problem with horizontal nipples and chicks

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Scotty from BI, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. Scotty from BI

    Scotty from BI Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2015
    I just purchased a 2 gal bucket through Amazon with "horizontal" nipples to put into my brooder for my seventeen 2 and 1 week old chicks. The instructions say that it should work for chicks as young as one week old. Unfortunately, neither the 2 week or the 1 week old chicks could push the metal pin in the nipple hard enough to release water. The tension on the spring caused too much resistance. They really wanted to and were in a kind of frenzy to get water. I removed all other water sources for several hours and tapped the pin to prime the flow of water into the little space below the pin. They drank the drop or two of water that fell out and tapped the pin but no more water was forthcoming. I repeated this several times and even used a laser light to attract them to the pin and get them to push it.

    Side note, the laser is a great teaching tool. They will follow it along as if it is a bug they want and they get so excited to chase it they will knock over other chicks in an attempt to grab it. I think this may be a good way to catch one if you needed to instead of chasing them around.

    Anyway, I am writing this to see if any of you have had a different experience with your chicks if you have the horizontal nipples. My hope is that the nipples I received are not representative of all horizontal nipples. Perhaps a different supplier has looser spring on theirs.

    It would be great if I could incorporate this watering alternative to the dish style because they scratch wood shavings and poop into the water well and it needs frequent changing plus it is just not very sanitary.

    When (what age) should the chicks be able to use sufficient force to release the water through the nipples?
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Great idea about using the laser. Is there any way that you can adjust the tension on the nipple waterer?
  3. birds4kids

    birds4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2015
    If you think the tension is the trouble maybe wait a week and try again.
  4. Monguire

    Monguire Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2014
    Manassas, VA
    Yup, you hit on the SINGLE drawback of the horizontal nipples. Anything younger than a 2-3 week chick could have a difficult time with the horizontal nipples as there is no way to adjust the tension. That single function that makes them so wonderfully clean/efficient is the same one that prevents weaker beaks form activating.

    A very minor drawback that we only need endure a few weeks...using vertical nipples or standard gravity waterers those first few weeks is easy enough.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  5. Scotty from BI

    Scotty from BI Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2015
    Thank you. Very helpful response monguire. Appreciated

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