Chicken waterers? Do they work for chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by RookieChicken15, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. RookieChicken15

    RookieChicken15 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am awaiting my first-ever shipment of chicks in the mail and am gathering supplies. I have a traditional chick-waterer, but I saw a clear plastic bottle with a little touch valve at our local feed store. The label said it "keeps water pristine". My question is, since I will need to dip the chickies' beaks into water when I first get them to teach them to drink, would this type of water bottle/valve work for new chicks? If so, how do you teach them to use it? Thanks for any info! I have a million questions!! :)
     
  2. Spangled

    Spangled Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can only imagine vaguely what you are using. I would use a standard beak-dipping-style chick waterer initially. Get the bottle/valve style after a few weeks. Install it and keep the standard waterer available. Since you have a back up supply of water with the standard waterer, then you can let them figure out bottle/valve waterer on their own secure in the knowledge that if a few chicks take a few days to figure out the new waterer, they won't die of dehydration* because they have the waterer they're used to. I hope that's clearer than mud.

    Tap the valve in front of them. One or two will see the drips and they will catch on. Once a chick or two is using the valve/bottle, the others will mimic the others and they will all be using it. My chickens use valve/buckets in the summer, but they drink more if they have their regular waterers since it matches their instincts more closely (is more natural).


    edited to clarify: "... die of dehydration...." was an exaggeration, more the way I speak, not a great likelihood at all, though we started our first nipple waterers with adult chickens during a heat wave when dehydration could contribute to the possibility of heat illness, which can lead to death. I have had shipped chicks arrive very lethargic, etc., and have felt the need to introduce them to water by dipping their beaks in water. Also, some chicken aficionados postulate that pasting up (where chicks' bottoms get pasted shut with poop starting around day 2-5) is caused by dehydration caused by the stress of shipping. I have heard many theoretical causes, but with shipped chicks, I take time to make sure they get some water in them right away. If I buy the chicks from the feed store or hatch them myself, I don't worry about making sure they understand the waterer(s) because I believe they will figure it out. I also try to make sure that the number of waterers is commensurate with the number of chicks and the space/heat involved.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  3. RookieChicken15

    RookieChicken15 Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay--that sounds good. Thank you so much!!! :)
     
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    You don't have to show chicks how to drink water...I've never had to show a chick water or feed. It's instinctive. The nipple waterers are easy for them to learn and once one does it, the others will too...it's monkey see, monkey do.

    You teach them to use it by pecking the nipple valve and they will run over to see what you are "pecking" and they will peck it also...and the water drips hanging off the end of the nipple from that action gives them a drink. They learn it much quicker than grown chickens, trust me.

    The chicks in these pics didn't have to be shown water, beaks dipped in water or instructed in how to use the water...they just DO. The nipples on the bottom of the buckets are red, which is calculated to be more attractive to pecking by the chicks and it's true.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Ren2014

    Ren2014 Blessed Beyond Hope Premium Member

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    Our chicks and ducklings figured the nipple waterer out right away. Be sure to hang it so the nipple is at eye level for them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  6. RookieChicken15

    RookieChicken15 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2014
    Thanks so much everyone! I appreciate your ideas! :D
     
  7. newchic2013

    newchic2013 Out Of The Brooder

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    I too went with the nipple waterer on day 1 and they took to it instantly. It literally took them MAYBE 20 seconds before one of them pecked at it and then it was game on. :) Only way to go in my opinion.
     
  8. Amandas4hens

    Amandas4hens Out Of The Brooder

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    All if this info was helpful to me! I too am awaiting my first ever shipment of chicks!!
     
  9. Balloonjuice

    Balloonjuice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Speaking of "keeps water pristine." My traditional chick water dispenser is the messiest part of taking care of my girls. They manage to get the tiny water tray filled with pine shavings faster than I can get back out the door. Ok, that's an exaggeration. But they do make a mess of it for sure. Had I known about the nipple valve approach sooner, I certainly would have tried it. May do so anyway. Where do I find them? I haven't seen them at my local feed store.
     
  10. newchic2013

    newchic2013 Out Of The Brooder

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