Poultry nipple water drinker height and training?


6 Years
Apr 26, 2013
SF Bay Area -- Sunnyvale, CA
My bantam chicks are just over three weeks old, living in their brooder box in the house. I want them to learn how to drink out of poultry nipples, because I hope to just have poultry nipples in their coop and run.

I made a hanging drinker with push-in grommet style 360 degree nipples vertically in the bottom of a jug (with a hole in the top for venting), which seems to dispense water and not leak. I have rigged up a stand with an adjustable strap, to be able to change the height of the jug over time.

But I have a few questions:
How high should the nipples be in relation to how tall my chicks are?
How do I teach them to drink out of the nipples?
If I replace their other waterer with the nipples, how can I tell if they are getting enough water?



Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
middle TN
It works best if they can stand naturally under the nipple and not have it touch their head. They then tilt their beak up and the water will flow into the beak. Most folks hang them too low and see the chickens stoop for a drip and then tilt and it looks inefficient because it is. Hang it at the proper height and make it easy for them.

Natural curiosity is normally enough to train them. It's shiny and the red base attracts as well. Once one finds it, the rest will want to try it and you'll see a flurry of activity around the nipple. That's when they've got it and you can remove the other fount.

I've had a batch of chicks that took an hour and a batch that took 3 days. But don't worry, it will work.
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