I just purchased a 2 gal bucket through Amazon with "horizontal" nipples to put into my brooder for my seventeen 2 and 1 week old chicks. The instructions say that it should work for chicks as young as one week old. Unfortunately, neither the 2 week or the 1 week old chicks could push the metal pin in the nipple hard enough to release water. The tension on the spring caused too much resistance. They really wanted to and were in a kind of frenzy to get water. I removed all other water sources for several hours and tapped the pin to prime the flow of water into the little space below the pin. They drank the drop or two of water that fell out and tapped the pin but no more water was forthcoming. I repeated this several times and even used a laser light to attract them to the pin and get them to push it.
Side note, the laser is a great teaching tool. They will follow it along as if it is a bug they want and they get so excited to chase it they will knock over other chicks in an attempt to grab it. I think this may be a good way to catch one if you needed to instead of chasing them around.
Anyway, I am writing this to see if any of you have had a different experience with your chicks if you have the horizontal nipples. My hope is that the nipples I received are not representative of all horizontal nipples. Perhaps a different supplier has looser spring on theirs.
It would be great if I could incorporate this watering alternative to the dish style because they scratch wood shavings and poop into the water well and it needs frequent changing plus it is just not very sanitary.
When (what age) should the chicks be able to use sufficient force to release the water through the nipples?