Changing waterer for winter

Builderbee

In the Brooder
Jul 27, 2020
20
23
23
Midcoast Maine
So I have been using Rent-A-coop waterer with sipping cups that refill automatically and all the chicks seem to like it. However, I live in Maine and winter is coming. I know that I will need a heated waterer and want to change them to a nipple style waterer. Does anyone have any advice on how to teach them to use the nipple style drinkers?
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
11,740
21,700
792
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
You can tap on nipples with your finger and the chickens will come over to investigate it.

More hands on: if your flock is small, pick up each bird and use their beak to toggle the nipple, let them drink the water that drips out, and then put them down. Or if your flock is bigger, grab a few of the more dominant birds and use their beaks to toggle, and let the rest of the flock learn from watching them.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
84,358
97,804
1,677
SW Michigan
My Coop
Does anyone have any advice on how to teach them to use the nipple style drinkers?
Give them time, and don't switch over when temps are extreme.
Some may catch on immediately, but some can take a couple weeks to really 'get it'.
Use the Horizontal Nipples, much better for freezing temps.
Mine has been good down to -12°F, then the pin freezes up with excess water in the lip.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/aarts-heated-waterer-with-horizontal-nipples.67256/
 

Builder Dan

In the Brooder
Oct 20, 2015
3
4
41
Independence Missouri
....I live in Maine and winter is coming. I know that I will need a heated waterer and want to change them to a nipple style waterer.....
How does any nipple waterer (heated or not) not freeze in the winter. I built a real nice unit, kept heated water in it BUT the nipples would freeze, i live in Missouri and I can't imagine it gets nearly as cold ssin Maine?
 

Builderbee

In the Brooder
Jul 27, 2020
20
23
23
Midcoast Maine
So I have added a nipple waterer to the pail and I see a couple of my chickens trying it, but mostly they still drink out of the sipper cup. It’s going to be too cool out for my young chicks so I was thinking of switching the sipper for a nipple and see if they can figure it out while they are inside and it’s not too warm? I do show them the how the nipple works but I think this might be the only way to force the change over. Thoughts?
 

SegiDream

Chirping
Apr 23, 2020
128
393
83
Southeast TN
So I have added a nipple waterer to the pail and I see a couple of my chickens trying it, but mostly they still drink out of the sipper cup. It’s going to be too cool out for my young chicks so I was thinking of switching the sipper for a nipple and see if they can figure it out while they are inside and it’s not too warm? I do show them the how the nipple works but I think this might be the only way to force the change over. Thoughts?
IMO chickens will always head to the water source they are familiar with and whichever is easier. If you want them to use the nipple for drinking then switch them over to that and keep an eye on them that they actually start using it because you don't want them to dehydrate...
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
84,358
97,804
1,677
SW Michigan
My Coop
So I have added a nipple waterer to the pail and I see a couple of my chickens trying it, but mostly they still drink out of the sipper cup. It’s going to be too cool out for my young chicks so I was thinking of switching the sipper for a nipple and see if they can figure it out while they are inside and it’s not too warm? I do show them the how the nipple works but I think this might be the only way to force the change over. Thoughts?
I would leave both out until it cools off, then remove the cups.
 

Builderbee

In the Brooder
Jul 27, 2020
20
23
23
Midcoast Maine
I switched over to just nipples and they all seem to be to be getting the hang of it. The chickens (even the little ones) are the best at it and guineas are learning if not very skilled. I go out and tap the nipples several times a day to make sure they are getting water and watch them for a while, so it seems to be on the way to a successful transition. Thanks for your help!
 

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