Automatic Pig Waterers

Pigs need a fresh supply of water to remain happy and healthy, in fact, water is the most important nutrient for pigs! Automatic pig waterers typically come in two types – nipple waterers and cup waterers. We’ll look at both in this article, see how they work, and examine the benefits. The Drinking Post Waterer is a third alternative that you may not be familiar with! It’s an innovative automatic waterer that’s becoming more popular for pigs! Let’s take a look at nipples, cups, and the Drinking Post…

nipple pig automatic waterer
Nipple drinker



We’ve all seen this set up, a simple stainless steel tube with an open end. Nipple waterers mimic their mothers’ nipple, which makes it easy for them to learn how to use. These single serve, low flow waterers are typically the most common choice for pig waterers. They come in different varieties such as bite nipples, wet feeding nipples, and spray nipples. There is a set up for every different need and lifecycle stage.

Nipple drinkers will be mounted at a height that allows the pig to drink at optimal position. This will be based on the size of the pigs. A general rule of thumb is to mount the nipple about 2 inches above the shoulder height of the pig. You’ll also need to find the right angle to encourage drinking, typically between 15-45 degrees. Because this setup is a single serve drinker, you’ll need to determine how many nipples to install for the number of pigs you have. If you don’t have enough nipples,  you will have crowding and you may see water guarding as well. If they’re spread out too far, some nipples may be left unused which can cause them to become unsanitary or clogged. Because of this, you don’t want to set up more than you need, unless you’re anticipating growing your count in the near future.

Automatic Pig Waterer
Nipple spacing


The nipples must be connected to a water supply.  You need to ensure you have enough water pressure to deliver the right amount of water to each nipple you have installed. Often, the first on the line will have a higher flow rate than the last, especially if being used simultaneously. This is more important to consider if you are using a gravity-flow setup to deliver water. The water quality can also determine the effectiveness of the waterer – hard water leads to buildup and clogging which will need to be cleaned. All of these things should be taken into consideration deciding on what type of automatic waterer to install for your pigs.





There are a wide variety of cup drinkers to choose from. Cup drinkers include all waterers that use a cup or a bowl to hold the water.

Automatic pig waterer
Cup drinker

Cup waterers will vary in the size and shape of the cup, the cup material, and the type of actuator. Sizing can vary, you can have single serve cups, double sided cups, and cups that can serve multiple pigs at a time (more trough-like features). Shape will vary as well, they can be boxy or rounded. You’ll also see variation on the placement, from ground level to cups mounted higher on a wall or panel.

Water delivery varies depending on the actuator type. Cups can have floats, paddles, and trigger valves to activate the water. All of these options allow your pigs to activate and fill the cup on their own. With cup drinkers, the water will stay in the bowl after it’s been filled until the pigs drink it down all the way. Then, they will fill it again. Because the water stays in the bowl after it’s been filled, it can become stagnate, dirty, attract bugs, grow bacteria, etc. This standing/stagnate water is a feature of almost all pig, horse, and livestock waterers. Whether they’re automatic waterers, like the cup waterers we’re discussing now, or manual watering methods like troughs and buckets, they all have a reservoir of standing water that the animals drink from. This standing water is what freezes, grows algae, gets dirty, breeds water-borne illnesses, etc. There are very few watering options that don’t have standing/stagnate water. The Drinking Post is the best example of  these.

The Drinking Post:

The Drinking Post is an innovative automatic waterer that’s becoming very popular for pigs. It’s completely different from traditional watering methods and it solves all the common watering problems – freezing, algae growth, dirty water, low water intake, high electricity bills, etc. The Drinking Post has a bowl design, so technically it’s a cup drinker. However, the Drinking Post is an innovative product that’s really in a class of it’s own. The pig will activate the water using a paddle in the bowl. The Drinking Post has a special paddle attachment just for pigs which allows them to easily use the Drinking Post! This attachment features a small weighted block that’s designed for a pig snout. The pig pushes the block forward with their snout to activate the water. This is a natural action for the pigs,  which makes the Drinking Post very easy for them to learn! The bowl and paddle design sets Drinking Post apart from all other watering methods! But the key difference is that it fills and drains with every single use. The Drinking Post utilizes a stop-and-waste valve that’s buried below the frostline, so any water left in the bowl will drain below the frostline, This leaves a clean, empty bowl after each use! The Drinking Post works a lot like a frost-free yard hydrant, meaning it doesn’t require any electricity to stay frost-free. The Drinking Post is on its way to becoming one of the most popular auto waterers for pigs because of how effective it is.



For more information on Drinking Post Automatic Pig Waterers, please visit this link:

And for a deeper dive into Automatic Waterers for all animals, please check out our Auto Waterer Guide:



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