Nipple waterers, again... Not drinking enough!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Stephine, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. Stephine

    Stephine Songster

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    Hi all!

    So, after starting my flock out with dine-a-chook cups (self filling with floater) I switched them all over to nipples (vertical) spring of 2017 when I got two more chicks, because it seemed a bit cleaner - the chickens always get the cups dirty with the dirt on their little beaks, so that by the end of the day there’s a layer if gunk at the bottom. My chicks had no trouble with the nipples and after a few days the whole flock seemed fine. Then for the hot summer I switched them back to cups so they can drink even when panting, getting them back onto nipples once the weather got bearable again. Then back to cups for the summer, bck to nipples this fall. Now I lost a hen a couple of months ago, she had diarrhea and no babying helped (I am not giving antibiotics). From all the pictures I looked at and descriptions I read it looked like it could be her kidneys. But we also sat in terrible smoke for weeks here and maybe there was another issue - since the fine particles enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation. Anyway - I then had another hen showing the same symptoms a week or so later - yikes! I treated for cocci just in case (unlikely because they are in their second and third year and always penned) - no change. But mixing up a fresh batch daily I noticed that all twelve of them barely drank a quart a day! And they splash a lot with the nipples so they didn’t even drink that much. I switched them to the cups and that day they drank a gallon (and they don’t splash it all over the place). I also gave them some garlic in their wet feed (I mix up their leftovers - Scratch and Peck - every few days with water and kefir) twice. No one has diarrhea now, they all look fine.
    I was shocked to see how little they were drinking from the nipples. I guess I will just stick with the cups now. BTW: the hen with the diarrhea was one of the younger chicks that grew up on nipple waterers, go figure...
    Anyway, a long winded way to ask:
    Did you notice the flock drinking less from the nipples?
     
    penny1960 likes this.
  2. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Crossing the Road

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    Not really but I ferment their feed so they drink less too. I mark the side of my waterer so I can gauge their water consumption, also I use the horizontal nipples. There are times they drink more than other, watching the water level. I have noticed when I change their water, they come running. I then tap the silver lever & they drink up and I do see them drinking during the day.
     
    penny1960 likes this.
  3. BigATC

    BigATC Songster

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    I also have the horiz nipple type. Started using at about 16 weeks. I thought they might be drinking less but it also got cold around here so that contributes. I give water in a bowl along with the 5 gal bucket but it dries up quick if I'm out of town and the bucket nipples get used exclusively. Even with water in the bowl, I see them still using the nipples here and there. I'll have to do some measuring.
     
    Stephine and penny1960 like this.
  4. Pork Pie

    Pork Pie Flockwit

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    I have used both horizontal and vertical nipples, but always had a bowl of fresh water available. I have some 3 month olds that i raised on horizontal nipples and i took the decision not to provide a bowl of water. All 12 have thrived, with no issue (and our daily temps are in the low 80s every day). During the hottest season, i would provide a bowl of water.
     
    ChickNanny13 likes this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    I found my birds drink the same amount using HN's as they do with an open waterer.
    I monitored daily consumption before and after the switch to nipples.

    What boggles my mind is how much liquid they get when there's snow on the ground, or it's been raining out(no puddles), nipple waterer level goes down much less.
     
  6. BigATC

    BigATC Songster

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    I've noticed similar usage but didn't know if it was just me or the new chooks. Thanks!
     
    penny1960 likes this.
  7. blackdog043

    blackdog043 Crowing

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    I use horizontal nipples and fill my waterers about the same every week. If I'm away for a week they drink more since they aren't getting their fermented feed. I haven't lost any chickens from not getting enough water.
     
    penny1960 likes this.
  8. penny1960

    penny1960 Going back to La La Land

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    I have been using horizontal nipples for 3 years putting ice in the 5 gallon tanks in the summer tank heaters in the winter if we get to freeze only ones lost are dumdums they figure how to lift the lids and drown pullet or cockerel under 4 months
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Gotta out smart 'em...the tenacious little buggers!!
     
  10. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Songster

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    I use nipple waterers year round. Use both vertical and the horizontal nipples. I have noticed occasionally that the chickens are only using one or two out of the 3 nipples. The ones they are not using are apparently malfunctioning. I just change those out with new nipples and that fixes the issue.
     
    ChickNanny13 likes this.

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