Teaching to use nipple waterer

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mswann, Feb 23, 2017.

  1. mswann

    mswann New Egg

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    We are new to chickens, and have our first chicks. They are about a week old and I have started teaching them to use a nipple waterer. They have figured out water comes from it, and will peck at it - but only on the side of the nipple, rather than pushing up from the bottom. Any ideas on how to teach them to push up from the bottom? I don't think they are getting anything from pecking at the side of the nipple; however, they keep trying so maybe they are.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Make sure the nipple is at or just above standing eye level.
    Take away the other water sources in the morning and once one starts drinking from it, the rest will too.
    Keep an eye on them though.
    How old are they?
     
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  3. mswann

    mswann New Egg

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    They are about one week old. I've taken the water dish away, and they will certainly peck at the nipple - but on the side of it, rather than pushing it up to get water. They continue to do it, so maybe they are getting enough. But, when I tap it up for them, they act all frantic to get the water, which makes me wonder how much they are actually getting on their own.
     
  4. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I assume this is a vertical nipple waterer? It's completely normal for them to peck at it from the side, by pushing or knocking the center pin to the side it drops out a little water at a time. Pushing it from below upwards, as a human would do with their finger, is more efficient but also can douse the bird's head or face with water which they don't seem to like.

    I know it seems like they don't get a lot of water that way, but they should be getting enough.
     
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  5. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they are not always at the nipples then they are getting enough water. Since they know water comes out of the nipples if they were thirsty they'd be pecking them constantly. If they are eating and running around and doing normal chick things, then all is well.
     
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  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Perhaps you should raise it.
     
  7. mswann

    mswann New Egg

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    Yes, it is a vertical waterer. And they are doing normal chicken things, as well. I have been putting the water dish back in their brooder overnight because I was concerned they weren't getting enough water. But from the replies, it sounds like they probably are!

    Thanks for the help![​IMG]
     
  8. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yup, they should be fine. Obviously since they're still so little you'll want to keep an eye on them and make sure they are drinking (and eating and pooping etc) but otherwise it looks like they're using their waterer properly.
     
  9. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    If you leave other options, they'll use whatever they feel like at the moment. I can't see the entire container so I'll just add that you need a place for air to enter the container. It only takes a pinhole above the waterline. Otherwise, it's more a matter of training the human that the chicks are smart enough not to go thirsty after they've figured it out. Which, IME, takes minutes. When I put the new arrivals in, I tapped their beaks to the nipple and they drank a drip. I set them down and that was all there was to it. No different for them than showing them an open source. I crack up watching them having water cooler chats crowded around the nipple because they'll drink together as a social event.
     
  10. lilwildrabbit

    lilwildrabbit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started out with the normal waterer and let mine grow enough to put them in the coop but had a small tank with nipples on about 3 ft pvc 3 nipples and when the gallon wattmeter was empty they learned that the nipples gave water so now in my run I have 20 ft pvc pipe with 20 nipples set up with a plastic 30 gallon tank I check it every day but it will last about a week without having to refil and no need to clean dirt and poo from a bowl or a waterer. They learn fast to peck at it and get a little but they learn to push up to get more just takes time but they learn faster than you think
     

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