common Drinker Mistakes


  • Get the waterer height right for best growth, health, and egg production.
  • Avoid wet litter.
  • Don’t make it hard on chicks, pullets, and smaller adult birds in your flock.
      • Read the ‘Directions for Use’.
      • Don’t fill your waterer with water that is too warm. In cold weather, the drinking end of the nipple will be about 5-8 degrees F cooler than the water in the inner bucket, so filling with water at a maximum of 105 degrees F will deliver water that is no warmer than 100 degrees F, the maximum safe drinking water temperature.
      • Don’t set the waterer on the ground so that the nipple gets dirty or clogged. Use the cedar wood stand to conveniently set the waterer for inspection or fill instead of setting the nipple on the ground; a clogged nipple will have an impaired flow rate and deliver contaminated water.
      • Don’t fail to regularly wash the waterer and check that the nipple isn’t clogged. Also check that a bio-film isn’t forming. Use a hydrogen peroxide or chlorine bleach based disinfectant cleaner if a bio-film is suspected.  Be sure to flush the nipple assembly after disinfection; be sure to dry the aluminized Mylar and foam insulation inside the outer shield of the ‘hot nipple’ assembly with a clean wipe or towel. (Be careful not to squeeze the aluminized Mylar and insulation that surrounds the nipple; there are sharp wires under the insulation and aluminized Mylar.) 
      • Don’t fail to push the ‘hot nipple’ assembly as far as it will go into the inner bucket. If the nipple assembly isn’t fully inserted, then it will be prone to freezing in cold weather.
      • Don’t fail to regularly adjust the height of the waterer so that the actuating pin of the nipple is the proper distance above the ground. Adjust the nipple height so that it is just right for the smaller birders in your flock (so that the birds must extend their necks slightly and raise up their head and beak at an angle of about 45 to 55 degrees from the ground); expect the taller birds will generally be okay with the nipple at a height below optimum for them, but they may drip or spill more water onto the ground).  If the nipple is too high, some birds may be inadequately watered or forced to uncomfortably extend their necks to drink. See more details in the article on “Mounting and Selecting Height” on this site.
      • Don’t fail to check the litter under the nipple for spillage or dripping. Wet litter can be conducive to foot pad disease (FPD) and may lead to choking if ingested by chicks.
      • Be sure that the waterer is mounted so that the nipple is vertical or nearly so.