October 24, 2012

Chickens, Their Water, And Trouble

FACT: Chickens drink a lot of water. A lot! They need water to live and thrive, that's a given. They need even more water if they are laying.  Chickens need a constant source of clean water. Flock owners take care of their chickens' water needs in different ways. Some have a automatic flow of clean water that comes from a pump, well or hose hookup. The styles of water containers are endless. Owners choose what fits their needs best at that time. We are using one of the gallon-size plastic hanging 'tube' water containers. We will be switching over to a different style soon...before winter sets in.

The point of this post though,  is not how the chickens get their water but what goes on behind the scene when you're not there. Unless you have a very unusual breed of 'calm' chickens they can cause a lot of chaos. Our chickens are a six-ring circus...they have been from the day they were delivered to our door. To new chicken keepers,  the amount of 'trouble' they get into is astonishing. I'm not trying to talk anyone out of getting chickens just trying to warn in a positive way. Ours have been worth every bit of 'trouble' they get into (and they haven't even started laying yet)!

What trouble?

Not long after they were living full time in the hen house I went out and found their water container completely dry because it was tipped sideways. I knew I didn't hang it like that...and I didn't know how long they had been without water! Hmmm, chickens to smart for their own good.

So I am frequently checking their water container...cleaning, changing or adding water as needed. They must swing from the water container like it's a trapeze. They have learned how to get it tipped and hanging sideways from the hook. That will drain the water out in no time. Another trick is constantly flapping their wings near it - that will make it swing back and forth and if they do it enough most the water will slosh out. They get above it and poop in the water, not good. They also manage, somehow, to put food in it. The type of food that's floating in it can make the water rancid and slimy.

I am NOT overly obsessed with their water, I'm just aware of what chickens can do in the name of fun and entertianment. This is just heads-up for new chicken keepers!



  1. I wonder if they'll still want to play in their water when it's freezing cold outside?

  2. If there is a game involved they might not care...do they make ice skates for chickens?


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