Hole or no hole in bottle for nipple watering

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MacPara, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. MacPara

    MacPara Just Hatched

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    Apr 21, 2017
    As so many I was trying to find a better and cleaner way of providing water to my 1-2 week olds. I was using an inverted water bottle with a nipple in the cap of the water bottle (I tried the horizontal nipple first but the little ones did have enough force to overcome the spring load on the metal piece in the nipple), so it's a vertical nipple needing very little force to release a drop of water.
    I noticed though that the day old chicks were pecking a lot on the nipple as if they were not getting out much or any water. What I found was that the nipple works good when you just inverted the bottle but as the water level gets a bit lower the vacuum in the bottle will restrain the flow and a brief, weak peck from the day old chicks was not enough to allow air to get into the bottle to break the vacuum.
    So I decided to poke a small hole in the bottom of the bottle to allow air to come in. Well, that did resolve the issue with the vacuum but also created another one. The chisk are still pecking a lot on the nipple but they should get enough water out of it as now I am seeing wet spots under each bottle and the bedding is soaked. Is this because they are just playing with the nipple and they might eventually lose interest in pecking it for fun or do I need to come up with a better solution to avoid the bedding getting soaked (and having to refill the bottles every day)?
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Nipple waterers don't work if there is a vaccume inside the bottle, so you must put a hole in what is the top of the bottle as it hangs to let air in. As for your nipple waterer, you might want to put a small bowl or similar container under the container, as the chicks will dribble some water as they play with those nipples. The bell style waterers with the moat or trough around the inverted bottle MUST have a vaccume in them.
     
  3. catinthecoop

    catinthecoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 17, 2017
    I did notice that when beginning with the nipples my crew made a big mess for a few days, now there is hardly any mess as they get more experienced with using them. You may not need to keep a 'catch' type pan for too long.
     
  4. MacPara

    MacPara Just Hatched

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    I'll try the catch pan. Probably stoneware as they'll move it around too easily otherwise. Also I did notice a very slow drip from a leak around the thread, so I think it was partially my faulty installation causing that mess too.
     
  5. chickjoy11

    chickjoy11 Out Of The Brooder

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    I had the same issue with soaked pine shavings a couple weeks ago. I use an inverted soda bottle with the nipple. The catch pan was the base of a more typical waterer. Whew! Much better. I can't believe how much they like pecking at it!
     
  6. MacPara

    MacPara Just Hatched

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    Yeah, it's their favorite toy right now. Funny enough the young arrivals discovered the nipple immediately and started pecking at it THEN the older ones followed, saying "oh what's that new thing?" :) Now they wouldn't stop but the drip pan helps keeping the shavings dry. Sometimes they even drink the runoff instead of waiting in line at the nipple.
     

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