Today’s poultry watering system is a precision instrument, designed to deliver clean, hygienic water in a way that birds can easily get their fill while minimizing spillage and wet litter.

However, corrosion of the metal components inside the drinker can put an end to this precision operation, causing leaks and wet litter that result in poor bird performance. Central to most watering systems is a nipple type drinker. These drinkers have at least three stainless steel parts — a trigger pin, a ball or top pin, and a seat — that are engineered and closely calibrated to seal off water.

While stainless steel is generally corrosion resistant, it is not 100 percent impervious. Producers must keep in mind that aggressive use of oxidizing chemicals (chlorines, acids, etc.) will cause surface corrosion (pitting and dulling) to the seat and ball or top pin, which in turn will cause the drinkers to leak and/or discharge too much water.

This corrosion damage will likely be throughout the entire house and is expensive to repair — at the same time that the producer is getting poor results. The most insidious part of all this is that the corrosion damages internal parts that you cannot see and you will not know they are affected until there actually is a problem — a big problem.

It is important to understand why the drinker’s interior components corrode and how to prevent this so you’re not saddled with the expense of poor flock performance and drinker replacement.

Read more about ways you can avoid corrosion inside your drinkers.