I put a waterer with a poultry nipple in the brooder for the first time last night. I spent awhile trying to get the chicks to drink to no avail. My wife did not observe them using it today either. It was surprising to me that they weren't pecking at the shiny metal just for the sake of pecking at it, since any little speck on the wall of the brooder is instantly annihilated. Well tonight I wanted to get them to use it since that will be the water source once they move out to the coop (I say 'the coop', but I should say the pile of wood outside that will turn into a coop once this rain stops!). So I took their main waterer out, which is one of the standard little red plastic trays with the plastic bottle attached. After about an hour they were carrying on with all sorts of chirping, it was readily apparent that they were saying "WHERE IS OUR WATER!", especially since they were standing on the empty spot on the board where the water usually is. So I reached in and started tapping the nipple with my finger, they would see the water drops come out and they tried to get it underneath, in the shavings...especially our RIR, "Boss", and unfortunately for her she is big enough to hit the nipple with her back when she scratches around beneath it which made for some comedic moments "ahhh! my back is cold!". Finally, our Dark Brahma, "Mazy", put two and two together and started in on it, then "Aabbee" our Salmon Faverolle joined in, with Boss barging in shortly after...though for another minute or two she still thought scratching the bedding was the way to go, but just got more cold back for the effort. I made a short video of the ensuing drinking party and figured some here would enjoy it:
The video is shoddy especially given the heat lamp was the primary light source, but it's funny to watch them go to town. The stickers in the brooder and the name 'Aabbee' are courtesy of my 2.5 year old daughter :)
The waterer is just a 1 L Kefir bottle washed out, a hole drilled in the bottom and the nipple screwed in. Surprisingly it doesn't leak at all and works great.
If you are looking for super cheap poultry nipples then follow the link below - 3.75 for a 5 pack and free shipping. They come from China which sort of annoys me, but the price is right, especially since the local feed store is selling them for 4.89 a piece and I am sure those are made in China too! These came with little silicone o-rings which sealed right up on that thin plastic bottle, so I assume they will work great in PVC or in the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket...haven't decided which of the two I will use for the coop...decisions, decisions, but I suppose I should build it first and worry about a waterer later!
happy chirps :)