Submitted to: Journal of Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2004
Publication Date: 4/1/2004
Citation: Miles, D.M., Lott, B.D., Branton, S.L., Simmons, J.D. 2004. Development of a "water stick" to measure nipple waterer flow rates. Journal of Applied Poultry Research. 13:258-262. Interpretive Summary: Nipple water flow rates should be measured to ensure optimal broiler performance. Problems such as low nipple pressure, dirty lines or nipples, lines out of level, and an inadequate supply pressure may cause some broiler houses to have insufficient water supplies to maximize the birds' performance at during certain times during the growout. Integrators and growers can work together to improve the management of individual nipple watering systems to overcome these problems. A 'water stick' or device for measuring nipple flow rate from a standing position was developed; it features a screened trip plate to activate the nipple, a clear polypropylene measuring tube, and a pour spout for discarding the sample. The development of the instrument contributes a fast and accurate method for eliminating too low water flow as a factor detrimental to broiler performance. The 'water stick' is commercially available or can be constructed from readily available components.
Technical Abstract: Inadequate drinking water supplies have been cited as a major reason for poor weight gain in broiler production. One of the limiting factors is nipple waterer flow rate. A device to measure nipple flow rates was developed from PVC pipe, pipe fittings, aluminum screen, and a centrifuge tube. The instrument is 41 inches tall so that the user stands to obtain a measurement, eliminating the need to kneel in litter while activating the nipple. This 'water stick' features a screened trip plate to activate the nipple, a clear polypropylene measuring tube, and a pour spout for discarding the sample. The stick can be easily constructed so that the conscientious integrator/grower/researcher can assure their flocks an adequate drinking water supply.