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Problem with nipple waterer

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by eggcatcher, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. eggcatcher

    eggcatcher Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2010
    I've been using a nipple waterer for several months and like it. Today was the second time I went into the coop and all the water had spilt out. It was still hanging so no it didn't tip over. The lid was still on. No hole in the bottom. When I filled it back up no water coming out of a hole on the side. I don't understand. Can one of the nipples get in a position to keep dripping even when the girls aren't drinking. I've had this for several months and this is only the second time it's happened so it must be something that the girls are doing to it or something sticking??? So any ideas? Has anyone had this problem and what did you do about it? I was so happy I thought I finally found a water to water my flock that was clean and wouldn't get tipped over and have water everywhere. Sorry to start a new thread but I didn't find anything on problems with waterers.
     
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Vertical nipples? Do you live where it's warm? I've found that, in warmer weather and in flimsier buckets, when I had the lid on it created a type of vacuum thingy going on that made the nipples drip all the time. Left the lid off or put a hole in it and it never happened again. If you are living where it's cold, it's possible that some of the rods in the vertical nipples are sticking in the up position and causing heavy leakage. You might test them now and again and see if any of them stick for you.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. eggcatcher

    eggcatcher Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you soooo much. I would have never thought of that. It's cold here but I put the heat lamp under the roost. I know sounds weird but the chickens kept breaking the bulbs flying around and hitting it and knew they couldn't fly under the roost also keeps the ice from forming under the waterer. So I'll go take that stopper out for right now and maybe they will keep their water. I'd hate to find that again tomorrow. Again thanks so much.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    You can get wire guards to go over the bulb to protect it and to protect your chickens. Be warned. Those bulbs can cause burns if a chicken comes into contact with them. I have two older hens who burned the feathers off the top of their heads warming themselves under the heat lamp I had in the run on 5 degree days. They had knocked against the lamp and that caused it to drop down lower. Luckily I was there when it happened and I re-secured it at a safe height.

    But they have scorched heads now. It could have been much worse. Chickens have been known to catch themselves on fire when feathers contact the hot bulb.

    A better solution to keeping the nipples from freezing would be a heating pad or heat tape. I solved the problem of water dripping down onto the ground and forming an icy mess by screwing a plastic ice cube tray ten inches below the nipples. The chickens drink from it and keep it emptied and the ground stays dry underneath, eliminating the danger of frost bitten toes from water dripping on feet.
     
  5. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use the horizontal nipples on a plastic container w/lid, LOVE IT no more dirt/shavings in the water. I did learn about the vacuum [​IMG] one day when no water was coming out. Took me awhile to figure out the vacuum due to the lid, drilled a small hole close to the rim of the container, problem solved.

    Wish everyone would give their location, makes it easier to figure out the climate. I was thinking weather, expansion & contraction. Beekissed is WISE! There are several BYC members I follow advice from, never steered me wrong yet [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. tinakevin

    tinakevin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also check to make sure the nipples r screwed on tight. I had the same problem
     
  7. Marilynszoo

    Marilynszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey, I've used both horizontal and vertical nipples and definitely prefer the horizontal ones. The vertical ones do sometimes stick and drip.
    For keeping the water from freezing I use a birdbath de-icer in the bucket; works great!
     
  8. eggcatcher

    eggcatcher Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the responses. If I need to replace nipple I can keep the same bucket I assume? I assume I could replace them with horizontal ones at that time if I wanted to. I don't want to change buckets because it has the heat tape on it and great stuff between the two buckets to insulate it and glue the two buckets together so I want to keep the bucket I have. I didn't know there were vertical and horizontal nipples but mine are vertical. The ice under the waterer became an issue because of the different breeds I have. I have a light Brahma rooster about 15pounds and most of my girls are leghorns less than half the size. So my solution was to put the waterer at the height for the big boy and put a stool under it so the little leghorns could jump up on it to reach the nipples. Works great until the little stool freezes. It's not been a problem most of the time. However when I decided I needed to move where I had the heat lamp I realized that would keep the ice off the little stool under the waterer and figured under the roost would work because heat rises. The chickens didn't seem to mind me moving the light and roosted in basically the same places as before I changed where there heat lamp was. Yes there is a cover over the bulb and the chickens were never touching the bulb itself. They would sometimes get rambunctious flying around and hit the lamp, who knows what they do when I'm not there. Anyways if they were hitting it once in a while when I was there I supposed they were when I wasn't there. I'm assuming that the jarring and swinging back of a hot light bulb in cold air is what made two bulbs break right at the base where the metal end you screw in is. The bulbs when they break look kind of funny hanging by one filament with the bulb other wise fully intact and the filaments inside the bulb intact and the cover still in place. The girls don't seem to mind the new location of the light and I've never seen them bump into it there. Before I moved it they would fly from one end of the coop to the other and hit the bulb which was in between. Hopefully all will continue to work well.
     
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    The hair on the back of my neck stands up when you talk about that heat lamp. [​IMG] Several stories on BYC right now of coops that burned down this season from using a heat lamp, with dead and severely burned chickens resulting. There's no amount of cold out there worth that happening and those chickens can get by just fine without it.

    When using a heat lamp for any situation, it's usually wise to secure it in three different ways...so that it can't be knocked lower, higher or from side to side. If you've got one swinging so wildly and getting knocked so frequently that you've broken bulbs, your coop and flock are living on borrowed time.

    A much better investment and less trouble overall is to just use a heated dog bowl elevated on a pedestal to chest height on your tallest chicken. The rest will be able to reach up and over the side. When drinking out of it in that manner, the wattles never get wet and freeze afterward. This leaves no wet bedding, no icy bedding, no swinging heat lamps, no leaking, etc. Just a nice, clean bowl of water that is easily filled and easily swished out and refilled.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. eggcatcher

    eggcatcher Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2010
    I appreciate your concern but respectfully disagree. Having clean water is the most important thing I can give my chickens. They lay better when they are warm and I have a light in there with them. I agree that having the birds fly into the lamp is not good that is why I moved it. It is wired to a eye bolt and is a place where the chickens can't fly into it or peck it or anything. It's not coming lose unless someone comes in with wire cutters. The lamp or bulb never shattered, never fell, just broke while staying intact suspended from the ceiling and in the wire cage no fire hazard.
     

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