how to tell if not getting enough water

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by intowin, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. intowin

    intowin Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 4, 2012
    I just installed the horizontal mount water nipples and am worried about the learning curb. I took their normal source of water away and let one nipple drip a few hours with a rubber band. I just went down to check on them. One hen knows to pry her beak under the push button and I saw water coming out and she was drinking. The others seem to come up and peck at it which seems to be too quick to release water. How can I tell if some are not getting enough water? Was it ok to get rid of their normal water source? Just concerned as the silver button seems a little hard for them to push, and dont want them to dehydrate.

    Thanks
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I would leave the old waterer in there until you are SURE that everyone is drinking. mary
     
  3. Madviolin

    Madviolin Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 6, 2015
    x2

    I dont like to switch up there waterers to often. if i do i do it gradually.
     
  4. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I took the advice of many here about switching to nipple waterers. First was a vertical nipple set up, then we later switched completely to the horizontal nipples.

    The advice was to remove all other sources of water, just as you suggested. They said that thirst would drive them to drink, which is what happened in my case. With the vertical nipples, it took the first bird (I videoed and later reviewed it) about 90 minutes to figure out the nipples. The others followed suit soon, most within several hours. It wasn't until later the next day that I had personally seen every bird using the nipples. When we switched to the horizontal nipples, it took them a little bit longer to figure them out, perhaps a whole day. I felt a little bad, but I knew they would figure it out if they got thirsty enough.

    I never did try transitioning them slowly by leaving another waterer around. It made sense that they might never figure the nipples out if we did so, because they wouldn't have to if they had another water source available. The nipples are less convenient for them to use, but more convenient for us. They will choose the most convenient source, given an option.

    Very good idea to use a rubber band to let them know where the water is. Just be sure to remove it so they figure out how to trigger the metal post themselves.
     
  5. intowin

    intowin Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 4, 2012
    Thanks for the reply. I will stick with it today and hopefully see all of them drinking. Will keep you posted on how it goes. They are all about six months old. Still waiting for our first egg...
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I found the older the bird, the longer it took them to figure it out.
    2 day olds got it within a couple hours.....8 week olds it took a couple days...adults took a couple weeks.
    I kind of monitor how much water my chooks use in a 24 hours period so was able to ascertain if the nipples were decreasing their intake....with the adults they surely did.

    I marked the vessel the nipples were in so I could see how much the water level went down over the day.

    It is best to remove other water sources for a shorter learning curve.
    BUT
    You don't want to do that in extreme weather situations(real hot or real cold)
    where dehydration could quickly cause health issues.
    I changed my adults to the nipple waterer this fall once temps became mild.
     
  7. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very good point. Choose a season that isn't extreme. Summer high heat probably the worst time you could choose, it would be better to wait until the cooler weather of fall, in that case.
     

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