New waterer baffles the girls

Big Doggie

Songster
Mar 23, 2020
320
362
143
Mass
My 5 week old Golden Comets have been enjoying the chicken tractor I made. Gives them lots of space to run around and flap their wings. I tried to get them to use a water nipple system I rigged up on a 5 gallon bucket but despite dozens of lessons by me about how water comes out when you tap the nipple they haven’t gotten with the program yet. So after 5 hours I bring them back in for the night and not wanting them to die from dehydration I give them their baby chick waterer.
So my question is how do I get them to start using the Big Girl waterer? And should I cave in every night and give them their water dish just to be safe.
 

swamphiker

Crowing
Feb 24, 2020
1,019
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Florida
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They will figure it out eventually, I promise! Have you taken away other sources of water and left only the nipple waterer? That will give them some extra motivation to learn. I know it's nerve-wracking, but you may just have to leave them for longer until they figure it out. Chickens are kind of lazy, they won't use the nipples if there are other water sources available that don't require any work to access.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
19,323
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despite dozens of lessons by me about how water comes out when you tap the nipple they haven’t gotten with the program yet.

And should I cave in every night and give them their water dish just to be safe.

Until you're sure they can use the nipple waterer, yes, I'd give them water in a dish each night.

How exactly are you teaching them to use the nipples? Tapping with finger, applying something tasty to the toggle, picking them up and using their beaks to toggle, etc...?
 

ChickForLife

Walking my Chicken
Apr 22, 2020
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🌲Connecticut🌲
This thread is exactly what I was looking for. I have the same problem! This was very helpful
Until you're sure they can use the nipple waterer, yes, I'd give them water in a dish each night.

How exactly are you teaching them to use the nipples? Tapping with finger, applying something tasty to the toggle, picking them up and using their beaks to toggle, etc...?
Thank you, I think I'll try the "something tasty to the toggle!"
 

Big Doggie

Songster
Mar 23, 2020
320
362
143
Mass
They will figure it out eventually, I promise! Have you taken away other sources of water and left only the nipple waterer? That will give them some extra motivation to learn. I know it's nerve-wracking, but you may just have to leave them for longer until they figure it out. Chickens are kind of lazy, they won't use the nipples if there are other water sources available that don't require any work to access.
When I put them in the tractor at 7:30 AM I leave just the new waterer system with the nipples. I bring them back home in the afternoon and also put in the same waterer in the brooder. But before 7:00 PM I’ll check on them and it looks like they haven’t had any water so I’ll put in their baby chick waterer.
 

ChickForLife

Walking my Chicken
Apr 22, 2020
6,796
31,539
936
🌲Connecticut🌲
When I put them in the tractor at 7:30 AM I leave just the new waterer system with the nipples. I bring them back home in the afternoon and also put in the same waterer in the brooder. But before 7:00 PM I’ll check on them and it looks like they haven’t had any water so I’ll put in their baby chick waterer.
Did you try marking the water level?
 

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