How to teach chickens to use nipple waterer?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ChickenGirl555, Aug 25, 2018.

  1. ChickenGirl555

    ChickenGirl555 Songster

    Oct 22, 2017
    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?
    EggWalrus likes this.
  2. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Crossing the Road

    Jun 23, 2013
    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.
  3. PachecoPeeps

    PachecoPeeps Songster

    Mar 2, 2018
    Newman, CA
    As stated above I would sit out with them and push the nipples so water drips out and they will usually get curious enough to come peck at it. Once one of them gets it the rest will.
  4. ShellyBlanco

    ShellyBlanco Songster

    Aug 20, 2018
    Colerain, North Carolina
    New to chickens myself. We use buckets with the nipple fill cups for some and bottle waterers like you would use for rabbits on the small chicks up to 8 weeks old. It's like, monkey see monkey do. If one figures it out, they all do.
  5. blackdog043

    blackdog043 Crowing

    Feb 19, 2017
    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
  6. enrgizerbunny

    enrgizerbunny Chirping

    Mar 7, 2016
    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.
    EggWalrus likes this.
  7. Ljc01

    Ljc01 Songster

    Jun 5, 2016
    Nipomo, Ca
    Good luck, mine would never use nipples. I am using cups, but then it never freezes here.
    EggWalrus likes this.
  8. NNYchick

    NNYchick Songster

    Jun 15, 2017
    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.
    EggWalrus likes this.
  9. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Songster

    Jan 24, 2016
    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.
    EggWalrus and sumi like this.
  10. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Crowing

    Jul 18, 2013
    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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