Bells vs. nipples: Is there really an advantage?
Recently completed research, funded by the US Poultry
& Egg Association, studied the effect of nipple drinkers on large white
Six different drinkers were tested. The control was
(mini-bell for 0-6 weeks, adult drinker after six weeks). The nipple drinker
systems tested were the Plasson Easy Start, Valco Turkey Drinker, Lubing
Traditional (commercially known as FeatherSoft high flow nipple with
Littergard), Lubing Easy Line, and Ziggity Big-Z Activator. Birds were brooded
and reared on the Valco and the Easy Line.
The body weight of hens brooded and reared on the Plasson Bell and the
ValCo Turkey drinker was higher compared to body weights of hens brooded on the
Plasson Easy Start and the Ziggity Big-Z Activator with the body weights of hens
on the Lubing EasyLine being intermediate at six weeks. The Lubing Traditional
Nipple used for brooding yielded significantly lower hen body weight compared
with all other drinkers through 10 weeks of age.
However, by 16 weeks of age, there were no longer differences in hen body
weight due to drinker type.
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