Automatic Watering Cup for Chickens-Help!

newbiegardner(Z10 S. Florida)May 6, 2008

Help!

A week ago I bought an automatic watering cup for my chickens from Mcmurray hatchery. The cups have a yellow "joystick" inside them that the chickens supposedly peck at and water drips into the cup.

Look at the orange cup in the picture below if you want to see what they look like:

http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/product/cage_watering_kit.html

To start the chickens off....I pushed the "joystick" and filled up the cup over the weekend. When I came back a 1/2 hour later...it was empty so the chickens are learning how to drink from the cup. I pushed it and filled it up...and a hen came over and started drinking. Periodically during the day, I would go outside and push the "joystick" and fill the cup up again....and return to find it empty. They obviously know to drink from the cup.

The question is....how do I know they can peck and fill up the cups on their own? I plan on going away for a week or so over the summer and don't want to return to find my four chickens DEAD.

Has anyone used a similar cup? Is it supposed to stay EMPTY? Do the chickens push it and drink it all up...and is that why I am always finding the cup empty.

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mersiepoo(6)

Apparently your chickens haven't learned that they are supposed to be the ones pushing the joystick thingy for water. If I was trying to train them to peck it for water, I'd put some food on top of the stick to encourage them to peck at it.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 7:26PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Sounds like the waterer we used to have for our horses...they learned how to press on the paddle with their muzzle that would fill the basin, but it spritzed their muzzle so badly with water--which TICKLED--that they would pin their ears back and wrinkle up their noses while they filled the thing. Could it be that the drinkers are spraying the chickens when it fills? If so, chickens HATE that.

I've never used that type of drinker with my birds, but I've seen the 'nipple' type used in large pens, where the drinker is overhead with a metal ball thingy that the birds would peck for drips of water--it didn't spray.

About the only way you'll see what they are doing is to either watch them for a while, or set up a video camera and tape them during the day, and fast-forward to the parts where they are interacting with the waterer.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 10:53PM
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