Brooder Watering System
We all know what a
mess that baby chicks can make with the conventional watering bottles. They scratch the hay or straw or whatever
into the cup, poo in it, and some even drown in it if not fixed correctly.
Well, you don’t
have to put up with the mess or the wasted water anymore! This little wonder will water your chicks without barely
a mess at all.
This is what you
are about to create. The exact measurements are up to you except where noted. For up to 20 chicks a 50mm PVC pipe
is fine. For 25 or more you will need at least three of these or better yet; two 100mm PVC pipes with two nipples
in each one.
What You Will Need
50mm PVC pipe
(shown) or 100mm PVC pipe
Two end caps to
Piece of 25mm Grey
A drill and 9mm
Screw in Water Nipple/s
Cuppa or suitable drink
Whichever size PVC
pipe you select, cut to a length which will hold enough water for about 3 days. Consider normal temperatures in
Winter and Summer. In hotter climates you want the water to be used before mould starts to develop. Colder weather
will allow a bit more water before this happens. My tubes are all approx 450mm long and 50mm. My brooders are all
inside, protected from hot or cold.
You should have two
end caps of which one will be for the top. Take the other cap and drill a 9mm hole through the centre. Place a
scrap bit of wood under the cap to prevent any accidents to the table. Be sure to clean away any waste material so
it won’t get stuck in the nipple later on.
If you have decided
to use the 100 mm PVC, remember to drill two holes for two nipples! Keep them at least 55 – 60mm
Next, with your tap, tap the hole you just
drilled to make the screw threads for the nipple to screw into. If you do not have a tap, or want to buy one,
your local auto repairer will probably do the job for you if you ask real nice. The tap will easily turn by hand
so wind it in about ¾ the way up the thread and take it back out. The bottom cap is almost
nipples are made up of three pieces. The outside body and two stainless steel pins. The thinner pin is the trigger
the bird pecks at to get a drink. The thicker piece acts as a plug that keeps water from entering the nipple until
pushed up by the trigger pin. Without something to stop the plug at a safe distance above the body, it will fall
out and water will flow freely through the nipple. When mounted in a 25mm pipe, such as the grey electrical
conduit, it works perfectly as the inside diameter of the pipe stops the plug from rising too far. Since we are
using 50mm or 100mm PVC we need to fix the nipple in to stop the pins from falling out.
Note - If using
Go Anywhere nipples, this next step is not needed as the nipple stays together!!
a drop saw or hacksaw, cut away a piece of the 25mm pipe as shown below for each nipple. This piece should be
about 30 – 40mm long, no more in a 50mm pipe. In the 100mm make sure it covers both holes but does not impede
the PVC pipe inside the cap.
PVC Cement this 25mm piece to the inside of the bottom
cap, centred over the hole. Allow to dry before handling again.
When glue is
dry, screw in the nipple, making sure all parts are intact. It will screw in most of the way by hand. Hold the cap
so nipple is vertical with trigger down until nipple is screwed in all the way. The last few turns can be managed
with a spanner. Don’t over do it and strip the threads!
cap can now be placed on the 50mm or 100mm body. Place some PVC glue along the inside edge of the cap without
getting any into the nipple, and push onto pipe.
The other cap can be placed
on the top. Remember that it is there just to keep dust out. Don’t put it on hard or you’ll struggle to get it off
when you want to fill with water.
If you wanted
to get a bit fancy, the caps left are the ones I use. More expensive but I have gotten a top cap stuck on more than
That's it!! Now
just place the pipe in brooder and show chicks the nipple by wiggling it with your finger and they will catch on
By the way - to
hang the pipe on the side of the brooder, here is a quick and easy holder.
The pipe slides
throught the hole you cut out and rests on the inside wall of the brooder. The angle of the two pieces of wood
screwed together hold the pipe in place. You may have to adjust this but basically, here it is.