Updated: Apr 18, 2021
Pigs need fresh water, clean water but if you have a pig you know that is an impossible task. As soon as you fill up their water buckets they run over, put their head in and get it all dirty. They love to climb into their water buckets too and use them as a swimming pool on hot days.
In the Texas summers, we found ourselves having to fill up water buckets and pools 3 or more times a day. We were spending hours outside just filling up waters and also spending a fortune on our water bill.
I had visited my friend's farm Blackland Prairie Kunery and she had these water barrels she used for her pigs. I waited till the winter to transition the herd over to water barrels with nipple drinkers.
How to Make your Barrel Nipple Waterer
1. Purchase a 55 gallon food grade barrels. You can normally find these on facebook marketplace. Here is an add I just found that is near my home.
2. Buy a nipple connecter. I found these after trail and error. They have a collar to attach it so the pigs can't pull the nipple out.
3. Drill a 3/4" hole using a paddle drill bit about 12 inches from the bottom. You want to keep enough water in the barrel so the pigs do not knock it over when it gets low.
4. Heat up a 1/2" pipe thread and use that to thread your hole. This is the YouTube video I used showing me how to thread the barrel. I tried using only a nipple like he did in the video but my boar pigs ripped theirs out and I had trouble with them leaking.
5. Using the nipple with connector guarantees you can tighten it down and the pigs can't pull it out. Attach connecter pieces to the inside and outside of the barrel. This was a 2 person job to have someone tighten the inside while someone held the outside piece tight.
6. Thread Nipple with plumbers tape and screw into collar connecter.
7. I keep my barrels on top of 2 cinder blocks for adults and on the ground for the piglets. In the boar area I also have my barrel on a rubber mat because little Corbin is a "digger". I don't want him digging around where the barrel is and have it accidentally fall on him or have them create a mud pit in front of the barrel.
How to Train the Pigs to use the new Nipple Waterers
1. We waited until winter so it wasn't hot because the first thing you have to do is remove all their other water sources. If you leave their water buckets they are going to ignore the nipple.
2. Use peanut butter and put it on the nipple. Stand there and keep applying the peanut butter till they get a flow of water. The younger pigs seem to catch on pretty fast.
3. Once 1 pig knows how to do it, they will all teach each other. My week old piglets know how to drink out of the barrel and they learned from watching their mother.