how do you teach chickens to use the nipple waterer?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by shend, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. shend

    shend Chirping

    Sep 16, 2010
    west michigan
    I saw a great set up for warm months for watering chickens in Mother Earth News. Its a 4 or 6 inch pvc pipe with nipple waterers inserted. How do the chickens figure this out?

  2. lilchick

    lilchick Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Williamsport In.
    They are curious and will peck at it. Once they realize they can drink from it a light bulb goes on over their head. [​IMG]

    I would continue using standard method of watering until they are drinking from both.....
  3. shend

    shend Chirping

    Sep 16, 2010
    west michigan
    Thanks. I don't have my chickens yet! But so excited and all over the place with food and watering ideas.

    I'd like to do the nipple watering in the brooder because of space constraints. Saw another post using a small plastic bucket with nipples. Just didn't know how to teach them!

    Ok, here's a silly question: do chickens have tongue's? Do they lick the nipple or push it and let it flow?

    The PVC waterer looked great for outdoor, summer watering.
  4. averytds

    averytds Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    To get chicks to use it in the brooder, I do it just like you're told when getting new chicks. Push the nipple with their beak, dip beak in feed, release, grab another chick and repeat. With a broody, she shows them how.

    All you really need is one or two to get it and the others will catch on quick.
  5. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    I used to have chicks in w/ 2 rabbits and I had a nipple water bottle for the bunnies and the chicks quickly learned how to use it. [​IMG] I use rodent water bottles for all my quail. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    They peck at the protruding metal which opens a valve and a drop of water comes out. They catch the drop and peck again, catch the next drop. Notice that chickens tilt their heads back when drinking. Nipple waterers are an adjunct monopolizing on this behavior. That's why nipple waterers need to be set up so they are at head height or above, but not so far they can't reach it or have to jump up to peck the metal bar.

    For adult chickens, you may have to tap it yourself a few times so the chicken sees the drips. Their curiosity will get the best of them and they'll try it.
  7. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    I put my chicks in with a nipple waterer right out of the egg. I don't show them anything and they get it within an hour or so. [​IMG]

  8. amberflea

    amberflea Songster

    Jun 11, 2010
    Central WI
    I put these in my coop with the 4 nipples on a PVC pipe attached to a 5 gallon bucket, I did press the nipple a few times for them, but within an hour my cochin [​IMG] was pecking at it and drinking (the nipples are red, and chickens are curious, they naturally pecked at it and found out water comes out!).

    Just some advice, I can't detach the bucket from the PVC pipe for cleaning, which is a pain, so try and make it so the bucket can detach for easier cleaning.(or easier yet, just put the nipples on the bottom of the pail!) I do have a valve on the end of the pipe, so for cleaning I have to run vinegar water through several time, and hand swab the bucket, even tho the water stays clean, eventually esp in the summer it can start to get slimey or milky, and cleaning it is a must at least weekly then.
    I do use it all year long, in the winter I have heat tape wrapped around the pvc pipe and pail connected to a thermostat at the outlet, and so far only only one day (-15 F) did it get ice in the bucket.

    I plan on using this on a smaller scale (maybe a 3 gallon pail with 2 nipples on the botton of the pail) for when I incubate, it will be wonderful for the baby chicks to have fresh water, that is the worst thing when raising babies, is trying to keep the water clean, or trying to make sure they stay out of it! [​IMG]
  9. spook

    spook Songster

    Put a favorite piece of food on it. As they peck, they will grasp the concept of water.
  10. kyle7630

    kyle7630 Songster

    Aug 14, 2008
    Semora NC
    All you really need is one or two to get it and the others will catch on quick.

    I agree with this statement completely. I often think to my self; who ever came up with the term "copy cat", must have never had chickens!

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