My brooders are for Mandarin ducklings, Golden Pheasants, Silkies, and Peafowl. This waterer will work for any birds. I designed this system 15 years ago and have used it since. I use it for brooders. You could use it for breeding pens too. I have a different design for my breeding pens.
My brooders are in a place where the slight excess dripping doesn't cause a problem. I'll discribe the system, and then discribe a solution to the waste water.
CLICK HERE to see a drawing of the system
The waterer involves running a 1/2" pvc pipe through all the cages. In each cage is a tee, a short piece of pipe and a cap. The pipe should drop about 3" legnthwise from first cage to the last, to insure a downward flow. The water comes in from a trickling hose into a 1 and 1/2" pvc pipe, thats around 2' long. That pipe converts into 1/2" with bushings. In each cage is a tee. A short pipe and the cap. Glue everything together, but DO NOT glue the cap. Thats your adjustment for the drip. The water drips into tuna fish cans that are wired over with rabbit wire (1/2"x1"). The excess water falls to the ground. A piece of gutter will direct the water away if its a problem. The cap needs to drip only slightly. Its amazing how a few drops will keep it filled. You can shut the water off in any cage, by using vasaline on the cap, causing a seal. Sometimes one cap will not drip readily. In that case a (slight) flat spot can be filed on one side of the pipe end. Use trial and error.
The rabbit wire can be bent over the tuna can to keep the birds out of the water, and to hold it in place. The wire frame can be hinged through the bottom wire of your cage, with 2 pieces of wire. The frame can then be swung open to clean or replace the can. The birds will stick their heads through the rabbit wire to drink. Large birds can drink through a small hole cut in the middle of the rabbit wire. They will find a way. One can will last about a year. Position your can, tee, down pipe and cap where it won't block your doors to your cages. Then you'll need to figure out where the water will drain off, since excess will come out of the pipe end.
If you need to eliminate the excess, heres how. Hang a gutter (thats been capped on one end) under all the cages and over a 5 gallon bucket. The bucket should be positioned under the end of your pipe to catch all the excess. In the side of the bucket a hole can be drilled about half way up. A plastic hose adapter can be conected by passing the threaded end of the adapter through the hole. Then put a rubber washer or silicone, and then screw a female adapter to the threads. That will secure the fitting. Then all you do is connect a hose with a hose clamp and direct the water anywhere down hill. Your garden, pond etc. The waterer works great. They always have fresh water. The hose needs to trickle only slightly. You can watch the excess as it drips into your bucket from the end of the pipe.
Ocasionally a cap stops
dripping. All you do is twist the cap a little and it
will start up. The drip should be around one drop
every few seconds. You'll get the hang of it. The
whole system can be built for around $20 not counting
the gutter, if needed. I have mine working on about 20
brooders that are 2'x 3'x3' high. Start saving tuna
cans now, you'll need them.