Bells vs. nipples: Is there really an advantage?

13-03-2007 | |
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 turkeys.

Six different drinkers were tested. The control was the Plasson Turkey Bell (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.
The research was done by Jesse L. Grimes, Ph.D., with Department of Poultry Science at North Carolina State University and Abel G. Gernat, Ph.D., with the Escuela Agricola PanAmerica in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.