Help - How to get the chickens to use the nipples!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by adele, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. adele

    adele Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 6, 2010
    So a couple of weeks ago, I finally sourced some nipples to put in the bottom of a bucket to water the chooks. After some diy of which i was very proud I installed the waterer in their run and tapped their beaks against them as instructed by some people here to teach them how to use it. I have done this several times but they still have not got the idea so I have to keep going down with the hose and cleaning out their dish and filling it up with water again.

    Should I just remove all other water sources and hope they get desperate enough to try it? I am not sure whether I have it at the right height either, I have big chooks BA's and RIR's in with 2 lil' pekins and another mixed race 'ninja' bantam. when I catch them to have a go at it they squat of course so it feels like its too high, but when I see them walking around they have to bob their heads to fit under it. Its about a foot off the ground.

    Please help, I am so sick of the mess they make in their water dish and felt sure this was the perfect solution and it took so long to source them here it is very disappointing that they are not using it!
     
  2. crazzzymike13

    crazzzymike13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If I were doing it I would take their water from them for about a day if its not too hot. Then when you know they are thirsty teach them how to use it. That way it will stick in their minds.
     
  3. Chickenjocky

    Chickenjocky Out Of The Brooder

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    When I installed my chicken nipples, my chickens were a little slow to begin using it. I finally went out in the morning, filled the regular bowl so they could all get a drink, then took the water bowl for the rest of the day. Left with just nipples, they figured it out on their own.
     
  4. adele

    adele Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 6, 2010
    thank you, perhaps I will try that.
     
  5. Scooter&Suzie

    Scooter&Suzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It took a few days for my chickens to figure it out. I had to keep tapping it until one go the idea. The rest soon followed. I soon ditched the whole idea. You see, whenever my chickens were let out they would run over to leaves, buckets, tarps, anything that contained water, and drank very thirstly from them. Apperently they had a difficult time getting water out of the nipples. It probably took too long to get a drink from them, since they only let out one drop at a time.
     
  6. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lots of people seem to love the convenience of the nipples but I have always wondered if the chickens do. For my small flock of 7, I just use a regular tall plastic bucket (2 gallons?) and I have never had any poop in it, no shavings, or much dirt. They eventually get a few crumbles in it and dust, but it is never disgusting like the gravity chicken waterer I tried. I fill the bucket to the brim and they drink down maybe 2-4 inches in a day. Good luck with the nipple training. If you give up on that, maybe try a bucket.
     
  7. Chickenjocky

    Chickenjocky Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree that chickens would rather drink out of a bowl or a hanging waterer. The nipples are on a heated bucket in the coop. If there is bad weather, they just stay in the coop and have a source of drinkable water. Otherwise, I usually put out a 1 gallon hanging waterer they prefer.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  8. SweetSarah

    SweetSarah Out Of The Brooder

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    Waterer cups are the best of both worlds with a space saving line feeding in and also an open source for them to drink from.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. adele

    adele Out Of The Brooder

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    the cups do look like a good idea. Anyway, so yesterday following the suggestion to remove their other water after letting them have a drink, the RIRs started to figure out how to do it! yay. I thought I would just keep an eye on them to make sure no-one was getting too badly dehydrated. This morning I have seen all but one of them have a go at it but I am concerned that they might not get enough. How can you tell if they are getting enough? I put a wee step under the bucket so that the bantams could reach it too and at least one of them has figured it out, the other is still stretching and jumping to reach the nipples. the BAs are a bit slow on the uptake I think, they seem to think its better to knock the nipple and then lick up off the ground whatever comes out of it..

    the one that hasn't had a turn (that i've noticed) is broody at the moment and I have to keep chucking her out of the nest to go eat and drink. I'm a bit concerned that her raised body heat may cause her to dehydrate quicker so might have to intervene there. I shall keep watching them. Thanks for all your help.

    to the person who just uses a bucket, I think it would be too tall for my banties, and still get full of muck as they have bark in their run and they love to scratch round in it and it goes everywhere!
     
  10. crazzzymike13

    crazzzymike13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think your chickens would continue to drink until they had enough. But that is cool that it worked. I bought those nipples a couple weeks ago. I just haven't had the time to make my watering system out of pvc.
     

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