Training to horizontal nipple waterer?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by haunani, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. haunani

    haunani Out Of The Brooder

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    I've read and read and read, and the consensus seems to be to simply remove other water supplies and they'll figure it out when they get thirsty enough.

    My chicks are about 10-11 days old, and while they know where the water is, they can't seem to figure out how to get it. I pulled their water dish yesterday afternoon, showed them where the nipple waterer was and tapped it a few times for them.

    This afternoon, I broke down and gave them some water in a dish and they went NUTS over it.

    How long do you feel comfortable leaving them to figure it out?
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  2. ibarrett

    ibarrett Out Of The Brooder

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    I've heard they can go about 3 days. But that's specifically for hatchlings-so I don't know if that applies to your 10-11 day olds. Have you tried picking them up and literally tapping their beak against the nipples while they're thirsty? If so, I've heard chickens are attracted to red, so you could try taking one of those laser pointers for cats and shining it on the nipple. It's an idea. [​IMG]
     
  3. ibarrett

    ibarrett Out Of The Brooder

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    Also, are the nipples too high for them maybe?
     
  4. lutherpug

    lutherpug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My first batch of chicks figured it out right away. My 2nd batch couldn't figure it out to save their lives. I finally gave up. Once I moved them into the coop with the other chickens they learned by watching. I wasn't comfortable leaving them without a water source for very long at all. An hour, maybe. Good luck, I know how frustrating it is when they don't get it. My advice would be keep trying. At some point they will figure it out-even if it isn't on the timeframe we want them to.
     
  5. haunani

    haunani Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 20, 2017
    near Rockford, IL
    Thank you for the replies.

    I've tapped their beaks against the waterer. I've tapped it for them with them right there waiting (and attacking!) the water that magically appears. Definitely not too high for them.

    They peck all around it, and even in it, but can't seem to catch on where the sweet spot is.

    I'll keep at it a bit more next week, as I'm working all weekend, and I don't trust the hubby (as good-hearted as he is) with this task.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  6. lutherpug

    lutherpug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The good news is that once one of them figures it out the rest of them will start too. It's the first one that can be tricky!
     
  7. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    I've always used the vertical kind. No spring (they return to center from gravity alone) so it takes only the slightest bit of pressure to get a drink. I can also tap it so a drip hangs to entice them to try. I have read about others who start chicks on vertical and then introduce horizontal later although I'm not sure why exactly. I suspect the vertical type is easier for chicks, though.
     
  8. lutherpug

    lutherpug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used the vertical kind initially with my first chicks and you're right-they figured it out right away but the nipples leaked like crazy for me. Maybe you got better nipples than I did! I only left it in the brooder for a few days as I was constantly having to change out the bedding below the waterer. But, that may have been a factor in why they transitioned to the horizontal ones right away.

    I'm introducing a vertical nipple bucket again this spring but it will be outdoors where leaking won't matter.
     
  9. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    I used the push in kind with the rubber grommet. I know some stores have started selling the screw in type which does leak around the threads if installed in a thin-walled container. That isn't what they were designed for and that's what most people have trouble with. Properly installed, the push ins don't leak until the rubber physically degrades. It happens with UV exposure, temperature extremes, and time but it took years for me to degrade my outdoor container (which I just let sit empty all winter) enough to produce a slight drip. 7 years hasn't been long enough yet for the indoor one to leak.
     
  10. lutherpug

    lutherpug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Interesting....My problem wasn't where they screwed in to the PVC pipe that we were using, it was that the chicks would peck them and the silver nipple part wouldn't set back in right-it would get crooked which would cause just a non stop leak. Happened every time. Maybe we just got cheap nipples. In any event, we've found the horizontal ones to be a lifesaver once our 2nd group of girls figured out how they worked. I think part of the problem was that we had a chick with severe scissor beak with this batch that was never going to be able to use the nipples so we always had an alternative water source available for her. Even when I would pull it out with that chick for an hour it always went back in which never really forced the issue with the others.

    Oh well, it all worked out eventually.
     

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