vertically challenged

I’ve become resigned to the fact that there’s nothing that we can reasonably do to defrost our water pipes ourselves. Too many experienced people have agreed that they’re probably either frozen under the driveway or *gag* they’ve burst somewhere. We won’t know that until things warm up more. If it’s a burst pipe, we’ll know because the pump will run continuously, spurting water into the ground. Awesome.

So far, with the frost-free spigot still available, it hasn’t been as awful as I’d pictured. You don’t want the potty details, I’m sure. Shoot me a note if you do and I’ll be happy to describe them for you. Suffice it to say that with conservation, things are livable.

It’s about 200 feet from our house to the spigot. Not a pleasant distance to hand-carry 5-gallon buckets full of water. Rather, I’ve worn a path through the snow with the 4-wheeler, and hauling water takes less than 5 minutes a crack. My back is also still viable.

It sure makes one appreciate what our ancestors lived through. We could theoretically still use that old outhouse that I’m planning to turn into a chicken coop.

Nuh-uh. Talk about your frozen plumbing. Everything would freeze before it hit the ground. I mean everything.

Water, plumbing, outhouse, chicken coop…artfully steering away from potty talk and bringing me around to the reason for the post…nipples!

The original poultry nipples that I installed are drippy. Not due to the installation. They just tend to drip from the ends. And as I discovered, they also freeze up if the temperature gets down to say -20.

Mommerz, a blogging friend, suggested horizontal versions of the things. From what other experienced poultry people have suggested, the horizontal whatchamacallitz don’t freeze because they’re spring-loaded rather than gravity-fed.

Order placed, product received and installed. They seem wonderful. My one hesitation was whether to remove the vertical nipples. Decided against that. Screwing around with patching holes in a $40 experiment seemed un-smart.

I’ll keep the originals in place for now and hang the bucket at a convenient height for the chickens to drink from the new ones. If the verticals drip, I’ll just squeeze a snootful of hot glue in the ends and decommission them altogether.

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8 thoughts on “vertically challenged

  1. That sucks about your water. You’ve been in that house forever, have you had the frozen pipe issue before?

    Your nipple talk got me trying to remember how we dealt our chickens when I was a kid on the farm. Then I remembered. Our chickens spent the winter in the chest freezer and on the dinner table. Problem solved!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As usual, your post made me giggle. (Not that I’m laughing at your frozen pipe problem, mind you….that stinks.) I did have a thought when I was reading about the dripping nipples, though. Wouldn’t the dripping nipples make the floor/ground constantly damp and possibly lead to problems with the flock? Seems like it would be a breeding ground for all sorts of nastiness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, exactly. I’m going to try them out in real life to see what actually happens before I do anything. If it’s just a drip every few hours, it might not be a problem. Thanks for your comments!

      Liked by 1 person

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