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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chikki, Nov 25, 2015.
Looking for suggestions
Take the other water away completely grab a couple chickens and physically show them how to get the water, keep an eye on them, if they don't drink by the next day they should be thirsty and if you show them again they should catch on
I've had success by simply tapping the nipple a few times - since they are curious animals they followed suit.
Whilst i like the hygiene value of nipples, i have switched back to traditional watering recently as i am positive that the chickens drink more water this way and they certainly prefer not to use nipples. Also, their water is changed every day, which is of course better for them.
The easiest way with nipples is to let a mother hatch who knows how to use them - she teaches the chicks how to use them. I have used this from day 1 of hatching with no problems, and i would always use nipples when i have chicks (more room in the mini coop and easier to keep clean).
Thank you for the suggestions. I've been on the fence about using them. It doesn't seem natural yet the sanitary factor seems better. ..mind you I've noticed when I spill water when topping up their dish they seem to like to drink from the puddle over the dish ...and they eat lots of dirt anyway so I also wonder why we fuss so much over sanitary water anyway. ..mine is always fresh wether its spilled or in the bowl . After all this I think we humans overthink things to much..lol
I agree! Since switching back to conventional waterers, i have noticed a considerable increase in consumption which suggests that either some birds were not getting sufficient water from the nipples, or they were getting water from other sources (rainy season here). I have some commercial laying breeds and their food consumption and thus water consumption is high and i feel better knowing that they have ready access to all the water they need.
I'm going to try the nipples this winter as a means of making it easier to deal with, I'll use a barrel system and hopefully only have to water once every few weeks, I currently use the galvanized metal ones and have to carry out water daily its a pain in the winter when I can't run a hose out there. Also no matter what I have them roosting on top of the fountain waterer and therefore almost completely filling the water trough with crap every day, dirty mud puddles are one thing but a crap filled trough is something different entirely. I'm sure they get enough water or they wouldn't be very popular, I don't know if they'd be good for cx birds in mid summer heat but for layers I'm confident it will be fine, that is as long as the nipples don't freeze up
Nipples are a sanitary convenience for people not the chickens, yes they prefer open water, as it's easier for them...
As for an apparent increase in consumption with traditional watering devices, what you are more likely seeing is losses due to evaporation and/or spillage...
Of course if you notice your chickens spending all day 'trying' to get a drink and not doing their normal activities they might be not getting enough water... But if they are anything like my birds, I rarely see them using the nipples and when they are it's only a handful out of 100 birds at any given time, so I highly doubt they are lacking proper hydration or I would likely see them trying to get water more often...
As for teaching them, I have not done it to an adult for a long time now, but for day old or other young chicks I simply grab them and push their beak into the nipple to show them where the water is, then as they step back I flick the nipple so it dribbles... I do this for a handful of chicks and within minutes every chick follows suit by copying the others, never had a problem...
Go here for an interactive evaporation map as it can be significant and give an appearance of use that is actually waste...