Water Nipples Question

Karen Glatz

Chirping
Jun 28, 2017
51
83
84
It's very easy to get peeps to use chicken nipples. I put a soda bottle with a chicken nipple in the cap, suspended in the brooder. You'll need to make a pin hole in the bottom of the bottle. The bottle is upside down, nipple hanging down. I put a cat bowl filled with pine litter below it (to catch the drips so everything doesn't get soggy.) The bottle should be high enough so they have to stretch up a little to drink the water. And raised as they grow.

I do this with 3 day old peeps.

I show the peeps what it is by tapping the silver thing so water drips. Then I take the boldest peep and tap her beak on the silver thing so water drips on her beak. I put her down and watch to make sure they get it. Usually the bold one will run away at first but circle back and try it herself. For fun. Then the rest of them will want to try it too. In a half hour they are done and ready to go with clean water for the rest of their brooder time. I take away any other water bowl as soon as I see them all drink. It's really fun to watch this.

When they get a little older, I replace the cat bowl below the water bottle with a tray with clumps of grass and weeds (and probably bugs and maybe worms). They love this. And their water drips water the grass for a few days. It will get ripped up, so you'll have to get more clumps every few days.

When they go out into the run, they will easily use what ever type of nipple is there. Just tap it a couple of times to show them it's water.
 
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joydix

Songster
5 Years
Mar 20, 2015
423
224
152
West Sonoma County
Thank you! I'm hoping that works, I'm hoping to avoid an open water container!
i have used these for a few years now. they are all super easy to train young and old. i have 3 day olds chicks and have a small nipple waterer from Premier1 poultry supplies..also their buckets for adults are fabulous. totally keep everything out, i clean once month and never algae....anyway...to get 3 day olds to use it...i do the same tap tap tap...they see the water coming out...they go for it on the ground...then i take them and put beak to it to tap...then put them on the ground so they hear and see the water hit the ground...toom me 15 minutes to train ONE chick...then she kept coming over to try it. now they all use it. once she was seen by others they all wanted to try and it is like a game for them. one year i waited til they were about 3 weeks or 4 and bored in brooder box...so i set that up and within 5 minutes they all went crazy for it like a big game...had to refill right away...very entertaining! also keeps rats away as no water available in the chicken yard for rats!
 

BassBirdie

Hatching
Dec 20, 2019
6
4
9
When I got my first chicks ever last year, at a day old, I started them on a nipple waterer. Pick them up, and place their beak on the nipple so it drips on the beak (use a finger to make sure the water comes out if needed), so they understand that's where the water comes from. One chick didn't catch on at first, so definitely keep a close eye on them the first couple of days, and monitor them to make sure they are all drinking. If not, re-introduce them to the waterer. When they went outside, I switched to a horizontal nipple, and they took to it right away. The real advantage to nipples is that the water is always clean. My outdoor waterer is a bucket with a float valve (similar to the one in the toilet tank) that's hooked up to irrigation tubing running from a hose faucet set on low pressure (also have a gate valve in the tubing line to turn off the water for repairs), with two horizontal nipples in it. I take it out once a month and clean it out (algae sometimes), and check for water leaks every day. Works great, fresh water all the time for the chickens.
 

DanEP

Songster
9 Years
May 15, 2010
1,007
107
216
Cadiz Ky
I always put my chicks on the horizontal nipples at about 1 week old. Before that I use regular waterers to make sure everybody gets a good dose of apple cider vinegar, seems to help with pasty butt. At 1 week I know everybody is strong enough to use them and has worked fine for the past 5-6 years.
 

drstratton

Songster
Premium member
Mar 15, 2020
305
1,292
130
Eastern WA - USA
My Coop
My Coop
I always put my chicks on the horizontal nipples at about 1 week old. Before that I use regular waterers to make sure everybody gets a good dose of apple cider vinegar, seems to help with pasty butt. At 1 week I know everybody is strong enough to use them and has worked fine for the past 5-6 years.
@DanEP - How much ACV do you use? I've never used it with my chickens, but I'm learning that it's supposed to be extremely healthy for them! Thank you!

Horizontal is a better choice for freezing weather (vertical will freeze, even if the bucket is heated, as the vertical toggle is less protected from freezing than the horizontal toggle which is mostly internal).

As far as chicks, they may not be able to activate a horizontal toggle while very young, as it requires a certain amount of pressure to trigger. So a vertical nipple would be a better choice with chicks, though you will definitely want to keep an eye on them to make sure they can use it, and that the nipple isn't leaking or dripping enough to cause the bedding to get wet.
I have used both and definitely prefer the horizontal nipples. I live in NW Ohio and have to deal with freezing water every year. I have a 3 gal bucket I bought on Amazon 3 yrs ago and when it gets cold I put a fish tank water heater in to lay on the bottom. The flat plastic type is best. Then just make sure it keeps at least a couple inches in the bucket to cover the heater and pull it out in the spring. As for starting chicks, I use the old chick waterers and put marbles in the bottom. Then I have a square single horizontal nipple bottle I got on Amazon to transition them to the bigger bucket. Good luck, u will find u love chicken nipples!!! (Lol I giggle every time I say that phrase.)
It's very easy to get peeps to use chicken nipples. I put a soda bottle with a chicken nipple in the cap, suspended in the brooder. You'll need to make a pin hole in the bottom of the bottle. The bottle is upside down, nipple hanging down. I put a cat bowl filled with pine litter below it (to catch the drips so everything doesn't get soggy.) The bottle should be high enough so they have to stretch up a little to drink the water. And raised as they grow.

I do this with 3 day old peeps.

I show the peeps what it is by tapping the silver thing so water drips. Then I take the boldest peep and tap her beak on the silver thing so water drips on her beak. I put her down and watch to make sure they get it. Usually the bold one will run away at first but circle back and try it herself. For fun. Then the rest of them will want to try it too. In a half hour they are done and ready to go with clean water for the rest of their brooder time. I take away any other water bowl as soon as I see them all drink. It's really fun to watch this.

When they get a little older, I replace the cat bowl below the water bottle with a tray with clumps of grass and weeds (and probably bugs and maybe worms). They love this. And their water drips water the grass for a few days. It will get ripped up, so you'll have to get more clumps every few days.

When they go out into the run, they will easily use what ever type of nipple is there. Just tap it a couple of times to show them it's water.
i have used these for a few years now. they are all super easy to train young and old. i have 3 day olds chicks and have a small nipple waterer from Premier1 poultry supplies..also their buckets for adults are fabulous. totally keep everything out, i clean once month and never algae....anyway...to get 3 day olds to use it...i do the same tap tap tap...they see the water coming out...they go for it on the ground...then i take them and put beak to it to tap...then put them on the ground so they hear and see the water hit the ground...toom me 15 minutes to train ONE chick...then she kept coming over to try it. now they all use it. once she was seen by others they all wanted to try and it is like a game for them. one year i waited til they were about 3 weeks or 4 and bored in brooder box...so i set that up and within 5 minutes they all went crazy for it like a big game...had to refill right away...very entertaining! also keeps rats away as no water available in the chicken yard for rats!
When I got my first chicks ever last year, at a day old, I started them on a nipple waterer. Pick them up, and place their beak on the nipple so it drips on the beak (use a finger to make sure the water comes out if needed), so they understand that's where the water comes from. One chick didn't catch on at first, so definitely keep a close eye on them the first couple of days, and monitor them to make sure they are all drinking. If not, re-introduce them to the waterer. When they went outside, I switched to a horizontal nipple, and they took to it right away. The real advantage to nipples is that the water is always clean. My outdoor waterer is a bucket with a float valve (similar to the one in the toilet tank) that's hooked up to irrigation tubing running from a hose faucet set on low pressure (also have a gate valve in the tubing line to turn off the water for repairs), with two horizontal nipples in it. I take it out once a month and clean it out (algae sometimes), and check for water leaks every day. Works great, fresh water all the time for the chickens.
Thank you so much everyone for the great advice! We will be going in to town to get some supplies, so I'm hoping to get what I need to make one for the brooder! 💞
 

Messinwithchickens

In the Brooder
Jul 26, 2019
4
19
27
Good morning! I'm getting ready to set up a new chick brooder and was looking at ideas on a brooder thread I found here. He used water nipples in a gravity fed system. My question is, how hard is it to train new babies to use them! I would also love it if anyone has any other suggestions. This is a great site! Thank you!

https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...post-pics-of-your-brooders.6233/post-15313401
My husband put nipples in the caps of single serving Gatorade bottles (which are thicker) and wired them to the corners of our brooder. To train the chicks off the standard waterer. I taught my “smartest “ chicken, the one who you notice discovers things first and she taught the rest!
 

CT11

In the Brooder
Mar 4, 2019
26
38
44
Connecticut
I tried water nipples when mine were still little. Before I figured out what was up, I had one dead of dehydration and one looking pretty poor. I was able to nurse her back as well as the rest, but it soured me on the nipples. I know many people use them successfully, but I’m mighty fun shy about giving them a second try even now as adults.
 

drstratton

Songster
Premium member
Mar 15, 2020
305
1,292
130
Eastern WA - USA
My Coop
My Coop
I tried water nipples when mine were still little. Before I figured out what was up, I had one dead of dehydration and one looking pretty poor. I was able to nurse her back as well as the rest, but it soured me on the nipples. I know many people use them successfully, but I’m mighty fun shy about giving them a second try even now as adults.
I plan on leaving my regular waterer in until I know they are all using the nipples! It's always so sad to lose any! :(
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
75,076
82,055
1,607
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I tried water nipples when mine were still little. Before I figured out what was up, I had one dead of dehydration and one looking pretty poor. I was able to nurse her back as well as the rest, but it soured me on the nipples. I know many people use them successfully, but I’m mighty fun shy about giving them a second try even now as adults.
It takes some balance, @CT11 when very young they should also have an open waterer until they get the hang of the nipples.

How much ACV do you use? I've never used it with my chickens, but I'm learning that it's supposed to be extremely healthy for them!
Ehhh, bit if a fad.
There are several causes of pasty butt, Active Cider Vinegar may help.. or not.
Clean fresh room temperature water is best, IMO, along with a properly heated brooder set up.
 

ColoradoPip

Songster
May 3, 2015
390
801
154
Denver, CO
The day I recieved them, at ~1.5 days old, mine took right to it. I gave everyone a drink from the open waterer and the morning, within minutes some of the chics went after the red nipples, and by evening they are all using the nipples. No training by me. Some still use the open waterer but most use the nipples.

Here's a post with my video taken a few minutes after they were all in the brooder.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/new-brooder-built-pic-heavy.1349879/post-22330975
 
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