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Importance Of Drinking Water System To Chickens

Views: 0     Author: Phoenix      Publish Time: 2024-07-11      Origin: Phoenix

If broiler-breeder producers are not using separate drinkers and drinking lines for each gender, they run the risk of spilling more water and subjecting their birds to the health risks associated with wet floors and wet litter.

most broiler-breeder producers want four main things from their watering systems. Those are:

   Hygienic, pathogen-free water for both the male and female birds

   Adequate water ingestion to accompany the birds’ feed intake

   Dry environmental conditions

   The best production results as possible.

To achieve those desired results, it is important to install dedicated male and female drinker lines with gender-specific drinkers.

With dedicated drinker lines, it assures broilers get hydrated through  refers to as “heads-up drinking.”

“In order for (chickens) to ingest water, they have to use gravity. Birds can’t swallow, so making sure that the nipple drinker is placed in a position above the bird’s head so that during the drinking process, they are actually ingesting water, is really, really important,” said Steiner.

“If the chicken nipple drinker lines are too low, the birds will come in at the wrong angle. Gravity will now become the enemy because (the water) is going to go onto the floor, not into the bird. It’s really critical with a nipple-type system, and it’s really critical with breeders, because your males and females are at different heights.”


Line height plays a key role in offering comfortable and fast drinking with optimal drinking angle for the birds. Over two weeks young chickens change their optimal drinking angle from 30-45 degrees to 70-80 degrees. Day old chickens need their drinkers approximately at eye height so they can see the glistening tip of the moist nipple drinker. The chickens are attracted by the shiny tips and by pecking at them they are learning how to use drinkers. Optionally, mini trough drinkers attached on the water lines offer an open water source with nipples above that attract the young birds to the water lines, and then they can choose to drink either from the trough or from the nipple. Larger birds should be able to easily reach the nipple drinkers standing with both legs stable on the ground and stretching their necks almost in the upright position.

The vital requirement of the nipple drinking system is to provide a sufficient supply of fresh and clean water. However, we need to remember that the quality of the incoming water is also important: check it and treat or filter it immediately when necessary. Also, the supplied volume must be enough for the birds, considering peak demand for larger birds, feeding and lighting schedules and warmer weather.

The flow rate is crucial as well because the birds would like to drink as fast as they can, especially when there is water/feed rationing. For the broilers one can calculate maximum flow rate by using a formula of: the age in weeks x 7 + 20 millilitres/minute. This means when you are growing heavy birds or parent stock a rate of 100 millilitres/minute is more than sufficient. Keep in mind that you need to provide an adequate number of nipple drinkers for the number of birds,  it is standard to calculate 10-15 broilers or 8-12 breeders per nipple drinker, depending on the farming system, climate, breed and production goal.

Water line management especially the first 2 weeks is critical: increase almost daily the height of the lines as well as the pressure in the lines. Keep in mind the rule of thumb, with growing chickens the height of the drinking lines as well as the pressure in the lines should “grow”, and the chickens grow the fastest in the first 2 weeks. The presented graph recommends water pressure in the watering system corresponding to the bird age with related water flow.


The right pressure level in the water lines has been the topic of lots of discussion, especially when the litter gets too damp which may cause foot pad blisters appearing. One possible cause is that the water line management is incorrect. (Bird health, feed composition and ventilation are other possible causes). Mostly when these issues happen the advice is to lower the pressure in the water lines. Farmers rather often tend to talk about the leaking nipples however, in most cases water is spilled when the birds are drinking from the nipple drinkers. To test this, provided this is allowed, just try to raise the drinking lines and make sure birds cannot reach the drinkers and often you will see the litter dry.

in one word:The use of nipple drinker systems in poultry houses offers a more hygienic, economical, and sustainable method of water supply and distribution, positively affecting poultry health and production efficiency. As a result, it is preferred as a modern and effective watering method in poultry farming. Businesses can gain a competitive advantage by conserving water resources and reducing labor costs. The use of nipple drinker systems contributes to the sustainable and successful growth of the industry by improving poultry house hygiene and poultry health.

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