Dodgy drinkers; supplier won't replace them

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Icemaiden
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Dodgy drinkers; supplier won't replace them

Post by Icemaiden »

During lockdown I bought a couple of drinkers from SPR Centre in West Sussex, as the hanging handles had broken off my old ones.

The ones that I bought from SPR were "mushroom drinkers", so named because of their shape. I chose them because they could stand up or hang & had metal handles, so I figured that they'd be long lasting.

From the start, attaching the base to the body of each drinker was a real pain, but I naively figured that it was because they were new & that it would get easier. I was wrong. Most days it took at least 7 attempts to attach the base to the drinkers after filling it. (I'd always been able to do this on the first attempt with previous drinkers from other suppliers.) Seeing to the hens in the morning went from being my favourite part of the day to being the job that I dreaded thd most... :-(

After a few weeks of use, the first of the mushroom drinkers fell apart, soaking me in the process. I contacted SPR Centre to let them know & to ask if they could swap the drinkers for a different model. I sent photos & they promised to get back to me but I heard nothing.

Looking on their website, they had discontinued the mushroom drinkers, which suggests that I wasn't the only person to find them not fit for purpose.

After chasing them today, they have refused to refund me for the faulty drinkers and have only offered me 20% off the cost of two replacement drinkers (& I'd still have to pay more p&p). Not surprisingly I have absolutely no intention of buying from SPR Centre again, so I won't be letting them rip me off again.

My question is, which drinkers would you all recommend that can
A) stand up both the right way up & upside down, so that I can fill them & carry them up to the run upside down so that they don't dribble over my feet en-route,
B) not weigh a tonne, I.e. I don't want metal ones as they're too heavy for me,
C) which hold at least 6 litres so that they don't freeze too readily on a cold night
D) hang up, so that they stay level & don't empty themselves &
E) balance upside down on my hip while I open the door of the run?

Before these horrid drinkers from SPR, I've used the Gaun drinkers. The only reason I tried different ones this times was because the Gaun drinkers broke where the handle attached after about a year last time; I'd hope that the next drinkers would last at least a couple of years.

Any suggestions, & which suppliers would you recommend?
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
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rick
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Re: Dodgy drinkers; supplier won't replace them

Post by rick »

This is the best one I've had because it has minimal difficult places to scrub. The bottom latches to the top easily. If you latch them all the way until they click then they can be difficult to separate again but I never do twist it that far because it wouldn't come undone in use anyway.. It came from Pets at Home but my one doesn't have legs, just hangs up which is fine and is actually even simpler to clean that way.
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chrismahon
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Re: Dodgy drinkers; supplier won't replace them

Post by chrismahon »

We have drinkers very similar to Rick's photo. Ours are 8 litres and a bit heavy, but easy to clean and assemble. The only 'problem' was fitting the feet- they have to be pushed really hard down to lock properly as previously they kept falling off. Most of our drinkers are just plant pot bases though.

We had major problems with SPR years ago, first when they sent Buff Orpington hatching eggs which were absolutely filthy. Only two hatched, one was a crossbreed and the other had severe club foot. Then when the water pump on our King Suro incubator failed to work they sent a replacement, which was an old and broken unit which they then wanted to charge me for. I sent it back at my cost and have never dealt with them again. Their full page flashy adverts in the poultry magazines clearly can't be trusted. I'm amazed they are still in business!
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dinosaw
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Re: Dodgy drinkers; supplier won't replace them

Post by dinosaw »

We use Eton drinkers, however we don't fill them up in the house which is too far away. Instead we take up our water in closed containers and then fill the drinkers up inside the run itself so you don't have the hassle of water going everywhere. The Eton drinkers should fulfil everything apart from E on your list.
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Marigold
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Re: Dodgy drinkers; supplier won't replace them

Post by Marigold »

I would advise contacting Trading Standards about your issue, Icemaiden.
I used to have the sort of plastic drinkers you have to fill and invert, but got fed up with getting wet feet, arms and legs when they fell apart when inverted, especially in winter. So now I use galvanised ones with a central sleeve, filled from the top. I’ve got a water butt next to the run, topped up by a hose connection to the mains water at the house end, and I just fill the drinker and carry it about 3 metres into the run. When it’s likely to freeze, I bring in a spare and half fill it, keep it indoors overnight and take it down first thing next morning. Then bring back the frozen one for defrosting and storing for use the next day.
Icemaiden
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Re: Dodgy drinkers; supplier won't replace them

Post by Icemaiden »

Does anyone have experience of buying from viovet.co.uk? They have the Gaun drinkers at a reasonable price. Also, any feedback on Premiergardenstore.com? They have drinkers similar to the Pets at Home ones.

After my bad experience with SPR, I'll wait for your feedback before buying from another company who I've not used before...
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
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Marigold
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Re: Dodgy drinkers; supplier won't replace them

Post by Marigold »

If you order from Amazon you get free returns and no-quibble refund up to 28 days. Most firms do use Amazon as part of their online shopfront. Products may be a bit more expensive than in their own website, but this may be worth it in the long run. Reviews helpful. Hundreds of different drinkers to browse as well, including Gaun see https://smile.amazon.co.uk/s?k=gaun+pou ... _ss_i_2_13
Icemaiden
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Re: Dodgy drinkers; supplier won't replace them

Post by Icemaiden »

Thanks Marigold, I just prefer the profit to go to UK companies who pay their fair share of tax... I will have a look at the reviews though.
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
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Marigold
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Re: Dodgy drinkers; supplier won't replace them

Post by Marigold »

Icemaiden wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:54 am
Thanks Marigold, I just prefer the profit to go to UK companies who pay their fair share of tax... I will have a look at the reviews though.
Yes, good point Icemaiden. See today’s Guardian editorial.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... nt-choices
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