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Effect of Nipple Type Drinker Height on Productive Parameters of Broilers

13 May 2013

The height of the nipple drinker produced no statistically significant differences in broiler performance in research from Mexico. However, birds that were able to drink through the side of the beak had numerically lower mortality and drank more water during the 42-day trial than those that were able to drink only through the tip of the beak.

In a new paper in International Journal of Poultry Science, J. Quintana from FMVZ-UNAM in Mexico and co-authors there and at Balanceados El Granjero, Cuenca-Ecuador, INIFAP in Mexico and Lubbing Mesoamericana report that they assessed the effect of two nipple drinker heights on productive parameters and mortality of broilers up to day 42.

Birds were subjected to one of two treatments: 1) low height (the bird stretches the neck and drinks on the side of the beak); and 2) at a high level (the bird stretches the neck, pushing its chest upward and drinks with the point of the beak).

Height was adjusted twice per week by visual observation of the birds at drinking time and observation of bedding level homogeneity in each experimental unit. Each treatment had five replicates of seven birds. Standard recommendations were followed for  broiler rearing, photoperiod was natural and water temperature was maintained at the recommended range (17 to 20°C).

Variables that were recorded each week were: feed consumption, body weight, feed conversion and mortality.

Data analysis showed only numerical differences for the productive parameters although accumulated mortality was 11.4 per cent for the lower treatment and 25.7 per cent for the higher one (P<0.10).

Also, accumulated water consumption average per treatment per bird was 10.32 litres for the low treatment and 9.621 litres for the high treatment.

Results suggest that the height of the nipple does not affect productive parameters, according to Quintana and co-authors. Nevertheless, they added, it is an important factor to guarantee the amount and quality of water that is taken in to achieve maximum yield of poultry.


Quichimbo C., J. Quintana, D.Rodríguez-Saldaña, C. López-Coello, S. Gómez and F. Castellanos. 2013. Effect of nipple type drinker height on productive parameters of broilers. International Journal of Poultry Science 12 (3):144-147

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May 2013

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