How Long Can Chickens Go Without Water?

Water is very important in the health of your chickens just like it is to you and me. It helps to fight dehydration and plays a key role in the digestion of food. So, how long can chickens go without water?

Keeping chickens hydrated is very good. Always ensure that their waterers are full of clean water even during the cold winter months.

During the hot summer months, these birds will drink more thus, require plenty of it. Are you wondering how long chickens can stay without a drink of water?

This article indulges more on how long chickens can go without water.

How long can chickens go without water?

Water is very important to chickens and they cannot go for very long without it. Under normal conditions, chickens cannot go for more than 48 hours without it.

This period will be shorter to a maximum of 8 hours during summer when the temperatures are very high or for chickens living in dry areas.

During winter, chickens will need water too but not as much as they do in summer. When it is cold, every drop turns into ice or any water becomes very cold for chickens to drink.

However, these birds will still need water even in winter and denying them enough of it can lead to serious health issues.

What happens if chickens run out of water to drink?

Lack of drinking water by chickens means danger. When your chicken waterers run dry, they risk ill health or even death due to dehydration.

If chickens are not getting enough water to drink, they will stop laying immediately and this break will continue for a few weeks.

Feathers will fall off even when it is not the molting season. The crops will become dry and they risk getting impacted crops because of eating dry chicken feeds.

When chickens stay without of water for more than 24 hours, they get into serious trouble and death can occur at any time.

How often do chickens need water?

Chickens need to have access to clean drinking water all the hours of day light. During the day, these birds are active and mostly eating dry food.

They will need to have access to water even during the cold winter days. Be innovating and have as many ways as possible on how to keep chicken water from freezing.

A heated chicken waterer will help keep the water in liquid form. It will also make it a few degrees warm making it easier for them to drink.

However, heated waterers will only work well if you are connected to electricity. If there is no electric power, breaking the ice, warming the water and placing the waterers inside will keep chicken water from freezing.

Do chickens need water at night?

At night chickens are resting and asleep like us. These birds are not nocturnal and therefore not active at night like bats and owls are.

They will not eat or drink but it is good if there is water for them. However in commercial chicken farming, they are supplemented with light to coerce them to lay more.

If they still have light at night, these birds are likely going to be active for more hours where they will continue to eat and drink.

How much water do chickens drink per day?

Chickens are not heavy drinkers but an adult hen will need between 180ml-250ml of clean water per day.

Those birds living in cold regions will drink less compared to those raised on hot areas. When hot, bodies call for more moisture to cool.

Make sure they have enough water and food. Feeding moisture rich treats like pineapple, zucchini, cucumber and carrots will help keep them well hydrated.

Free ranging chickens will drink more water than those chickens raised confined in cages and in pallet chicken coops.

When ranging, their bodies are more active and they collect dry treats like seeds hence need plenty of clean drinking water.

Can baby chicks go without water?

Water is vital for chicks just like it is to hens and roosters. Chicks will not go for more than 12 hours without water.

These baby hens will too suffer from dehydration if not given water. Remember that most of the chick starter feeds these birds eat are dry and will cause crop impaction if there is no water.

Make sure your chick waterers are always full of clean drinking water. Avoid large open bowls because chicks can easily fall in and drown.

Do not elevate chick waterers too high because they might to reach to drink. If you have to raise the waterers, let them not be high more than their shoulders.

When using open bowls, add stones and rocks to act like islands for these baby chickens to step when drinking.

How to ensure chickens have water

As we have seen, water is very important to chickens. Without enough of it, these birds risk from dehydrating or getting ill.

However, there are a number of ways to keep chickens well hydrated.

1 Moisture rich treats

Treats are tasty and good to chickens. These birds love to gobble anything tasty to supplement their diets with some extra nutrients.

When hot, moisture rich treats like cucumbers, watermelon, strawberries and apples will do a good job to hydrate them.

These chicken treats can also be frozen and used to cool your Lakenvelder chickens down.

2 Elevate the waterers

This is just raising the chicken waterer a few inches from the ground. Doing this will prevent bedding, dirt and sand from getting in and messing with the water.

It is a good way to prevent chickens spilling the water on the litter helping keep the coop dry and free from dampness.

3 Have multiple waters

Multiple chicken waterers will give all the chickens equal drinking opportunities. They will help prevent bullying cases where rowdy chickens will peck calm hens when drinking.

Furthermore, there will be fewer or no cases of congestion when drinking. When congested, chickens can easily transmit diseases and spread parasites.

4 They will drink in winter

Chickens will still need water to drink even in winter. However, it is likely that every liquid will turn into ice because of low temperatures.

Use heated waterers, heated bases or heat the coop and place the waterers inside to keep chicken water from freezing.

Final Thoughts

Chickens cannot go for very long without water. If you find the waterers dry, quickly fill them with water because your girls might be dehydrating.

Ice cold water is not good for chickens to drink. This kind of water is too cold and can cause serious health issues or even death to chicks.

Keep chicken water fresh and clean as possible. This is possible by elevating the waterers a few inches from the ground. It will prevent chickens from kicking beddings and litter.

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