Have questions about your watering system, water quality issues, how to use your system? You may find the answers you need here. If you don’t find the information you need, please contact us by sending an e-mail to [email protected] or call us, +1.574.825.5849


    Another source of helpful information designed to help poultry producers maximize their performance can be found at the Poultry Watering U website. To visit Poultry Watering U click here.


    How do you determine the best height for a watering line?

    Base the height of the watering line on the size of the birds. On Day One, the trigger pin should be just slightly higher than the chicks’ eye level. As the birds find the drinkers, raise the lines slightly, encouraging the chicks to stretch their necks. By the second or third day, drinker height should encourage the chicks to peck at about a 45-degree angle. As the birds age, continue to raise the drinkers. By four weeks, the drinker height should require the birds to peck at about a 50- to 55-degree angle. (Determine the angle by imagining a line drawn from the bird’s feet to its beak.) For more information click here Floor Management Procedures.

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    How do you determine the best pressure setting for the watering system?

    Virtually all manufacturers of nipple-type drinkers without catch cups recommend minimum pressure settings for day-old chicks. Most manufacturers recommend settings below 10 cm to start, while Ziggity Systems recommends only 2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inches) of column height pressure in order to ensure dry litter from the very start. After the first week, manufacturers differ on pressure settings, but generally pressure settings do not go beyond 50 cm (20 inches) of column height.

    To determine the correct pressure setting, examine litter conditions. If the litter is wet, reduce pressure until it starts to dry. Only then, increase pressure. Producers should strive for dry, friable litter.

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    Can you use an enclosed system for turkeys like you do for broilers?

    No. Most day-old turkey poults can drink effectively from a nipple-type drinker, but within 10 days, their eye-to-beak coordination begins to fail. Many poults simply cannot connect properly with the drinker trigger pin. The older the poult, the more pronounced the problem, resulting in poor overall performance.

    Turkeys, in general, need a drinker that presents a larger target to compensate for their poor eye-to-beak coordination. But, the drinker should retain as many of the inherent advantages associated with an enclosed system as possible to provide the more hygienic environment.

    For poults, Ziggity recommends its Activator, which combines semi-enclosed water delivery systems with active reservoirs called Activators. The Activator attaches to the end of the trigger pin. The poults drink the small reserve of water that is present; and while doing so, their necks push the drinker Activator to the side. This replenishes the water they consume.

    As the birds get older, they need a drinker with a larger water reservoir. Ziggity developed its T-Max™ drinker that is self-cleaning and built-to-survive aggressive turkey behavior. Ziggity took the same proven concept that made it the leader in poult watering and re-engineered it to work for older male and female turkeys.

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    I would like to use Ziggity drinkers, but I can’t afford a whole new watering system. What can I do?

    Ziggity makes it easy and cost effective to upgrade your watering system. For those with single or J lock nipple-type watering systems, Ziggity offers Aktive™ Drinkers that fit perfectly into Ziggity drinker saddles, as well as many competitors’ watering systems.

    Ziggity also offers Saddle Adapters for producers with system that feature square pipe and threaded nipple-type drinkers. Once the old nipples are removed, Twin Lock and Big Z Saddle adapters can be easily attached to the square pipe by means of a click and lock feature.

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    Can I use a medicator with a Ziggity watering system?

    Yes. Ziggity watering systems are compatible with most medicators and proportioners.

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    If I have a sloped floor, at which end should the regulators be installed?

    Regulators must be installed at the high point of the line, whether that is at one end or in the middle of the house.

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    How often should I flush my watering system?

    You should flush your watering system regularly to remove sediment and mitigate biofilm buildup. We recommend a daily flush but weekly may be sufficient. During hot weather, flush more often. The addition of automated flushing equipment can simplify this process.

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    How long do I need to flush my lines?

    One minute for every 30 meters (100 feet) of line length.

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    Does Ziggity recommend other interventions in order to combat biofilm buildup?

    Our research has shown that a stabilized hydrogen peroxide based product, when properly formulated and administered, to be highly effective at sanitizing water lines and preventing biofilm buildup. Keep in mind, and as with all watering interventions, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on safe use and application of its products.

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    You say a water meter does not measure how much the birds drink. Just what does it measure?

    A water meter measures the amount of water going through it (water usage) and nothing more. It does not measure how much water the birds consume. (That device has not been invented yet.) However, a water meter can alert you to any significant changes in water usage that can indicate a problem with the birds or the system.

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    I’m sure my watering system is not leaking, but I still have wet litter. Any suggestions about what the problem is?

    Generally, the problem is ventilation related. To keep your floors dry, you need air to move across the litter. The warmer and drier the air, the more moisture it can hold. Another possibility is the water pressure in your nipple-type watering system is too high. If the pressure is too high, the drinkers will discharge more water than the birds can hold in their beaks; and the oversupply ends up on litter immediately under the drinker lines.

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    I’m drilling a new water well soon. Any recommendations?

    Make sure you locate your well away from the poultry house and any litter storage facilities. You also need to take precautions to ensure that your well does not become contaminated by rainwater runoff.

    Generally recognized precautions to protect well water:

    • Maintain the well casing about 40 centimeters (16 inches) above ground level.
    • Construct a concrete pad around the casing, or slope the soil away from the casing to divert rainwater.
    • Periodically inspect the well cap to make sure it is not missing or damaged.
    • Some farmers provide even better protection for the wellhead by constructing a small shed around it.

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    Why do you call your drinkers for broiler applications Max3 Drinkers?

    We call our broiler drinkers Max3 Drinkers because they maximize performance in three ways: the birds, the litter and the drinkers. Results prove that these drinkers give broilers all the water they need for optimal growth while keeping floors dry. This enhances bird performance while eliminating problems with pests and odors, as well as bacteria and ammonia buildup.

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    What is Ziggity’s Max8 Drinker, and for which bird application is it suitable.

    Ziggity designed the Max8 drinker specifically to maximize layer production and to help achieve and maintain dry manure. The Max8 Drinker is not a broiler drinker made into a layer drinker. We designed it specifically to be a layer drinker (commercial layers 18 weeks and older) and nothing else. Its design is so radical that it shares only two out of a possible eight parts with Ziggity’s previous generation of layer drinkers.

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    What is biofilm?

    Biofilm is a slime-like substance that can foul watering lines and drinkers. Bacteria create this slime when they attach to any solid surface in water and begin to exude a sticky substance. That attracts additional bacteria and the slime becomes an active colony of pathogens.

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    What features should I look for in a watering system?

    A new watering system should:

    • Allow you to efficiently and effectively administer medications and interventions.
    • Allow for effective and easy flushing.
    • Be easy to manage.
    • Provide ample water without spillage.
    • Withstand the corrosive conditions prevalent in a poultry house.
    • Come from a manufacturer and distributor with good reputations that will provide topnotch service and backup.

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    I am thinking about building another poultry house. My distributor is offering me a discount if I purchase all of the equipment as a package from one manufacturer. Is this a good idea?

    In most cases, package pricing is not a good idea. All too often, the package will contain some items that are suspect in bird performance and longevity. Your distributor’s discount may be $2,000 to $3,000, but that savings will rapidly disappear if poorly performing equipment costs you up to $500 per growout.

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    Does Ziggity distribute ventilation systems?

    No. Ziggity Systems, Inc. is the only manufacturer 100 percent focused on poultry watering in order to deliver maximum performance.

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    Will putting acid in my water make my chickens perform better?

    Over the past few years, experts in the poultry industry have determined that putting weak acids in poultry feed and water and on the poultry litter in many cases appears to have beneficial effects.

    However, do keep in mind that acid is corrosive, and it can break down and corrode watering system components. One of the first things a producer must determine when considering the use of acids: will the gain in production outweigh the cost of replacing components damaged by the acid? We know of one producer who had to replace all of the drinkers in his poultry house twice in less than a year because his acidification program was too aggressive. That cost him about $4,000. Acidifiers and other chemicals may or may not be harmful. That is determined by the level and duration of the intervention.

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    Why should I ventilate in winter? Doesn’t that just increase my heating bill?

    Ventilation is the key to drying the litter and moving that moisture out of the poultry barn. But, removing that moisture from the birds’ environment requires more than simple air movement. It also requires heat.

    “Humidity” is the amount of water in the air. If the humidity is 20 percent, the air contains 20 percent of the water it can hold. However, the warmer the air, the more water it can contain. For every 20 F (11 C) increase in temperature, the air’s ability to hold water doubles. Therefore, the key to drying your litter is warm air.

    In cooler weather, you’ll find it necessary to heat the barn, not only to protect the birds from cold, but also to continue the evaporation process. Too often, farmers will attempt to save money by cutting back on heating. Research by University of Georgia poultry scientists shows, however, that the money saved on fuel is far outweighed by the money lost on underperforming birds as a result of elevated litter moisture and ammonia.

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    Why do people make such a big deal over water quality?

    The quality of water that you provide to your flocks has a tremendous impact on how the flocks perform. Water contaminated with bacteria or viruses can infect your birds. Water with a too high salt content can sicken your birds. And, water with high sediment content can block your drinking system. The simple guideline concerning water is that it should be potable. Poultry, just as people, thrive when they have access to fresh sanitary water.

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    Does Ziggity market its products to the game or sport bird industry?

    No, we do not. Several years ago we made a decision to comply with a specific request from the commercial egg and poultry industries not to sell our products to this market segment for bio-security reasons. (Visiting a game or sport bird site and then later visiting a commercial operation could have major consequences.) Some of our distributors may add some of our products to items they sell to the game and sport bird industry, but they do so on the condition that it is the distributor’s brand of watering equipment and not connected to Ziggity Systems.

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    What pressure setting should I use for day-old chicks?

    Ziggity recommends using minimum pressure — only 2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inches) of column height pressure — in order to ensure dry litter from the very start.

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    How long will a Ziggity watering system last?

    Any number of factors affect how long a watering system will last. However, Ziggity backs most of the drinkers it manufactures with a 10-year prorated warranty.

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    What is the flow rate of a Ziggity drinker?

    Static drinker flow rate is irrelevant and uninteresting. At Ziggity, we do not measure the flow rates of our drinkers because flow rates have no bearing on how chickens drink and how the drinkers perform in the poultry house. We put our emphasis on dynamic flow which is the ease of activation and amount of water discharge during the drinking process. (Not the amount of water discharged when someone activates the drinker with a finger.)  If a drinker has a good flow rate (does not undersupply nor oversupply when activated by the birds), then good litter conditions and superior bird performance can be achieved.

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    Does my house’s incoming water supply pressure affect water output from the nipple-type drinkers?

    Ziggity floor and cage system regulators are designed to reduce the incoming pressure to inches of water column (less than one psi). So, if a poultry house’s incoming pressure is 5 or 40 psi, it will not affect the drinkers’ output. However, large swings in incoming pressure in a system can have some affect. In those cases, a Ziggity inline pressure reducer can regulate your incoming pressure to a constant 25 psi.

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    Should the ends of my water lines be higher than the rest of the line for proper air release to prevent air locks?

    Generally the lines can be level throughout the entire length. If you do raise the ends, do not make this too drastic because it will increase the speed of the air being released and may cause riser tube caps to lock shut and trap air in the system. If you do adjust the ends higher, make sure it’s no more than one inch higher than the rest of the line.

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    My end assembly continues to leak. What is wrong?

    Sediment has likely become trapped in the assembly. A high-pressure flush can help to resolve this. Also, you can unlatch the end unit and remove the spring and ball for cleaning.

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    Are the drinkers chlorine resistant?

    Ziggity’s drinkers use stainless steel components that are more corrosion-resistant than any other drinker available. However, no stainless steel is entirely chlorine resistant.

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