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nubbly5

Nipple Drinkers For Budgerigars

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nubbly5    0

Hi All

 

 

I'm just going through the processes of converting my flights to an automatic watering system with low pressure drinkers attached to a cistern system. My first thought were to use nipple drinkers as I've had some experience with these is broiler chicken sheds and they seem like they would be a great option.

 

Has anyone out there set up such a system and has anyone used nipple drinkers with budgies before. Can they operate them successfully? I used to use lixit (ball bearing drinkers) bottles and they seemed okay with them.

 

Is there anything I should especially consider aside from values to turn cistern off for manually adding medications and a way to remove the cistern for periodic cleaning? I have considered an inline filter but not sure if nipple drinkers need this or not.

 

Any advice gratefully received.

 

Cheers

 

 

Gina

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**KAZ**    0

I believe Rob Hugo uses a system along these lines :D

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nubbly5    0

Well, things have progressed somewhat (and my credit card got a bit of a thrashing!). I discussed at length with a poultry equipment supplier about what I want to do and have come up with what is sounding like a great system.

 

Plumbed in low pressure cistern tank (this takes high pressure water in like a toilet cistern) and allows low pressure water to gravity fill the water lines in the aviary. PVC piping (good and budgie proof) and plastic nipple drinkers that screw straight into tapped PVC.

 

I was a bit concerned about having plastic nipple drinkers due to how destructive we all know budgies are but these are apparently hardened for use with rabbits so my bet is that they would be WAY stronger chewers than budgies!

 

The other thing that I will incorporate it a valve to stop water coming into the cistern so that I can fill this manually if my birds need medicating. Hopefully by the time I get to do another doxy treatment I will know approximately how much water is used per day. Also want to have a value on the other side of the cistern and 2 quick clip attachments so that I can remove and clean the tank when needed AND probably a valve at the end of the pvc so that I can drain the water lines too.

 

I will take some photos of the drinkers and tank when they arrive and some as we get to and put in the drinking lines.

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Daz    0

Gina you could look at the next step up and add a small dosing pump. They are a bit like a small fountain pump that delivers medication directly into the line at a set rate.

It might give your credit card more of a thrashing..

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renee    0

Looking forward to the photos! :)

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nubbly5    0
Gina you could look at the next step up and add a small dosing pump. They are a bit like a small fountain pump that delivers medication directly into the line at a set rate.

It might give your credit card more of a thrashing..

 

 

Mmmmm had thought about doing that but preffered at this stage to see how the manual addition works (and coz the credit card is a little tired!!!). I have had experience with these sort of arrangements for piggeries so thought it might be worth a look later on.

 

The main thing that concerns me is that with a dosatron or similar is that you still have water in the lines so starting dose may not be exacly when and at the concentration you really want (I'm assuming there is not a particularly high rate of fluid movement in the lines and that would allow diffusion of the medication into the water already in the lines). If I have a manual fill and drain system I know for sure and certain when and how much the birds are getting.

 

Do you have experience with dosing pumps Daz? Can you advise as to their performance in a low pressure gravity fed system?

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Daz    0

Only in the Leather and Laundry Industries where they have a constant flow of water.

 

The flow of water in the aviary will depend on the intake from the birds which will differ depending on climate changes.

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nubbly5    0

Yay, cistern tank and nipple drinkers turned up on Thursday (well Wed actually but I had to pick them up from the PO). Amazing service as I had only ordered them on the Monday and they were sent that night by express post - so if anyone is looking for poultry/bird equipment I recommend giving WA Poultry Equipment a call (don't order over the internet as they stick a handling fee of $5 on every item but over the phone was great).

 

So........ I have photo's of the cistern tank and drinkers so far. We have gone out and bought the joiners for the PVC piping but had to order 15mm PVC as no one place had enough stock.

 

Cistern tank holds about 5L and will be plumbed straight to our high pressure water supply. This will then be plumbed into the PVC into which the drinkers are tapped straight into.

 

cistern.jpg

 

 

The drinkers will screw straight into the PVC. They allow a small amount of water to hang at the bottom of the nipple (small metal rod) which attracts the birds to use the nipple in the first instance. From them they quickly learn how to use the drinkers - by nibbling on the nipple to allow more water to flow down it and into the birds beak. I imagine I will need to allow some time for change over to allow all the birds to learn where there water will come from as opposed to the open bowls which are a tad more obvious.

 

drinker1.jpg

drinker2.jpg

 

Will post more pics as the project moves along.

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Richo    0

Most impressive and well explained. Cheers.

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nubbly5    0

Worked on the drinker system yesterday and finished it off today. At first fitting the nipple drinkers (even with drilled and tapped holes) leaked terribly from around the hole (not the drinker itself). Turns out that due to the small size of the PVC pipe and the acute angle between PVC and drinkers that the drinkers did not seal properly in the PVC when screwed in. Sooooooo, today we drilled and tapped sleeve fittings (which are much thicker than the PVC itself) fitted the drinkers into that and then glued them onto the pvc piping and bingo it all worked!

 

Now we just need to fit just one more value to be able to turn off one flight which is often empty so we want to be able to turn it off.

 

Will post some more pics tomorrow.

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**KAZ**    0

A great sense of acchievement accompanies improvements to the aviaries and birdrooms. Makes things better for the birds are even better for us. :bump:

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nubbly5    0

Well I went into the aviary this morning to check on how the drinkers were going and it all looks very good. Very little dripping (a little is needed to keep the drip on the end of the nipple so I was worried that we might be a bit damp this morning), water flowing well, no spring leaks and some of the birds are already working out the new system. I arranged the nipples where the old bowls used to be and left the bowl rings there for the birds to perch on while operating the nipples.

 

So here are some pics.

 

You can see the bowl rings positioned under the drinkers. This has given the birds a short cut way to learn where their water is now coming from.

drinkers1.jpg

 

 

You can see here that a drip of water remains on the end of the nipple and this seems to do a great job of attracting the birds to where they need to drink from.

drinkers4.jpg

 

We put valves on the end of each line to be able to drain the system when needed.

drinkers2.jpg

 

This is the cistern in place. It needed to be placed high so that header pressure allowed the water to flow down into the piping. Two valves and couplings allow for the tank to be completely removed to be cleaned and there is enough room to take the lid off insitu and manually add medication when needed (i need a step ladder though :rofl:). High pressure inlet value can be turned off in this case. High pressue come into the tank on the right and exits under gravity on the left and into the aviary.

drinkers3.jpg

 

The birds are already figuring out how to use the new drinkers!

drinking1.jpg

 

Someone trying to get in on the act!

drinking2.jpg

 

drinking3.jpg

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JimmyBanks    0

wow!! That is fantastic... great photo's. Loving your set up. So many idea's that I have to think about when building my new house...

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**KAZ**    0

Thankyou very much for showing us this topic Nubbly ;)

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macka    0

If putting meds or vitimins in the water.I would give it to them in small drinkers, ;)

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Glen    0

Love you set up Nubbly, another great idea to add into the book of what to do when building a new aviary.

 

Well Done.

 

Cheers,

Glen

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nubbly5    0
If putting meds or vitimins in the water.I would give it to them in small drinkers, ;)

 

Um nope, hoping not to need to do that....... I intend to work out how much water they go through each day. Pretty easy to do by turning off the inlet value, filling the tank with known quantity, and then measuring next day. Then only need to mix amount that is needed on a daily basis - UNLESS........ they drink so little that I have trouble filling the pipe lines with the amount needed (a real possibility), in which case the trusty bowls will go back into play for a bit.

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renee    0

Wow! I'm so impressed ~ What a great set up! ;) Gone are the days for you of filling up drinkers daily .... One day for me too! :P

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nubbly5    0
Wow! I'm so impressed ~ What a great set up! ;) Gone are the days for you of filling up drinkers daily .... One day for me too! :P

 

Thanks Renee

 

I was actually really depressed about the birds pooping into the water bowls all the time and could only imagine it was not doing the health status of my birds any favours at all. After just one day some of the water bowls were full of pooh and the water was fouled so I was hoping this might help out there. Time will tell if it makes a difference or not.

 

 

Thanks Glenn, Kaz and JB. Actually this was not as big a job as I have expected and to have it up and running for around $400 for everything including tank, drinks, pipe, fittings and even glue was doing okay I thought. One thing I would do if I were building from scratch again is design a system so that the piping need not be run through the aviary. Unfortunately our aviary is set up so that along either side of the shed we have fully opening/closing shutters which meant that we could only run the piping inside (read: Gina pannicked all night thinking that the glue might knock off some birds if they chewed it before it cured properly!!!).

Edited by KAZ

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JimmyBanks    0

wow that is alot cheaper than I expected... did you buy the set up off someone and install it yourself or did you just source the different parts from different places?

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nubbly5    0
wow that is alot cheaper than I expected... did you buy the set up off someone and install it yourself or did you just source the different parts from different places?

 

 

The most expensive bit were the drinkers at $4.40ea and we purchased 30, cistern was $40 plus $18 postage for the both the drinkers and the tank. We purchased these items from WA Poultry Equipment. They have a great range of poultry and other bird equipment and a good website but I did find that if I was going to purchase from the web, they put a $5 handling fee on every single item (10x drinkers was 1 item) and I thought that was a bit of a rip off but I was not charged a handling fee for my over the phone order. I also found that I got very good information about the products from talking to Geoff directly and his shipping was super fast.

 

We used 15mm piping for a couple of reasons - price (fittings etc in this size are cheaper) and this size piping fitted through our wire mesh without need to cut any of it. Piping, fittings, valves and saddle mounts were all sourced locally from an irrigation supplier here in Bunbury. But we had to order the piping as it is not a super common size but waited less that 1 week for it.

 

We bought the bits and pieces and then designed and put together the system ourselves. Hubby Grant & I tend to bounce ideas around for a bit and examine what we need (me from a bird perspective)and what will work (Grant from a mechanical perspective) and then put it all together. Sometimes we might need to modify things like in this instance we needed to tap the drinkers into the sleeve fittings to stop leakage around the screw part of the drinkers (as I explained above).

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JimmyBanks    0

Sounds great... if only my wife was mechanically minded :D I might have to pull in some favours from a mate :hap:

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SJW    0

Firstly can I say that I think you've done an excellent job! What a great system :star:

 

Just a thought though, I work in the water industry, where we endeavour to ensure that stagnation is avoided. I understand that budgies don't drink a huge amount of water, and I can see that you have quite a number of birds, but I think there would be a relatively large volume of water in the piping which would take some time to reach through to the drinkers. I know you plan to determine how much they use per day, and I'd be interested to hear the results, however, I think we may be surprised by just how little water goes through. :)

 

That being said, an easy way around this, is to draw off a little of the water from the pipes every day - I see you have put valves on the ends, if you extended the pipe outside (or even used a handy bucket) to a handy plant or tree that would appreciate the water, everything would benefit!! :star:

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RIPbudgies    0

Prior to giving up the hobby back in 2002 or there abouts I was starting to gather information on installing a nipple system. Glad to see one in place. Looks great.

 

I used guines pigs bottles in my flights with great success. keeps the water clean and easy to fill for meds if you have too.

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GenericBlue    0

can i be a pain and ask for update on water usage and med aplication any problems you may of found hun :question:

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