Choose a nipple waterer for your backyard chickens that's ready to fill, hang, and use. Or get the nipples you need to make your own.
Poop-free water. Less waste. Less work.
Like most backyard chicken keepers, we started out with a standard galvanized gravity waterer. Problem is, dirt and poop get kicked up into the open saucer. Things can get pretty nasty, pretty quickly.
On the advice of a customer, we switched to a nipple waterer, and we haven't looked back. Instead of refreshing our chickens' water every day, we do so about once a week.
The water that goes in is the water that comes out, right into your chickens' mouths. So it lasts longer, saving you on trips to clean/change it out.
Simply choose an item (and a hook type, as applies), then click "Add To Cart" to begin your purchase. You can adjust quantities in the cart and pay securely with credit card or PayPal.
To pay with credit card: proceed to "Checkout with PayPal" then click on the "Don't have a PayPal account?" link. Please read additional notes below.
Click images to see larger (popups):
Pack of 5 push-in style with grommet
20 fl. oz., Frosted Clear
lid, holder, backing plate, and screws included
1 Gallon, Black lid, hooks, and base included
3.5 Gallon, Black lid, hooks, and base included
Nipple waterers are currently available in the U.S. only. See our return policy below.
If your order exceeds our current inventory, quantities will automatically adjust in your cart. Feel free to email us about availability.
If you're using a PayPal account, double-check the address you have on file, as that is where your items will be delivered by default. You will be responsible for shipping costs if we have to resend your items.
To add one or both of our chicken coop plans, first order items on this page, then click here, add plans to cart, and proceed to checkout.
DELIVERY TIME: Please allow 2 days for processing on all items. Poultry nipples and brooder bottles ship via USPS First Class (2-3 days for delivery). Hanging waterers ship via USPS Parcel Post (2-9 days for delivery).
What you get.
These are not kits. Our chicken nipple waterers arrive fully assembled and ready to use. Eva tells you all about the bucket waterers in the video below, or you can read on for the details:
Includes holder, screws, and a hardwood backing plate for attaching to a wire, cardboard, or plastic wall.
Chick's-eye view showing
nipple from below.
» FDA-approved, fully recyclable plastic containers. Made in the USA
The Brooder Bottle is made of BPA-free LDPE plastic. The bucket waterers are made of certified food-grade black HDPE plastic with strong metal handles for hanging. (See Questions below for why they're black.)
» Durable stainless-steel nipples.
These push-in style nipples have a stainless-steel mechanism within a hard-plastic outer casing. They're fitted into the containers with a silicone grommet for a tight, long-lasting seal. The Brooder Bottle has one nipple pre-installed. The 1-gallon bucket has two. The 3.5-gallon pail has three. Each nipple is adequate for around 10-15 chicks or chickens, so your birds can keep themselves well hydrated.
» Recloseable lids.
Easy-to-remove lids protect the water from being soiled while hanging in your brooder, coop, or chicken yard. And the spout on the lid of the Brooder Bottle serves as an anti-vacuum air hole. Simply leave it open when in use.
Ceiling hooks (above) let you attach your waterer beneath the henhouse.
Wall-mount hooks (below) attach to a vertical surface. Click images to enlarge.
» Hooks or cage mount for hanging.
The Brooder Bottle comes with a holder so you can suspend it in your brooder or coop. (Yes, that's a bicycle water bottle cage — it works perfectly!) We include two 3/4" screws for mounting and a small hardwood backing plate, predrilled to receive the screws. This is for mounting onto a wire cage or cardboard or plastic surface.
The bucket waterers come with a pair of your choice of hooks. Ceiling hooks attach beneath a structure, screwing directly into the wood. Wall-mount hooks attach to the face of a wall and come with four 3/4" screws for attaching.
» Changing base. Bucket waterers only.
Because the nipples extend from the bottom of the bucket waterers, you need a base to set those on when changing the water. We include a wood block with your waterer for this purpose. You could also use a brick, cinder block, flower pot, or anything that elevates the bucket an inch or more off the ground.
» Instruction sheet.
Not that it's hard to figure out, but we include basic instructions and tips so that you can be sure you're doing it right. We also include information on how to return/exchange an item should it arrive damaged.
Questions about our nipple waterers and poultry nipples:
How do poultry nipples work?
Poultry nipples are a simple device used extensively in commercial poultry operations and more and more today in backyard coops. When a chicken pecks at the metal pin from any direction, this opens the flow of water enough for a few drop to trickle out, right into its mouth. There's less waste and no evaporation, which means more water for your flock.
Will my chickens learn to drink from the nipples?
Most chickens figure it out on their own within minutes. Chickens will peck at anything, and the red plastic casing especially draws their attention. Once they notice that water flows from the nipples, they're trained. (For more tips, check out the comments thread on this post.)
Chicks can be started on nipples in the first few days after hatching, but if you bought your chicks at a store or by mail order, please allow them a day or two with a dish waterer first to make sure they are fully recovered from the stress of their journey.
Which size waterer is right for my flock?
The Brooder Bottle is intended for a brood of up to ten chicks.
The 1-gallon waterer is intended for four chickens or less, particularly if they're housed in a small coop or mobile tractor like The Garden Ark.
The 3.5-gallon waterer is good for four to twenty chickens and larger coops like The Garden Coop.
Obviously, the more chickens you have drinking from one container, the more frequently you'll have to refill it. And if you're in a hotter, drier climate, factor that in as well.
The trick is gathering the right container, lid, nipples, drill bit, hooks, and so on to put together what you want. (You might also want to buy a spare container in case you make a mistake on the drilling.) Add up the costs for materials and shipping on mail order items to see if it's worth it for you.
Or buy one of our ready-to-use waterers. We've streamlined the process by buying the parts in bulk and assembling it all for you!
If you decide to go the DIY route, the poultry nipples we sell above are the same ones we use to make our waterers. Some basic instructions are below.
The Brooder Bottle holder attaches to the wall of your brooder (or through it to the backing plate), whether it's a wire cage, a wooden brooder, or a cardboard box. Mount it away from your heat source.
Our bucket waterers hang from above or from a post or wall. You'll want to hang your waterer out of full sun. Partial sun should be fine, but keep an eye on the temperature of the water from time to time. A bungee cord, chain, or rope is useful for adjusting the height as needed. You can also opt to set your waterer on a base instead. For your convenience, we offer a choice of two types of hooks that we can ship with your order.
Though they can work in any coop or run, the 3.5-gallon waterer hangs perfectly beneath the henhouse on The Garden Coop. The 1-gallon waterer is designed to hang from the wall between the henhouse and run on The Garden Ark for the best clearance. (Click to see an illustration or a photo of placement in The Garden Ark.)
How high should I hang my nipple waterer?
Hang it so that the nipples are just above your chickens' heads. If you can't get it quite that high, a little lower will be fine. Chickens have to raise their necks to swallow. One of the nice things about this kind of waterer is that you can position the water above their heads, so it trickles right into their mouths when they drink.
If you have chicks or chickens of different heights sharing a single waterer, position it at the height that's best for your tallest bird. Then provide a platform (a wood block will do) for the smaller birds to stand on to reach the nipples.
Do I have to hang my waterer, or can I set it on top of something?
You do have to hang the Brooder Bottle. You do not have to hang the bucket waterers. In fact, the nipples on the 3.5-gallon waterer are positioned so that you can rest it on a 8" x 16" cinder block, if you'd prefer. You could also devise a raised platform for the 1-gallon waterer.
How heavy will my bucket waterer be when full?
Empty, the 3.5-gallon waterer weighs just under 2 pounds. Water weighs roughly 8 lbs. per gallon, so if you fill the container to capacity, you're looking at about 32 pounds. Keep in mind, if you are moving the waterer, you should not fill it beyond the point where you can comfortably lift and carry it.
The 1-gallon water weighs under a pound empty. So full it will weigh about 9 pounds.
The hooks we include with the bucket waterers are more than strong enough to carry the weight when properly secured to a suitable support surface. The ceiling hooks are rated to hold up to 50 pounds each (100 lbs. for the pair). The wall-mount hooks are rated to hold 100 pounds each (200 lbs. for the pair).
Why did you choose black buckets for making the 1-gallon and 3.5-gallon waterers?
The buckets we use are made of FDA-approved, food-grade HDPE (High Density Polyethylene). This is a versatile plastic with a variety of applications, and it's one of the few plastics that can be fully recycled.
Normally, HDPE has only fair UV resistance and will become brittle with extensive outdoor use. But with the black pigment added, the UV resistance of the material is greatly enhanced.
The black color also inhibits algae growth on the inside of the bucket, looks nicer (less noticeable) inside your coop, and serves as a good reminder to keep your waterer in the shade, where it belongs.
CAUTION: If you're going the DIY route, be aware that some black HDPE plastic is not food grade. Check with your particular supplier to be absolutely sure before you buy.
Are there other colors available?
No, not at this time.
What are the dimensions of the waterers?
The Brooder Bottle has a capacity of just over 20 fl. ozs. and measures 3" in diameter and 9.25" from the top of the spout to the bottom of the nipple. Ideally, you would leaveat least 2-3" of clearance above for removing and inserting the bottle into the holder, but this can also be managed with no extra clearance by twisting the bottle out to the side.
The 1-gallon waterer measures 12" from the top of the fully extended handle to the bottom of the nipples. The bucket, with closed lid, measures 7.5" from top to bottom and has a diameter of 8".
The 3.5-gallon waterer measures 17.5" from the top of the fully extended handle to bottom of the nipples. The bucket, with closed lid, measures 11" from top to bottom and has a diameter of 12".
How do I keep the water from freezing during the winter months?
This is an issue with any type of unheated waterer, unfortunately, so take care that your waterer does not freeze solid, as damage could result to the nipples (and your chickens will get thirsty!).
Our best advice is to: 1) Fill your waterer with warm water when you set it out. The thing you often hear about warm water freezing faster than cold water is baloney, by the way. 2) Bring the waterer inside your home on freezing nights and back out in the morning. 3) Have multiple waterers so that you can alternate should one start to freeze.
One advantage of this style of waterer is that, since water freezes at the top of the container first, the nipples being at the bottom will buy you some extra time between changes.
Do I have to hook the waterer up to a hose or pressure regulator?
There are nipple watering systems that work like that, but ours is gravity fed. So there are no hoses to hook up, and no water pressure changes to deal with. Just rinse out and refill the bucket when it's near empty.
Do you sell the nipples, bottles, buckets, lids, or hooks separately?
We only sell the poultry nipples separately (in packs of 5). These are the same push-in style nipples we use to make our waterers. They are made of quality stainless steel parts inside a durable, hard, red plastic casing, and they're sealed with a long-lasting silicone grommet. Made in China.
How do you install the nipples to make a DIY waterer?
You should be able to find tutorials online that are specific to the type of waterer you want to make, but the push-in nipples are really quite easy to use. People commonly insert them into bottle caps, buckets, and PVC pipe. Here's a quick how-to:
Use a 3/8" or 13/32" drill bit to make a clean hole (no burrs or nicks) in your tubing or container. Either bit size should work for a container made of HDPE or similarly pliable plastic. I prefer 3/8" for a more snug fit. Use the larger diameter bit (13/32") for PVC tubing or other rigid/thicker material.
Insert the grommet first, then the nipple, pushing from the bottom (outside) of your container in. A couple tips: Moistening the nipple helps it go in easier. And using a socket (from a socket wrench set) to hold the nipple makes it easier to insert. A 7/16" socket is a good size. Push straight and turn gently side to side, being careful not to stress/tear the grommet. If this is your first time installing these, you may want to order a couple extra in case you make a mistake. We do not supply replacement grommets.
If you are going to seal your container, be sure to create a separate hole near the top (above the water line) so that air can enter as the water goes out.
Is it safe to add a little apple cider vinegar in these waterers?
Yes. While vinegar can corrode standard metal waterers, it will not damage either the food-grade plastic of the containers or the stainless-steel mechanisms within the nipples.
What is your return policy?
Please open and inspect your items right away! In the event that your item arrives damaged, you must let us know by email within three (3) business days of receipt. Attach a photo to your email clearly showing the extent of the damage and how it renders the item unusable. We will either replace the damaged part or the entire item or issue you a full refund.
If you are simply not satisfied with your item, you may return it to us in new condition within 30 days of purchase for a refund of the purchase price (shipping costs are not refundable). You are responsible for return shipping costs. Email us first to let us know that you would like to make a return, and we'll send you further instructions. We'll issue your refund once we've received your item.
Poultry nipples and Brooder Bottles ship USPS First Class, so please allow 1-2 business days for processing and 2-3 days for delivery. We ship our bucket waterers via USPS Parcel Post, so allow 1-2 days for processing and 2-9 days for delivery.
Do you ship outside of the U.S.?
Currently we are set up to ship within the U.S. only. This may change in the future. Our chicken coop plans, on the other hand, may be purchased internationally.
Check out the comments thread on this post. Feel free to add a question there or just email us.