How to teach chickens to use nipple waterer?

ChickenGirl555

Songster
Oct 22, 2017
1,352
1,297
242
Wisconsin
My Coop
My Coop
We are thinking about using nipple waterers with a heater for this Winter, but how do you teach a chicken to use one? A full grown chicken that is used to the standard waterers?
 

ChickNanny13

Crossing the Road
6 Years
Jun 23, 2013
8,557
11,946
957
The Big Island/Hawaii
Patience ... Which are you looking at, horizontal or vertical?
I switched to the horizontal ... Stick your finger under the silver lever until the water drips out into the "cup". They'll get curious & check it out. If you can get one going the rest will copy. Some say to remove the regular waterer, some prefer not to.

Main thing is to monitor, you could remove in the mornings & for peace of mind put the regular on in at night?

I only have 4BO so I use a hard plastic gallon container, drilled a small hole about an inch below the rim, recommended 1 nipple/4 chickens (I installed 2), I mark the level of the water (monitor), test the nipples every time I change out water. For some reason when I change the water they are waiting for me to "test" the nipples & drink what comes out. I know they're drinking on their own as the water level goes down.
 

blackdog043

Crowing
Feb 19, 2017
2,131
3,327
376
Charlotte, NC
I'm guessing your gonna use horizontal nipples, vertical nipples will freeze. I don't know what your thinking of using for a heater, but I recommend a 250 watt stock tank deicer. Just put the waterer out there, with the nipples at back height. Tap the rod a few times with them watching. After one or two use it they will all start using it. Below are pics of what I did to run the deicer cord through the lid, using a computer grommet and rubber grommet, that I got at Lowes. Drill a two inch hole for the computer grommet(it's 2 pcs) to go into, slice the rubber grommet so it will go around the cord.

grommets for deicer cord.jpg

deicer cord.jpg
 

enrgizerbunny

Songster
Mar 7, 2016
150
37
101
Take away the other water source, tap the nipples to get their attention, then until water comes out. Better if it drops on them so they know what it is. They'll figure it out after that.
 

NNYchick

Crowing
Jun 15, 2017
1,292
2,085
251
Harrisville, NY
I can’t seem to get mine to use my horizontal nipples. They are interested when I push the water out and will drink the drops that collect but then they peck at red part but not the silver then walk away because water doesn’t come out. I even tried a red laser pointer thinking my finger was in the way but nope. Three weeks they just can’t figure it out.
 

flyin-lowe

Songster
Jan 24, 2016
538
334
149
Indiana
Go to the gas station and get a $1.00 laser pointer. I shined mine in my horizontal feeder for about 2 seconds and they were chasing it like crazy, pecking and quickly realized there was water in there.
 

wamtazlady

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 18, 2013
1,394
1,528
276
Kalispell MT
You don't teach them. They are attracted to the color red and the shiny silver thing. They will peck at it to see what it is. As soon as one gets water, within an hour they all have learned. The key is to remove all the other water sources. If you do not do that they will not learn. The neighbors on either side of me also had free ranging chickens. Even those chickens learned to use the nipples rather than go home for a drink.
 
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