Training to use nipple? How long?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by 406Jen, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. 406Jen

    406Jen Out Of The Brooder

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    I've 3 ladies, and today's high will be 4 degrees. Many degrees below zero at night. I've been using a 1 gallon standard waterer on top of the cinderblock-with-a-lightbulb trick, but many times a day the water is still frozen solid and for obvious reasons I need a working solution.

    I purchased a 2 gallon bucket with a thermo-controlled heating element built in, drilled a 45 degree hole in the bottom (to avoid the heating part) and screwed in a nipple. Covered the top so nothing falls in, and hung it appropriately.

    The ladies have an elevated 3x5 coop, and go into their covered, sheltered, 5x9 run every day. They have access to free range, but the snow is a couple of feet deep right now, and save for the paths we have shoveled they don't like to wander much around the yard. (no surprise there)

    How long is it going to take for these girls to figure out that the red nipple will be their water source? I stuck raisins dipped in peanut butter all around the nipple, and even on the nipple, so they'd figure out that it was a source of yummy, but only one took advantage. I have the other water still in the run, as I don't want to deprive them of water at all in this cold.

    Thanks for any advice. Pictures available upon request, but that would mean I would have to go outside again, and I was hoping to remain without pants.[​IMG]
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    elevate it so the nipple is right at eye level
    in the morning don't give them any other water and as long as one knows where water is, the rest will figure it out quickly
    where are you?
     
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    As long as one knows how to get water, the others will soon follow, don't worry.

    Ct
     
  4. 406Jen

    406Jen Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2015

    Thanks. ....it's at eye level.

    I'm in SW montana
     
  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Remove the other water source, nipples are a convenience for us while they are a hassle for the chickens and if given another easier to drink water source they will generally fully ignore the nipples...

    Every time I have had to train day old chicks to adult chicks on nipples all I do is grab the bird and push their beak into the nipple a few times to show them it's water and within seconds they have it figured out and others follow...
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I would not recommend training bird to use nipples in freezing cold (or very hot) weather...could be critical if they become dehydrated.
    It can take days, or weeks, for them to really get it.
    I have had some birds pick it up quickly and others not at all....some get it when I show them, other's it freaks them out and they want nothing to do with it.
    Best to know how much water they do drink, so you can monitor how much they are getting via the nipples.
     
  7. AlHawk

    AlHawk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This was my experience with my day olds. I brought them home from the feed store and as I added them to the brooder cage, I put their beak on the nipple and pushed it then let them go. Before I got the last of the 9 birds in the cage, the first ones were already crowding around. Very simple process for mine.
     
  8. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    Between evaporation and spillage the perceived amount of use between an open water source and a nipple can be huge, you really can't compare usage between the two on a 1:1 scale...

    When I was using open source watering bowls I was going through about 10 gallons a day, it' harder for me to measure daily consumption now but on average my 55 gallon drum nipple waterer will last 10+ days, so about 5 gallons a day...

    Based on that, off the top of my head I would say my perceived water use is down about 50% since using nipples over open containers...
     
  9. csaylorchickens

    csaylorchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am.using watering cups I ordered them I think these will work better [​IMG]
     
  10. csaylorchickens

    csaylorchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    But that won't solve the freezing problem
     

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