New Waterer questions

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Angelicsatire, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. Angelicsatire

    Angelicsatire In the Brooder

    Apr 4, 2019
    Sumner, WA

    I just purchased a bucket with a nipple watering system for my birds and am curious as to whether i need to train them to use it? Or will they just figure it out?

    Should I take their existing waterer out once I get this one hung? Thanks for any advice!
  2. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Leave the old waterer until you are sure all know how to use the new one. Someone on here recently lost a bird this way to dehydration.

    Yes, some might figure it out on their own. But it never hurts to get their attention and push it show them some drops.

    It's pretty funny to see them using these things! Hope your transition goes smoothly. :)
  3. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Crowing

    Jul 18, 2013
    Kalispell MT
    They will not learn to use the new nipple system unless you remove all other sources of water. Chickens are curious. They are also attracted to red. Eventually they will peck at the nipple and realize they get water. Once one figures it out, they will all give it a try. I have introduced several batches of chickens to nipple waterers. It has never taken more than a couple hours for them to figure it out on their own. You can jiggle the nipple if you like. That might make them more curious about the nipple.

    I once brought some pullets home after dark. Locked them in the coop with food and a nipple waterer. When I checked them at 7 am they were already getting drinks. These chickens had only used a dog dish for water before I got them.

    My neighbors on both sides of me had free range chickens. Even their chickens learned to use my nipple waterers rather than to go home to get a drink.

    I must have missed that thread about the chicken dying. I suppose it could happen. To prevent that you could allow the chickens to use their normal waterer in the evening before they go to roost. That way you know that got a good drink before bed.

    I have been using nipple waterers for 4 or 5 years now. Love them, especially in winter. It has gotten down to -22 F and my chickens still have thawed water. I use a container, nipples, and a stock tank deicer in winter. My container holds 10 or 11 gallons of water so my little flock of 7 never run out of water no matter how much they drink.
  4. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    I would train them to use the nipples and keep an eye on them to make sure they're actually properly using them (just pecking blindly at the red area isn't enough, they need to get a hang of activating the toggle... one of my birds took weeks to get it). The way I've done it is by taking away the old waterer for maybe an hour or so, then picking up each chicken and using their beak to peck at the toggle until they get a little water (obviously this works best with a smaller flock), or you can try grabbing the head bird and maybe a few other more dominant birds and do that, and the lower ranked birds will learn by watching.

    Taking away the old water source will help force them to use the new one, but only remove it if you're sure they understand how to use the toggles (and maybe aren't using it only because the other water source is around).

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: