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Nipple watering - Page 16

post #151 of 260
Originally Posted by DanEP View Post

Sorry to hear that maybe being in w Kentucky I'm just lucky. We normally don't get below zero more than 1 or 2 days a year at the most but are normally high single digits for a low and only get that for about a month. I'm not going back to Wisconsin I'm spoiled.

It really wasn't that big a deal, DanEP.  We'd get into our outdoor togs, start the coffee, and while it was brewing we'd grab the heat gun.  Then Ken thawed the icicles while I filled the feeder and got morning chores done.  He was usually done before I was!  Took no time at all to thaw them.  Usually the girls were just waking up, so by the time they hopped down from the perches they had water.  They only froze on the mornings it was way below it was only a for a few weeks, and I still won't go back to any other watering system.  This year we plan to put the nipples up higher on a new bucket, hoping that will make a difference.  But if it doesn't that's okay too.  I'd still rather spend a few minutes with the heat gun than haul water!



Thawing the nipples. Just took a few minutes to do them all.


Here you can see that the nipple itself has been thawed to the top of the icicle, and Ken was getting ready to thaw it the rest of the way down.

post #152 of 260
My flock figured out how to use both style nipples right away, natural curiosity to peck at stuff. They will still attack any pool, puddle, or other source of water like they just crossed the Sahara.

I have an igloo cooler (gatorade style) as a reservoir, it is topped off by a line from my drip irrigation that was nearby and convenient to tap into. It has an overflow line that goes outside to a bowl. I do have to manually fill it in the winter. Too much work to bury a pipe below the frost line.
post #153 of 260
Originally Posted by roostereggs View Post

Thank You! That's All i Needed To Know.



Originally Posted by pawtraitart View Post

This is normal. Chickens love to "gulp" water. Don't worry. The nipple drinker is healthier for them. You will confuse them by having both types of drinkers in there, though. It's best to pick one and let them form the habit you want them to have. 

Thank you both - this is EXACTLY what I was worried about ... as soon as I let them out of the coop/run each day for their daily "free range" time, they run to our dogs water bowl and gulp down the water.  It always makes me nervous, but they have been on the nipple waterers since very young and I know they know how to use them, so I was wondering if something had changed.  I feel much better now.  I guess we all have a tendency to to it the "easy" way... :)



post #154 of 260
I set up a 5 gal bucket with 4 vertical nipples but i think its too low. I have a farm cull that seems to know about nipples and she pecks them but has to squat and turn her head to the side. I have to wonder if she can get any water that way?
No pets, no roosters, just grandchildren, 3 vehicles, one collapsed garage, one pole barn, one chicken coop, lots of moles i share with neighbors and a house that will never be finished......
No pets, no roosters, just grandchildren, 3 vehicles, one collapsed garage, one pole barn, one chicken coop, lots of moles i share with neighbors and a house that will never be finished......
post #155 of 260

You're probably right, it's too low. Those nipples need to be above the height of the chicken's head to avoid extreme neck contortions in order to drink from them.

post #156 of 260
Hello! I recently installed 2 nipple waterers in my girls run. I only have 2 of them. One is about 3 years old and the other is just under a year old. They will not touch it! I've tried over and over to show it to them and they have no interest. They normally free range but today I've decided to leave them secured in the run so that they would figure it out. How long should I wait? This is day 3 and I'm now getting concerned about their health since they haven't had any substantial water.I've also noticed that they've stopped eating their feed. Is that because they are thirsty. They'll still eat treats though. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!
post #157 of 260

I know people in the forum recommend to stop giving the chickens any other source of water to train them to drink from the nipples. My personal advice is to continue to give them water as you have always done and let them chose which one they want to drink from. Water is extremely important for their metabolism and depriving them even for a short time is very detrimental to their health. I installed water nipples in their run and patiently waited for them to start using them, I never stopped giving them the other sources of water (specially in the summer time). It got to the point that I completely forgot about the nipples and to my surprise they started using them out of the blue. One thing that helped though is when I added a nipple bottle in my brooder, the chicks really went for it (I still had a chick waterer in the brooder) I have different ages in my flock so when some of them drink from the nipples the others learn to do it (specially the older ones that never had a water nipple).  

I might be defeating the purpose of having water nipples but I think about them as a second source of water in case something goes wrong with the waterer, I know they will never run out of water. Also they are in the shade and under cover so the water is cooler. Another reason why I like to keep the regular waterer around is to add probiotics or ACV or electrolytes when needed. The water nipples always clogged up when something is added to the water.

As I see it, my flock is drinking from both sources about 50/50 but it took a while to get here. Be patient and please give your girls some water.....

loving my flock with their personalities, getting to know them and enjoy everyday I spend with them
loving my flock with their personalities, getting to know them and enjoy everyday I spend with them
post #158 of 260

Like Aldarita, I have multiple sources of water.  I have a "thing" about water (hot climate).  I couldn't relax if I only had devices that might not be working.  I have a huge ceramic pot in the run and keep it filled with water.  If anything gets knocked over, blocked up or leaks empty (or any other scenario my neuroses can imagine) they have that. 


MichelleLF, how have you tried to get them to use it? Holding the valve in so the water comes out and smearing a bit on their beak?  Smearing a teeny bit of something they like on it? What do they do?  Run away?  The only suggestion I can make is to try not to be anxious when you are trying to get them to use it.  Animals pick up on our anxieties and instead of doing what we are wanting them to, they just pick up on the anxiety and think we are doing something bad to them.  


I went for these little cups instead of nipples.  They make me feel better.  I can see the water in the cup and don't have to worry so much that the mechanism isn't working and they can't get to the water.  Have you considered using the cups instead of nipples? 

post #159 of 260
Edited by MichelleLF - 1/21/16 at 5:46pm
post #160 of 260
Thank you both. I've made it so that the water will drip, in hopes that they would see where it was coming from. They have had some water, just nothing substantial. I will try to touch there beaks to the actual nipple tomorrow as well as add a bowl of water. I was only touching their beak to the water, I feel like like a dummy not actually tapping the nipple with the beak. Thank you so much for for the tips!
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