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Spotlight on Greg & Lei Gunthorp and their Small-Scale Poultry Operation

As a small-scale poultry farmer, finding the products you need for the size of your operation is not always an easy task. Many products are expensive or only come in a large quantity. Greg and Lei Gunthorp were facing this issue when they needed a drinker system for their grass-raised chickens. After some research, they found exactly what they needed to keep their birds happy and hydrated, and they shared their story with Farm Show Magazine.

Greg and Lei Gunthorp, La Grange, Ind., are happy with the FarmTek nipple drinkers they use in their pasture-based chicken and duck operations. They produce some 40,000 birds and developed their own markets selling direct to consumers and upscale restaurants.

The Gunthorps got started in pasture production of chickens and ducks on a relatively modest 65 acres, and have expanded their operation in recent years. Raising birds on grass meant they needed an efficient way to supply drinking water to them at all times.

Poultry drinker kitThe FarmTek nipple drinkers have long been used in poultry confinement operations.”We use the FarmTek nipple system inside our brooder barn, before the birds go outside. They’re great,” says Greg. “As far as I know FarmTek is the first company to come out with a nipple drinker line that’s suited to small producers.”

“The nice thing about using nipple drinkers is that it keeps the animals’ bedding dry. The birds have to reach their head upward to drink, instead of reaching down into a bowl and getting their front side wet. The birds stay healthier, and everything stays cleaner. We use the FarmTek Bell-Matic waterer outside because if the Bell-Matic units should ever freeze they’re a lot cheaper to fix.”

Reprinted with permission from Farm Show Magazine (

Are you a small-scale poultry farmer who can’t find a product you need? Suggest it and we’ll see what we can do.

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