Nipple waterers

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickme, May 1, 2016.

  1. chickme

    chickme New Egg

    Jun 11, 2015
    I just switched to nipple waterers for a brood of two-week-old chicks. I like them, and so do the chicks--too much. They stand there batting them with their beaks, splashing water all over the place as if they are ducks, soaking the bedding under the waterer. I think they are just playing. I had to change out the bedding under the waterer completely after a day or two. So I am thinking of switching back to a vacuum waterer, but wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions.

    There are a number of threads on the topic, most of which conclude that if the chicks are soaking the bedding, then the humans are doing it wrong. Maybe I am, but if so I can't see how. Things that have been suggested:

    --Fittings leaking around pipe threads, etc.: All threaded fittings are sealed with teflon tape, and PVC joints are cemented. None of the joints are leaking.
    --Nipples leaking when not in use, especially if not vertical: They are vertical and leak only when in use.
    --Water pressure too high: I am using gravity feed from a bucket with a total of less than 2' of head above the nipples, which will give water pressure of less than 1 psi. This meets the manufacturer's spec.
    --Nipples not at correct height: From what I have read, they should be slightly above chicks' heads, which is where they are.
    --Build a drip tray under the nipples: I tried a plastic drip tray for a planter, with 1/2" hardware cloth for the chicks to stand on. Within a day, they had filled the trays completely with soggy bedding. Now I am picking bedding out from between the wires, so that I can put them back and do it again tomorrow morning.

    Any ideas what I am doing wrong? Or are these things just not all they are cracked up to be?

  2. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    I use horizontal nipples and have not had an issue with soaked bedding. Maybe those would be less fun for your chicks to play with. Otherwise, you may want to give them other things to play with in their brooder besides the nipples. Marbles, hand mirrors, tunnels, etc..
    1 person likes this.

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