I’m talking about my watering system, not mammalian nipples, which, clearly, my chickens ain’t got.
When I first started keeping chickens, I used a standard chicken waterer (the kind that you fill from the top and the chickens drink from the bottom). That was okay, but it would often get knocked over and it was always full of whatever the chickens scratched into it. Keeping it filled with fresh water was more of a chore than I wanted it to be.
Eventually, I moved to a self-filling bucket. I attached it to my garden hose and it had a ball valve system which kept it filled with fresh water at all times. I thought it was the solution to all of my problems, but I didn’t foresee the biggest problem of all. The chickens loved to perch on it and poop directly into their water. I tried blocking access by putting up rebar around the mouth of the waterer, but somehow they always managed to poop in it. I’d have to scoop the water out every couple of days with my hand. If I didn’t use a glove, my had would smell bad for a whole day. Disgusting.
So, against the suggestions of people I know, I tried chicken nipples. They are fantastic! Chicken Watering Nipples are little plastic bits with a silver, moveable plug. The chickens (attracted to shiny things) peck on the silver plug which releases a drop of water. It is impossible to fowl the water and it doesn’t make a mess. I have mine connected to a large bucket, so as long as there is water in the bucket, the chickens can take care of their own watering needs.
What kinds of interesting gadgets have you tried on your farm or homestead that you think are magnificant? Please share!