They Will Not Drink From Nipples

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by SweetSarah, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. SweetSarah

    SweetSarah Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 11, 2011
    I switched over to nipple drinkers and really don't like them. Previously I had a big hanging watering container and thought I would be better off with nipple drinkers so that I can fill it from outside of the coop -- the problem is my chickens will not drink from the nipple drinkers. They have been up for about a week now and the water level in my bucket has not gone down at all and my chickens seem dehydrated with open beaks and they are acting aggressive towards each other, which they have not done before. I checked the drinkers to make sure they work and they are fine plus I showed them how use them but they will not drink. I was really liking the setup but it looks like I must scrap the whole new system. Any suggestions?
  2. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    I had the same problem with nipples so I am not sure what to do.
    You can keep the same setup and switch to waterer cups like these:


    If you want to keep the nipples, maybe spray them down with a spray bottle so that it is wet and they see that they have water on them, might help?
  3. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    Bolton, Mississippi
    Mine learned at three weeks to use them just a few hours AFTER I removed their other water source. Chickens by nature look for what they conceive to be "pools" of water.
    They will go to a conventional waterer before they look further. If they have this they will not search out anything else. To check this, I put the conventional
    waterer in the coop and they immediately stop using the nipples. When I take it out I see them using the nipples within a few hours. You don't have to teach them to use it.
    In fact you CAN'T teach them to use it.
    Open beaks indicate heating. It is their way of cooling off, and I am not sure that it indicates thirst at all. If you have lots of heat going on, make sure that your chickens have dirt
    underneath them, lots of ventilation and shade and no direct sun at all. If it makes you feel better use your standard waterer, but I sure wouldn't scrap your system yet.
    As an aside, I have the exterior five gallon water system, and it takes a LONG time for the water level to drop, as my five BO chicks drink less than one quart a day, even in this heat.
  4. SweetSarah

    SweetSarah Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 11, 2011
    I want to teach my old chickens a new trick but I guess I cannot.

    I removed the standard waterer so they have had nothing but nipple drinkers.
    There are 13 chickens and there has been no level change in the bucket and I have never seen them drink from them.
    They have a full run of dirt that they bathe in.

    I am afraid I am going to kill them by using the nipples....
  5. sixshooter60

    sixshooter60 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2011
    Stuart Oklahoma
    Im sorry to hear of your troubles, i have been using nipple waterers for a long time . its by far the best watering system designed for chickens. I even have it set up in my brooder which is a 4x8 . the pipe runs down the side of the brooder and is mounted on a 1x4 with all thread so it can be adjusted as the chicks grow. it has a standard garden hose on the end that runs through a hole in the end and goes into a 5 gallon bucket.. day old chicks find it within an hour or so and once one hits the nipple they all attack have bought grown birds that have never seen one and they find it when they get thirsty. although sometimes i do hold one or two up to the nipple and push their beak on it so they can feel the water. but they get it sooner or later.. [​IMG] here is a pic of some day old chicks using it..
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2011
  6. SmokinChick

    SmokinChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    Kingsville, MD
    Your girls have been a week with no water!
    They have to be getting something to drink somewhere? I use the nipples and have no problems and found that the girls learned very quickly.
    There is no evaporation from the nipples, if you have a lid on your bucket. And no waste. so the water seems to last forever.
    I guess you held a chicken up to the nipple and let the water get in her mouth? If not, do it with all of them a couple of times. One of them will be smart enough to get it.
    Good luck and hang in there.
  7. SweetSarah

    SweetSarah Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 11, 2011
    No, I went out there a few days with pans of water and they stampeeded over to them and gulped down water. I have forced them to get water from the nipples but they will not do it on their own. I was so excited about the nipples but it is not going well. Where can I get the cup drinkers?
  8. jmagill

    jmagill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2009
    Western Wyoming
    Is there a hole for air in the bucket. Maybe they are not getting water because of an air lock.
  9. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    I would check the pressure like jmaghill suggested. Do you have any pictures? Do you know that water is getting to the nipples?

    If you would like waterer cups, check out

  10. thompsonfarm

    thompsonfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 12, 2011

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