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how do you teach chickens to use the nipple waterer?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I saw a great set up for warm months for watering chickens in Mother Earth News.  Its a 4 or 6 inch pvc pipe with nipple waterers inserted.  How do the chickens figure this out?

empty nester, 4 cats, fish inside, fish & frogs out in the pond.  1 BR, 1RIR and 2 Easter Eggers
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empty nester, 4 cats, fish inside, fish & frogs out in the pond.  1 BR, 1RIR and 2 Easter Eggers
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post #2 of 15

They are curious and will peck at it. Once they realize they can drink from it a light bulb goes on over their head. big_smile

I would continue using standard method of watering until they are drinking from both.....

No matter how much we push the envelope it is still stationary......
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No matter how much we push the envelope it is still stationary......
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post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  I don't have my chickens yet!  But so excited and all over the place with food and watering ideas. 

I'd like to do the nipple watering in the brooder because of space constraints.  Saw another post using a small plastic bucket with nipples.  Just didn't know how to teach them!

Ok, here's a silly question:  do chickens have tongue's?  Do they lick the nipple or push it and let it flow?

The PVC waterer looked great for outdoor, summer watering.

empty nester, 4 cats, fish inside, fish & frogs out in the pond.  1 BR, 1RIR and 2 Easter Eggers
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empty nester, 4 cats, fish inside, fish & frogs out in the pond.  1 BR, 1RIR and 2 Easter Eggers
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post #4 of 15

To get chicks to use it in the brooder, I do it just like you're told when getting new chicks.  Push the nipple with their beak, dip beak in feed, release, grab another chick and repeat.  With a broody, she shows them how.

All you really need is one or two to get it and the others will catch on quick.

I don't bother to count them anymore.    Thanks to "Chicken Math" I already know the answer will be 10-12. 
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I don't bother to count them anymore.    Thanks to "Chicken Math" I already know the answer will be 10-12. 
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post #5 of 15

I used to have chicks in w/ 2 rabbits and I had a nipple water bottle for the bunnies and the chicks quickly learned how to use it. smile I use rodent water bottles for all my quail. smile


Edited by Mrs. Fluffy Puffy - 1/11/11 at 10:24pm
post #6 of 15

They peck at the protruding metal which opens a valve and a drop of water comes out.  They catch the drop and peck again, catch the next drop.  Notice that chickens tilt their heads back when drinking.  Nipple waterers are an adjunct monopolizing on this behavior.  That's why nipple waterers need to be set up so they are at head height or above, but not so far they can't reach it or have to jump up to peck the metal bar.

For adult chickens, you may have to tap it yourself a few times so the chicken sees the drips.  Their curiosity will get the best of them and they'll try it.

-- Linda (AKA: gryeyes)
I refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Buncha Outdoor PET chickens, ducks, 5 Toulouse geese, and 7 turkeys....so far. Plus 2 wiener dogs, 2 bunnies, a rescue cat which owns me and a new kitten. Oh, yeah: and a house silkie....

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-- Linda (AKA: gryeyes)
I refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Buncha Outdoor PET chickens, ducks, 5 Toulouse geese, and 7 turkeys....so far. Plus 2 wiener dogs, 2 bunnies, a rescue cat which owns me and a new kitten. Oh, yeah: and a house silkie....

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post #7 of 15

I put my chicks in with a nipple waterer right out of the egg. I don't show them anything and they get it within an hour or so. smile

post #8 of 15

I put these in my coop with the 4 nipples on a PVC pipe attached to a 5 gallon bucket, I did press the nipple a few times for them, but within an hour my cochin  woot was pecking at it and drinking (the nipples are red, and chickens are curious, they naturally pecked at it and found out water comes out!).
D:love:cd

Just some advice, I can't detach the bucket from the PVC pipe for cleaning, which is a pain, so try and make it so the bucket can detach for easier cleaning.(or easier yet, just put the nipples on the bottom of the pail!)  I do have a valve on the end of the pipe, so for cleaning I have to run vinegar water through several time, and hand swab the bucket, even tho the water stays clean, eventually esp in the summer it can start to get slimey or milky, and cleaning it is a must at least weekly then.
I do use it all year long, in the winter I have heat tape wrapped around the pvc pipe and pail connected to a thermostat at the outlet, and so far only only one day (-15 F) did it get ice in the bucket.
thumbsup

I plan on using this on a smaller scale (maybe a 3 gallon pail with 2 nipples on the botton of the pail) for when I incubate, it will be wonderful for the baby chicks to have fresh water, that is the worst thing when raising babies, is trying to keep the water clean, or trying to make sure they stay out of it! barnie

AmberFlea
Iola, WI
Dogmah of 4 (2 papillons, 1 malinois, 1 wirehair dachshund), Chickens, BCM's, Olive Eggers, Brahmas and a flock of Guineas!

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AmberFlea
Iola, WI
Dogmah of 4 (2 papillons, 1 malinois, 1 wirehair dachshund), Chickens, BCM's, Olive Eggers, Brahmas and a flock of Guineas!

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post #9 of 15

Put a favorite piece of food on it. As they peck, they will grasp the concept of water.

Northern New England Bird Fanciers Association      http://northernnewenglandbirdfanciers.webs.com/
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Northern New England Bird Fanciers Association      http://northernnewenglandbirdfanciers.webs.com/
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post #10 of 15

All you really need is one or two to get it and the others will catch on quick.

I agree with this statement completely. I often think to my self; who ever came up with the term "copy cat", must have never had chickens!

1 son, 1 daughter, 1 wife, 5 pitbulls, 22 giuneas, 3 BO's, 2 JG's, 6 RIR's, a bunch of mixed hatchlings. 2 mixed roos, 2 cats(sometimes), no hair.
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1 son, 1 daughter, 1 wife, 5 pitbulls, 22 giuneas, 3 BO's, 2 JG's, 6 RIR's, a bunch of mixed hatchlings. 2 mixed roos, 2 cats(sometimes), no hair.
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