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Issue with nipple waterer, Help!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mtnhens4, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. mtnhens4

    mtnhens4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2011
    Western NC
    My husband built a 3 gal. waterer using 3 nipples that he purchased on-line, we have 4 hens and 3 seem to be using the waterer and the other one we're not sure of (she has vision issues). We have had this in place for about 2 wks. and have noticed a drop in egg production. Any ideas on how to get them to use this waterer or should we just go back to the old style? We are giving supplemental light and were getting 3 eggs a day and now we get 1 if we're lucky.[​IMG]
     
  2. SmokinChick

    SmokinChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kingsville, MD
    I'd give it time. Maybe the change has startled them? Are the nipples above their heads? I found the birds drink better if the bucket is raised to a level that gets them to stretch their necks abit.
    Good Luck
     
  3. mtnhens4

    mtnhens4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2011
    Western NC
    Thank you for the response, we will move it up higher:)
     
  4. yomama

    yomama Overrun With Chickens

    I have also found that if you slowly pour water over the bucket, this creates run off and dripping off of the nipples. This attracts the chicken to the nipple, showing them that there is water there. It took a few times, but it worked for my slow learners. My duck even uses one. I just locked them in the run so they had to watch me do it. I was always worried that the ones that didn't catch on right away, would get dehydrated, which is a plausable risk. Vet told me she sees alot of dehydrated birds that use the nipple system. This is usually due to operator error. Not creating ventilation holes at the top so the water will come out or not paying attention when the water/ nipple freezes. Until your chicken gets it, I would definitely have water available elsewhere, but not right near the water nipple. Otherwise, she well just opt for the open container of water. Hope this helps. Good luck!

    ETA: You could also try putting something yummy on the water nipple tip. Maybe like peanut butter or yogurt. I've never tried this with the chicken nipples, but this has worked for getting my daughter's rats to try a new water bottle. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  5. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I prefer cups over nipples. The chickens seem to like that style of drinking better too.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. yomama

    yomama Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Those look pretty cool. Is it pretty extensive, setting up a watering system like that though? I know with the water nipples, you don't have to attach any kind of hose. I do like the cup idea. Unfortunately, my duck would have it messed up in two seconds flat! [​IMG]
     
  7. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    lol, I know what you mean, My chicekns love to do the exact thing that I don't want them to, followed by somwething I could have never even thought of them to mess up.
    I'm not sure how well this system would work with ducks but it is easy to set up.
     
  8. yomama

    yomama Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Ducks have to have something to dip their whole face in, so as to clear out their nostrils. They root in everything, so the nostrils can get clogged. I've found that I can use a water nipple system in the coop (my duck nests with the chickens in their coop, she was raised with them), but have containers of water in the run. I used to have a container of water in the coop, but she always made a huge mess, spilling in in the bedding . My water containers would stay so much cleaner if I didn't have my duck, but we love her nonetheless. [​IMG] Thankfully, my chickens will use both the water nipple system, and the open container system. If I didn't have a duck, I would totally use only the water nipple system, or what you have with the cups. They just stay so much cleaner.
     
  9. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a duck when I was a little boy and I loved that duck, we went walking every morning. I've been trying to talk my wife into getting another one and have not looked into it much because she refuses. I think you helped me decide. They are very fun birds and enjoyable buy seem to be A LOT more maintenance than chickens. Thanks for sharing and helping me decide. Do you have a picture of your duck and chickens?
     
  10. littleflocker

    littleflocker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 7, 2011
    Island County WA
    I use a regular waterer because the chickens seem to like to submerge their beak in the water and then gargle it back like they are wine tasting or something. The dirt in the bottom of the water tells me this keeps their beaks cleaner when they can guzzle water freely. I tried using the nipple waterer primarily, but I found it more useful to my flock as a secondary. When I switched back to the conventional waterer from the nipple bucket, my 8 chickens went over to it and guzzled water for like five minutes like it was the best thing ever. Ever since then I just fill up the one gallon every day and scrub it out with dish soap and i also added a small ice cream bucket of water which I add some apple cider vinegar. It is kind of a beak bath of sorts. In the summer you can put a bag of ice in the nipple bucket and the birds have the option of chilled water all day. That's not spoiling them is it? [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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