Nipple waterers for chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by larsonll, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. larsonll

    larsonll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For my 10 chicks, I introduced 2 chicken nipple on bottles in the first week and was elated that all of them used it, but kept a standard chick waterer in the brooder (the small red plastic bottom with the 1 liter plastic reservoir). After about 2 weeks, most of them still seem to prefer the often dirty waterer (albeit changing at least 2 times per day) rather than the nipple feeders. Please note that I am not around 24/7, so they seem to be using the nipple waterer based on the water levels, but they use it less when I watch.

    The little ones seem to be using the nipple waterers more, so this may be a level issue since the waterers hang low.

    Will be moving them in about a month to the coop (at about 6 weeks of age). Do I still use both or cold turkey them to the nipple waterers and hope for the best?
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Hope someone comes along shortly that can answer your question. I'd be interested in the responses too.
     
  3. Cherry Bird

    Cherry Bird Out Of The Brooder

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    Good question! Some general advice about chicks and nipple waterers would be VERY appreciated.

    Anyone?
     
  4. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    I set up the nipple waterer the day I brought home my chicks and removed the traditional waterer about an hour later. Once I'd seen all of them use the nipples, I expected that they could and would and that was that. They're all thriving! You do need to make sure you hang it high enough, though, so they can chug from the nipple if they like. With my mixed-age chicks, I put a block under one nipple so the smallest could reach while still allowing the larger chicks to drink comfortably under the other. In the coop, I've hung the nipple waterer using chain so I can adjust the height as they grow.
     
  5. cjatthefarm

    cjatthefarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah! I to have longed for a cleaner, simpler way to water!!! AND I recently had my handyguy install pvc pipe along a wall in the run. I ordered 6 nipples and we put them at the proper height, so they were sorta under them when they pecked--and the water dripped.

    After a day of watching this I decided the girls were seriously NOT getting a decent drink of water.

    I had seen cup waterers for $70!!![​IMG] No way I can spend that. But I found another source.

    So, the 2 cups are at the end of the row of nipples, and more time is absolutely spent at the cups!! They drink--from the cups. They cannot drink from nipples. Yes, they peck and a DROP falls. But I live in the desert. They need a drink. I am not sure they are fully pushing the little lever with enough pressure always.....but they are interested in the results from the cups WAY more than they are with the nipples.

    Wish I had 2 nipples and 6 cups--but I cannot spend any more $$$$!!!


    Hope this helps!
     
  6. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I considered buying the nipples for them but in the long run I don't think they will be used. I have my watered sitting up on a crate and it seems to be fine. The chicks have a bowl in their cage, but when I let them out they hop on the crate and drink from the big girl bowl.
     
  7. ekemily

    ekemily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the nipple waterers can be frustrating for some. I think it's because you are asking them to drink in a way that is unnatural, so they have to be taught. Most chickens prefer to dip their beaks into water and then throw their head back to scoop it up. I prefer the little giant automatic waterer. I clean it everyday with a bottle brush that I keep on a hook next to it. It is quick and easy and NEVER has to be refilled because a hose is attached to it.
    However, in a moving chicken tractor, it seems like the nipple waterer would come in handy. If that is the ONLY way I could give them fresh, clean water, I'd probably try it out. It still seems unnatural and unsatisfying to them when I see them drinking out of the nipples.
     
  8. joycenjohnb

    joycenjohnb Out Of The Brooder

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    There are a lot of poultry houses in our area ( like Perdue) and they have been using nipple drinkers for a while now and do not seem to have any problems with them on a large scale operation. I use one in my one pen and the chickens do not seem to have any problems, but if you give them the option they will go to the conventional water first. I am going to put them in the other pen and do away with to old waters.
     
  9. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    Believe me, a chicken can use a nipple waterer hung above their heads like a beer bong if they're really thirsty. I know because I've watched mine go in for a long drink after ranging. They were getting plenty of water delivered rapidly. They'll play the "peck & drip" game a lot at first because it's new and exciting -- "Oooooooh! Shiny!" Once the thrill has run its course and it becomes just a drink of water to them, they'll drink when they're actually thirsty (or when you refill or add some ice cubes because that makes it exciting again...)

    I've got my whole flock on nothing but nipples in 100-degree temps and nobody is going thirsty. Really. They never experienced the soggy litter & water mess typical to brooder life so I guess I've deprived them of something but otherwise, I don't feel they're missing out. And now that they're older, it's very nice knowing that their water is ALWAYS clean and available, even if I go on vacation for a week!
     
  10. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've got my whole flock on nothing but nipples in 100-degree temps and nobody is going thirsty. Really. They never experienced the soggy litter & water mess typical to brooder life so I guess I've deprived them of something but otherwise, I don't feel they're missing out. And now that they're older, it's very nice knowing that their water is ALWAYS clean and available, even if I go on vacation for a week!

    debid said it perfectly.

    For goodness sake, nipple waterers are what the commercial growers use.

    Chickens would, in the wild, prefer to drink from a pool of water. That is their genetic disposition and open water is the first thing they will head to, dirty or not. Take away the "pool type" waterer and they will use the nipple 100% of the time. AND they will get enough water! When I installed my nipple waterer system I removed the old can type (which I had to clean daily) cold turkey. Three months later the chicks are grown and healthy. Nobody died of thirst, no not one. I have not spent anytime cleaning and changing water either. And I can take week long trips without worrying about water for the chickens.​
     

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