New adult hens don't use nipple waterer??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by encoreman, Nov 26, 2015.

  1. encoreman

    encoreman Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 20, 2015
    On the edge, Tn.
    Hi, I did search and found some good info, but we just got 6 adult hens and I have tried several times to show them how the nipple system works to no avail. I broke down and put a pan of water in the coop this afternoon and it was mobbed. I certainly don't want any dehydrated hens. The man I bought the hens from said they had used nipples in the past, but had been back to pans. Should I wait a few weeks until they are used to their new coop before I press the issue of the nipples or ? I don't want to abuse them for lack of water. Thanks for all your help, have been lurking for awhile gleaning the good info from ya'll. Mac
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Unfortunately, it can take a while to train birds into using nipple waterers. It's not a natural motion for them, and they can be quite reluctant. In studies, hens who were watered via nipple waterers consistently drank less water than those using basin waterers. Hens will also consistently choose basin waterers over nipple waterers.

    If they are this reluctant to drink from the nipples I would remove the system and purchase basin waterers. If you are determined to use a nipple system, you should remove the basin, and spend some time each day showing them the nipple waterers.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2015
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Agreed. I used nipples with great success on chicks, but the older ones simply did not seem to get sufficient water, so i changed back to the more conventional system. Its good to have chickens that know how to use them, as it make life simpler if you need to treat a single bird with antibiotics, for example and in a small coop (takes up no space on the ground - i use a plastic soda bottle with nipple attached) they work very well.

  4. sniper338

    sniper338 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2013
    San Antonio, Texas
    I guess im lucky... my birds learn rabbit waterers in minutes... then took less than 2 minutes to learn the water nipples..... i bought a 3 month old cockrel and he used the water nipple perfectly in less than 30 seconds... no help needed... they work great for me. Its comical too.. i have some lower for younger birds, and some higher... and the younger pullets jump up and hit the nipple and catch the wayer as it falls... they go to town on them.... doesnt worry me at all...

    If they stayed thirsty they would stay trying to get water... but they dont.. they go eat, then run to the water, then run back for more food, then back to water... then when they are done with their meal they roost up on full bellies... best $6 ive ever spent...

    They learn way way faster if you put some plywood under the nipples where the water can collect on the plywood... they try to drink it there then look up to see where the water is coming from, mine have mastered it... BUT like i said i put them all on rabbit waterers when they are young... they learn quick...
  5. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2013
    Kalispell MT
    I am not sure why some are having problems getting their chickens to use the nipple waterers. This summer I brought my new 4 month old pullets home just after dark. When I peeked in on them at 6 am they were getting drinks from the nipples. Before I got them they were drinking from a large dog bowl. A couple years ago when I first started using the nipples my girls learned within a few hours. At the time the neighbors on both sides had their own flocks that they free ranged. Even the birds from the other flocks were using the nipples when they were visiting (looking for a treat they didn't get at their own homes) and got thirsty.

    I just assumed the chickens would learn to use the nipples. They did without any need for training.

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