Water Nipple Training

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by KrystalRose, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. KrystalRose

    KrystalRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2014
    Finley, WA
    My chickens are 14 weeks old right now and I have been trying to train them to use my water nipple system, from what I read the best way to train them is to take away their other water and show a few how to use the nipples, eventually they will all get thirsty enough to catch on. I have been doing this off and on for the past week or so, giving them their usual waterer when I go to work since I cant keep an eye on them. I am not out there all day to watch but I have seen at least half of them use the nipples on their own when I do go out there. But how can I tell if they are getting dehydrated and how long would it take. I haven't given them a regular waterer since Friday and it is now Sunday afternoon and I don't see any problems with any of the birds. It is about 80 degrees outside during the day and they do have shade. I am assuming that they are all using it or I would have seen problems by now since they haven't had a regular waterer for 48 hours now?
     
  2. farm316

    farm316 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 28, 2014
    Our Brahma chicks were not doing so well with the nipples like our Rhode island's were (Granted the Rhode islands were older) so we read online that chickens are attracted too dark bright colors like... bright red. So we spray painted red on the nipple and now it works!
     
  3. KrystalRose

    KrystalRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2014
    Finley, WA
    The nipples themselves are red. These pictures aren't very close up but here is my system, both inside and outside. I have 6 different breeds and I have seen all the breed types using the nipples so far so I don't think I have a breed problem. I just have a few I haven't seen them use them yet. Hoping they are using them when I am not looking.


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  4. David1998

    David1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    It sounds like you've got them trained to me. I don't know how long they can go without water, but I would suspect you'd see some stress in them by now. If you're worried, I'd take them one by one to the nipple and show them. If they take the little bit of water and run away, you know they are not thirsty. If they frantically try to get more, you know they're not getting enough.

    I certainly wouldn't recommend to anyone else putting their old waterer back after introducing the nipples unless you know they are not using the nipples. Going back and forth teaches them that if they wait long enough, the easy way will come back. Pick a time when you'll be able to watch them. Then make the switch 100%. Only go back if it's not working.

    I just switched mine over this weekend. To give myself comfort, I measured how much water they had been drinking previously. I took their old waterer away about an hour before. That helped to them to be thirsty so they'd be interested in it while I was watching. With their graduated marks on their new container and horizontal nipples that don't leak, I'm able to tell they are getting approximately how much water they were before.

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    Last edited: Sep 14, 2014

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