Difficulty with poultry nipples

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ondreeuh, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. ondreeuh

    ondreeuh In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2010
    This week I have been trying to transition my chicks (6-7 weeks old) from the fountain waterer to a homemade waterer with poultry nipples, but I don't think it's going well. I have two setups - one is a 2-gallon bucket with 2 screw-in nipples, and the other is a clean milk jug with one push-in nipple. Both of them are vented to prevent a vacuum, but when I tap the nipple barely any water comes out- it takes a few taps to get a couple of drops. I have removed the lids to make sure it's not a vacuum issue, and that doesn't help.

    The first time I put the new waterers in, I saw at least 6 out of the 8 chicks peck the nipples, and figured that they would teach the others and my job was done; however, after a while they all sounded distressed. I brought back the fountain waterer and they went crazy drinking up and then quieted down. A couple more times I have given them a couple hours with the nipple waterers and I am just not confident that they are being rewarded with enough water for their efforts because they seem to give up using it and then act very thirsty when I bring the fountain back.

    Are there any tricks to increasing the amount of water that comes out? I am using the nipples FarmTek sells (the orange 360 degree ones). I thought of raising the bucket and using tubing & a piece of PVC to create more water pressure. Or maybe it's just something chicks get used to if they are thirsty enough?

  2. jeb251

    jeb251 Songster

    Mar 24, 2009
    Fort Wayne
    I had the same problem when I started using them last year, but I stuck to my guns and it didnt take much time at all and they accepted it, now they all use them, I even start my chicks on them, no problems at all, I love it, as for flow it sounds about right thats how mine operate as well, they will take to them dont worry.
  3. Mine like it well enough, but they'd prefer a bowl. [​IMG]
  4. trilyn

    trilyn Songster

    Apr 13, 2009
    East Syracuse
    I love them, use them in the coops and brooders and cannot say enough good things about them! That being said, for free ranging I use bowls and fountain waterers. I am not about to find places to hang nipple waterers outside and I don't care if they make a mess, its outside! Inside however, is a different story, I want to free up the floor space and keep things clean. Fountain waterers in a coop is just way too messy for me! JMO
  5. sotelomary

    sotelomary Songster

    I really thought I would like mine. It enabled me to go away for the weekend and the water stayed cleaner. But every time I cleaned it out my husband noticed that the chickens would run to any puddle of water and drank as if they were dying of thirst. My husband kept saying that they weren't getting enough water every time I'd cleaned their water bucket. I finally stopped using it and resorted to buying 2 blue shallow buckets from Home Depot. They were $2 ea. and now I keep one in the coop and one outside in the run. I placed them on the edge where I can easily refilled with my hose.

    I sure missed the ease of the water nipples though.

  6. A couple of weeks ago, I was experiencing the same problems with the nipples when I began using ACV (apple cider vinegar). When I looked inside the bottle, I noticed that several protein strands of the "mother" were collecting around the nipples. Once I switched back to the plain well water, the nipples have worked.

    Although I have solved the problem, I still don't completely trust the nipples. I find myself checking them several times a day and I'm considering switching to the "old fashioned" fountain waterers. If the soft protein strands can clog the nipples, I would imagine small particles of dirt or shavings entering through the bottles' air vents could also cause the same problem. I nearly lost my chicks and now I wonder how many chickens have died from "unknown causes" while using the nipples...

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