|White Pekin Duck. Photo by Maren Winter|
Frankly, we weren't sure, so we did a little research and found that commercial poultry companies do use valves (often called poultry nipples) such as the ones found on the bottom of the BriteTap waterer to provide drinking water to their birds. However, research done at the University of Oxford in 2009 indicates that periodic access to water is beneficial because it allows ducks to keep their feathers, eyes, and nostrils clean.
The research study compared the health of ducks whose source of waterer was a trough, a shower, a bath (pond), poultry nipples only, and poultry nipples followed by a bath (pond access) after 5 weeks. The results of the study as published on ThePoultrySite.com are shown below.
The results suggest that if you are going to use a system like the BriteTap waterer for your ducks, you will need to provide periodic access to either a shower or trough so they can wash off their feathers and clean their eyes etc. The advantage of using a valve-based system like the BriteTap waterer in conjunction with periodic access to shower or other water source, is that this watering routine lowers the health risks associated with open water sources like a pond which can harbor Campylobacter bacteria.
|Source: Jones T.A., C.D. Waitt and M.S. Dawkins. 2009. Water off a duck's back: Showers and troughs match ponds for improving duck welfare. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 116, (1), 52-57.|
Posting sponsored by ChickenWaterer.com, makers of the BriteTap automatic poultry waterer. The BriteTap waterer shields water from dirt and poop. The water stays clean and there are no messy pans for you to wash out.