Poultry Nipple Help!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by unmistakablySam, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. unmistakablySam

    unmistakablySam Out Of The Brooder

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    I was providing my chicks with water in a small dish but they always got it messy and spilled it everywhere! I thought I would give poultry nipples a try, I bought a 25 pack and set up 3. I left some water in their dish and showed them how to use the nipples. They learned and started using it little by little but I have a serious concern! I don't think they are getting enough water. when they try to get water they get very little water out and after half a day of seeing this I felt guilty and put some water in their dish. They ALL rushed over as if they were dehydrated. Do poultry nipples actually work well for people here? Has anyone else faced similar issues? Any input would be appreciated!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I think once they start using the nipples, you should remove all other water. They get less out of a nipple but it keeps them occupied for much longer. They'll eventually get sated. After about 3 days, put another water source in there to see what happens. When I do that, they seem mostly uninterested since they've gotten used to meeting all their needs from other sources.

    A dish is not a good choice for chickens. Even if not using nipples, they need a fount of sorts elevated so they can't soil the water or spill it.

    This one is cheap and effective if you put it up on bricks. The rim should be the height of their backs.
    http://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/Lit...FxbFRHAwbV57JYlAdk6ZV0cfroWaZAF8bNBoCQMjw_wcB
     
  3. barneveldrerman

    barneveldrerman Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree after about 3 days they should get used to it. When you first do something it takes time for chickens to adjust. If they seem dehydrated while learning it you may be able to give them some water, but it's best not to.
     
  4. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been using the poultry nipples for over 2 years now. I understand your concern, as I had the same thing at first. A few things I've learned:

    * They DO get enough water from the nipples
    * They will rush a watering dish/trough because it is simply easier for them to drink from it
    * The nipples are a convenience for US, but an effort for the chickens (it's more work for them to get their water)

    In a similar manner, chickens with jammed-packed full crops will rush to eat whatever treat you throw on the ground for you.

    Now, in the heat of summer (we had weeks of 100-105F this summer), I will also give them a watering fountain near the shady place they like to hang out while free-ranging. Not because I think they need more water, but because I would generally keep their watering nipple bucket in the run. It would get very hot and while they probably didn't need it, I didn't like the idea of them having to run back and forth from the shady place in the direct sun to get their water.

    But I have had the chickens cooped up for weeks, with no other water source other than the nipple bucket, without issue. I've noticed that each bird will spend more time during the day drinking water with the nipples...simply because it takes longer for them to satisfy their thirst than it does drinking from a dish or fountain. This doesn't concern me...I know they are not going to let themselves go thirsty! And the hassle it saves me from cleaning out and refilling the water source every day or two is wonderful.

    Now if you live someplace where it regularly gets below freezing, you are going to end up with frozen nipples (insert joke here)! Two solutions to this are 1) bring the nipple bucket into a warm place (such as your home) every night, 2) install an electrical de-icer device to keep the water and nipples thawed.

    If you decide upon #2, take my advice and spring for the Horizontal Nipples and get a stock tank de-icer. DON'T use a submersible aquarium tank heater, they are NOT designed for outdoor use...the one I had nearly started a fire! The vertical nipples (the ones than install on the underside of a bucket) just freeze WAY too easily. The horizontal nipples are superior in every regard, IMO, especially when it comes to not getting frozen up. There is a good thread about all this here:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...-vs-horizontal-spring-loaded-watering-nipples
     
  5. unmistakablySam

    unmistakablySam Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you all for your help! I just want to update y'all. The nipples are working great, I was just testing out the nipples by placing them in the lid of water bottles and suspending them but I just realized the other that I need to add a hole in the water bottles for the water to actually leave the nipples. Long story short, I now know how to use a poultry nipples and they work great! Thanks again!
     
  6. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for updating us on your success. You must have ended up with a "vacuum lock" when the water level dropped inside the unvented bottle. The only way for air to then get into the bottle to release the vacuum was through the nipples themselves...which then released a small amount of water as air rushed in. Anyways, I like understanding how things work like that but mostly I'm glad your system is no longer leaking.
     
  7. dogscubed

    dogscubed New Egg

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    I'm glad you got your friends trained. For others just getting started the easiest way to train older hens to use nipples waterers is this: Set up your nipple waterer to work as directed, then unscrew the nipple(s) to where it leaks enough to drip consistently every few seconds. Remove all other sources of water and voila! It literally takes less than an hour for them to figure it out, especially after a feed. Chickens love dripping water so they are drawn to the dripping nipples. When a few hens have clearly begun to peck the nipples you can tighten them to not leak anymore.
     
  8. Triciakins

    Triciakins Out Of The Brooder

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    I got the side mount nipples because I read they don't leak... but my chicks are really struggling to hit the actual nipple part- there is so much plastic around it that I think the ones that hang from the bottom would have been a better choice. I started them on the nipples last night, and they flocked around them and looked like they had it. This morning I had to push the nipples for them so they could drink. I had to go to work so I put their normal water back in the brooder for now and they drank and drank and drank so I felt really bad for them. I guess I will get the other kind of poultry nipple where the silver part is all that's sticking out and give those a try. I don't want dehydrated chicks.
     
  9. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @Triciakins

    You didn't mention how young your chicks are. I have noticed that chicks do better with the vertical nipples (the kind you wished you got) until they are a week or two old. Then switch to the horizontal nipples. You could also just use your regular waterer until then, too.
     
  10. Triciakins

    Triciakins Out Of The Brooder

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    That's what I figured... I just ordered the vertical ones on amazon- so I will give that a go when they arrive. My chicks are 2 weeks old. I will try the flat ones again when they are bigger. Thanks.
     

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