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Ask Our Experts

Answers to your questions about gardening, energy, homesteading and other sustainable living topics.


Add Watering Nipples for a Clean Chicken Waterer

Chicken Watering Nipples 

I’m trying to figure out how to keep my chickens’ water clean. What’s a simple, inexpensive solution?

Consider using watering nipples. These nifty little devices screw into holes drilled into 5-gallon buckets or other plastic containers or pipes.

The nipples release droplets of water when the birds peck at them. The vertical version must be installed into the base of a bucket or pipe, and the bucket must be hung so that the birds can reach the nipples. Horizontal side-mount nipples, on the other hand, can be mounted onto the side of a bucket, and thus reportedly waste less water than the vertical style.

Either of these low-cost gadgets ($8.99 for five horizontal nipples on Amazon) will keep your birds’ water much cleaner than conventional watering systems.


Cheryl Long is the editor in chief of MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, and a leading advocate for more sustainable lifestyles. She leads a team of editors which produces high quality content that has resulted in MOTHER EARTH NEWS being rated as one of North America’s favorite magazines. Long lives on an 8-acre homestead near Topeka, Kan., powered in part by solar panels, where she manages a large organic garden and a small flock of heritage chickens. Prior to taking the helm at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, she was an editor at Organic Gardening magazine for 10 years. Connect with her on .