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Nipple Waterer for Chicks?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by sevenscuba, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. sevenscuba

    sevenscuba Out Of The Brooder

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    Is there an age where chicks are old enough to figure out a nipple waterer? We have chicks that are 1-2 weeks old. I know they know where the water comes from. If I push the button the come and drink. And I've seen them TRY to get water from the nipple. However I've never seen them actually SUCCEED in getting water. Do we need to give them a standard waterer until they're a little bigger?
     
  2. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    My chicks have been using nipple waterers since they were one day old and were put in the brooder for the first time. One little girl went over and pecked at the shiny metal and red thing - water came out. She did it again, then drank her fill. The others saw her doing it and followed. Training time over.

    I have found that they have a slightly harder time with horizontal nipples than vertical ones. So I have two waterers....a beginner and an intermediate. They get the vertical nipples for the first couple of weeks until they are a little bigger and stronger. Then they graduate to the waterer with horizontal nipples, which is what they'll have to use when they are integrated with the flock. If you put a regular waterer in there they'll act like they are dying of thirst, but then they do the same thing with a full food dish and a scrap of food tossed out - act like they haven't eaten in weeks!

    Have you had your chicks since they were just a day or so old? If so, and they are now 1-2 weeks old, you can bet they are getting water when you aren't looking. They are very sensitive to dehydration, so if they've done well to this age they aren't dehydrated.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  3. farnorth

    farnorth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I put in a standard waterer to start out. At about day 3 I hang a small container with the vertical type nipples in the bottom. by curiosity they peck at them almost immediately and within a day or two are drinking away from them. I then get rid of the standard waterer as it always seems like the water is dirty in them. Any chick who hasn't learned to drink from them learns quickly once all other sources of water are gone...they learn quickly seeing the other chicks drink. So I would say by 3 days old they are old enough to learn.
     
  4. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine were using it from day one. I also had a standard waterer for the first week, just in case.
     
  5. sevenscuba

    sevenscuba Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2013
    We just got these chicks on Saturday and it's a horizontal nipple. They've had a trough for water until we got them. Maybe we should get some vertical nipples and make a DIY hanging one for now.
     
  6. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Horizontal nipples need a bit of pressure to activate since they are spring loaded. If the chicks are too young they won't have the peck-force to get water to flow. If I recall the instructions on those suggest 4-6 weeks of age before they can use them (just going from memory here.) I would use a dish until they were a little bigger.

    I believe my chicks were 4-6 weeks here:
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I've had 2 day old chicks use the HN's with no problem.

    They caught on quicker than the older chicks(4 weeks and 6 weeks)
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
  8. syndie

    syndie Out Of The Brooder

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    My day old chicks used it fine, all it took was for one to figure it out, but then my shipped chicks took a turn for the worse on day 3 and had terrible Pasty Butt, I panicked and put the waterer back in :(
    I'm planning on removing it after another week or so, once the pasty scare has passed.

    [​IMG]

    My husband worked so hard on it!
     
  9. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Those are Horizontal Nipples.
     
  10. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Are you sure those aren't verticals? My horizontal nipples look like this:

    [​IMG]
     

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