Can Chickens Swim?

Unlike ducks that are adept and prolific swimmers, chickens are somehow different and will not get in water for fun. So, can chickens swim?

I have seen dabbling and diving ducks in water many times. These birds do some excellent diving techniques that no other birds can. But can chickens do the same?

Many have never seen chickens swim and when they saw any chicken in water, it had fallen accidentally and probably drowned or chilled to death.

In this article I am going to share with you the finding on whether chickens can swim. Hopefully, this will help clear the doubt.

Let’s roll

Can chickens swim in water?

Chickens do not have the best swimming skills like it is with other water fowl like ducks and geese but these birds can swim in shallow depths for a short period of time.

They are not created to live in water or swim but once they fall in, they can swim to save their lives. But when the waters are deep and cold, they can easily drown or chill to death.

The reason ducks are able to swim swiftly is because they have water proof feathers that do not get wet. These feathers are coated with oil that they secret from an oil gland in their bodies.

Ducks also have webbed feet that paddles them and they are able to right them in water. Chickens on the other hand do not have water proof feathers and they get wet easily and drown.

Chicken feet are not webbed and will not paddle them like duck feet does. They are not able to right themselves in water making them unfit to swim.

Do chicks swim?

It is not common to see chicken swimming. Baby chicks are very sensitive and will die when they fall in water.

These young chooks are vulnerable and do not regulate their own body temperature. When they fall in pool water or any open container with water, they chill and drown to death.

When raising chicks, it is recommended that you use shallow drinkers or small chick waterers that are shallow to keep the juvenile chickens safe.

Some years back, my baby Lavender Orpington chicks drowned and died because I was using large water troughs and never knew that troughs needed some rocks to act as islands.

Where can chickens swim?

Although swimming is not basic to chickens, some fluffy chickens like Buff Brahma can enjoy cooling their bodies during summer.

You can give your chickens to swim under supervision in kiddie pools, shallow ponds or swim with then in your swimming pool.

I would discourage letting chickens swim in swimming pools because the water here is concentrated with chemicals to kill germs and discourage algae growth.

Giving your chickens a chance to swim for some few minutes will help cool their bodies and also do some exercise.

Let them swim under your watch because their feathers will get wet and they will sink easily and drown to death.

Do not let chickens get in water when it is very cold. These feathered friends will chill and die. If by any chance they fall in water, pull them out as fast as possible and help them dry their feathers using a towel or put them in a heated chicken coop.

When will chickens get in water?

Chickens will under rare occasions get their feet in water. But when they do, these birds swim pretty well though for short distances as they head for dry land.

They will only get in water when alarmed and fleeing for safety. When a possum gets in the chicken coop, those that are able to flee will run and sometimes get themselves in water.

Those with a calm disposition will swim better than the opposite and make out safely from any water body.

Ancient chickens commonly referred to as the jungle fowl could swim in flooded water and today some of their offspring the modern fowl has retained this ability.

Although it is rare to see chickens use their swimming skills, some flightily chicken breeds like Hamburg will sometimes jump over the fence and land in a swimming pool on the other side.

This makes them swim whether wanting it or not as they try to get out. The longer the chickens remain in water, their feathers became water logged and they risk sinking and drowning to death.

Final Thoughts

It is true chickens can swim. Although they do not have webbed feet and water proof feathers, they can remain in water for few minutes.

These birds will get in water as they try to flee from predators or when it is very hot when cooling their bodies.

Because their feathers are not water proof like in ducks, they can easily sink and drown to death if they do not manage to get out of water in time.

Can chickens swim? Yes they can. Share your thoughts on the comment section.

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