Updated: May 28
May 20, 2022
Farm Life Friday's | The Editors
BUCKHANNON, WV - You’ve never seen a chicken gulping down water, have you? So it seems right to assume they probably don’t require so much. But they’re busybodies, foraging and laying and they’re thirsty animals too.
So, how much water do chickens need? Keep reading to find out and you’ll be able to ensure healthy and happy chickens.
Do Chickens Like Water?
Chickens don’t only like water, it’s absolutely essential for their survival and quality of life. Just like humans and every other living thing.
They like it so much that an adult chicken will drink about a pint of water per day. That’s a lot of water for a little animal, which is why many people get it wrong, assuming they need much less.
A pint is the standard amount for adult chickens, but it does increase if the weather is very hot and if the chicken is laying. Then they can drink double or triple as much!
How Long Can Chickens Go Without Water?
If the weather isn’t too hot, adult chickens can survive 48 hours without water. That is only two days, which isn’t very long at all. But even forgetting to top up the waterer for a day can have dire consequences.
A chicken will go into shock if it does not have access to water for a day. And if they are in full lay, they might halt the laying process for up to two weeks. The lack of moisture in food upsets the digestive system and they will be unable to regulate their body temperatures.
As for chicks, even a few hours without water can be fatal and the absolute maximum is about six hours.
Why Is Water Important for Healthy and Happy Chickens?
Of course, chickens need water to drink in order to keep hydrated and provide enough energy to go about their day, lay eggs, and reproduce.
It’s also important for the digestive process as water moistens food and makes it easier to digest.
In order to properly remove waste from their bodies, the waste should be moist. So here, water helps to remove everything these animals eat.
Water helps to regulate body temperature and keep the chickens cool. In fact, on very hot days, it’s a good idea to pop some ice cubes into the waterer to aid the temperature regulation.
And lastly, water is crucial for egg formation. Chicken eggs are made up of 70% water, so it’s a no-brainer that a lack of water is going to be dire for the egg’s development.
Picking the Right Waterer for Their Water
How are you giving your chickens water? Is it a water bowl, trough, plate, pipeline, drinker, etc? Some of these are automatic and some are manual. And while the automatic is convenient for you, it may cause owners to become complacent and forget to check water levels.
Whichever you choose to use, try to use waterers that can hold more than a pint so you ensure your chicken is getting their daily requirements and then some. Always check for leaks, and remember to check and refill water every day.
So, How Much Water Do Chickens Need?
Are you feeling confident knowing the answer to how much water do chickens need?
It’s imperative that chickens have access to at least a pint of water a day in order to have a good quality of life and avoid health problems. Your chickens should never go 24 hours without water as this can cause serious health issues and be fatal at two days without water. Set yourself reminders, get a big waterer, and ensure your chickens have enough access.