Nipple lines are used in battery cages or layer cages to give the hens water. A single nipple pipe runs through the top of the cage, each has 2 Impex nipples attached. Bell drinkers, or other kinds of drinkers cannot be used in a battery cage as the chickens cannot move around.
The nipple drinking system is attached to a 2 small tanks at the mm of the layer cage, these are for medication, and these small tanks are fed from a header tank on the roof of the poultry house.
Layer cages in South Africa are used in small egg production chicken farms and large commercial chicken houses. When farming organic chickens or free range chickens layer cages cannot be used - nest boxes are the best for this type of farming.
Nipple lines, or nipple drinkers do not only work with layer cages, or chicken cages, but can be used in any type of chicken house – nipple drinking systems for chickens are one of the most effective methods of giving poultry water – the nipple system may seem expensive at the time of purchase and installation, but the time savings are huge. This kind of poultry drinking system is equally effective in large poultry houses, or small chicken houses. A nipple drinking system works well pan feeding systems or chain feeding systems. You could also do a combination of tube feeders and nipple drinkers. Battery cages, or poultry cages, are banned in many countries, but allowed in South Africa. The reason is cruelty to animals – battery farming is considered cruel, and when you see 5 or 7 chickens stuck in a small cage for their whole life, the SPCA may have a point. Layer cages are by far the most space effective, and time effective way to farm eggs – although using nest boxes is an alternative even if it does take up more space and takes longer to collect eggs. Free range eggs and organic eggs do attract a premium on the South Africa market - so there is room to pay the extra labour involved – and the market for cage free eggs is growing every day.