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Chicken Nipples question

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Geezer, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. Geezer

    Geezer Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 10, 2016
    Anderson, CA
    I have been watering my chickens with Chicken Nipples, but I recently set out a pan of water and the chickens definitely prefer drinking from it. In fact they wont use the nipples at all as long as the pan has water in it. It seems like it is a little awkward for them to use the nipples.
    So I'm wondering if they will get enough water from the nipples when the weather gets really hot.
     
  2. Poultry parent

    Poultry parent Chillin' With My Peeps

    If they have to drink from the nipples they will
     
  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Yep. They get enough from just the nipples. Remember that if you have an open pan of cold, fresh water in the coop or run that they can drink from, and then let them out, they'll hit a mud or rain puddle and drink like they've been trekking across the Sahara for days on end without any water at all! Silly chickens!

    We have a 5 gallon nipple waterer (horizontal nipples) in their run. We keep their pop door to the run open year-round, 24/7 so they can get water and food first thing without waiting for us to open it. We also have pan in the yard that we fill when we let them out to free range. They happily use them both but on days - even really hot ones - when we aren't around to let them out they do just fine on the nipples alone.
     
  4. Geezer

    Geezer Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 10, 2016
    Anderson, CA
    Thanks so much for your quick reply. I'm fairly new at keeping chickens, and probably a little too paranoid when it comes to their welfare. Your reply however brings up another question, if you don't mind. Is there an advantage to horizontal nipples, as apposed to vertical? (Mine are vertical).
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Mine are vertical, too. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types. And as with anything, there will be those who fiercely defend the ones they use. Bottom line, it's a personal choice, and both serve the chickens well.

    Horizontal nipples are spring activated, while vertical nipples are gravity fed, the latter being a little easier for small chicks to learn to use, but they catch on to the horizontal nipples pretty fast.

    Some say the vertical nipples leak and drip more than the horizontal, but I've solved the drip problem by installing a plastic ice cube tray beneath the nipples to catch the water that drips as the chickens drink. This also makes for another way for them to drink - out of the drip tray, almost as fun as a rain puddle.

    Bottom line, I will never go back to the old fashioned fount waterer. The time and energy I save in cleaning and washing and refilling can't be measured, and knowing the chickens always have clean, fresh water to drink gives me peace of mind.
     
  6. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I use both. I start all my chicks on vertical nipples then switch them to horizontal as soon as i know they are strong enough to trip the mechanism. As my good friend @azygous said, it's a matter of personal choice so there if you're happy with what you are using, by all means stick to it!
     
  7. Stephine

    Stephine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am using little self filling cups with floaters (they work much like the water tank for the toilet) that install on a bucket just like horizontal nipples. I love those: chickens can actually dip a beak and easily drink enough water and it is easy to clean, and stays relatively clean (it just gets some dirt from their beaks which I rinse out with a strong spray feom the hose in the mornings). It gets hot here in the summer and this system makes it much easier for them to drink.
     
  8. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    Just wanted to point out that if you have the verticals above their heads, they can hold it open and chug because that position allows it. They will get plenty. Also, if you only infrequently refill, the water gets stale. They'll still drink it but they do prefer fresh.
     
  9. Geezer

    Geezer Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 10, 2016
    Anderson, CA
    I may not have the nipples quite high enough, because they peck at them somewhat sideways. I'll try raising the bucket some. Thanks for the advice.
     
  10. Geezer

    Geezer Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 10, 2016
    Anderson, CA
    Sounds like a good setup.
     

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