Chickens do not have a reputation for being particularly clean animals at all. They will simply walk into and defecate on anything that is within their reach, regardless of whether it is their food, their water, or the place where they sleep. They simply do not care about it. Attempting to keep their living area clean can be a headache, but it is a really necessary part of keeping hens, as taintd food and water can lead to a world of problems in the future. Keeping their living area clean can be a hassle, but it is a super vital part of owning chickens.
Elevating the water for your chickens, keeping it in a shaded area, and giving the container a daily scrub will help you maintain its cleanliness. However, there are a number of different hints and suggestions that you may use to maintain the cleanliness of the water that your hens drink.
Some of these recommendations concern the location in which you keep the container, while others focus on the best approach to clean them and the products that should be employed to ward against potentially hazardous germs and algae. In this article, we will go over several tips and tactics that might help you keep the water that your chickens drink clean.
In spite of the fact that you might see your hens drinking from a filthy puddle or any other unsanitary source when they are out in the yard, chickens often choose to drink cool, clean water. Do not conclude that because they are acting in this manner that you are no longer required to empty and clean their water containers every day. When children are taught early on to engage in positive and healthy behaviors, it is much simpler to raise a contented flock.
#1 Dump it out!
To tell you the truth, I place a lot of emphasis on this particular point.Every day, you must empty out the water! It is not clean, despite the fact that it looks clean.Trust me. You haven’t seen all of the yucky things that are floating around in it yet, but there are plenty of them.
If the water appears to be contaminated although you only filled it a few hours ago, you should still dump it. If you feel bad about wasting the water, you can put it to good use by watering your plants or gardening. It is always a good idea to replace any water that appears to be unclean, regardless of the circumstances. Because, let’s face it, even you wouldn’t want to drink that!
I swear, chicks are the dirtiest of all animals, and they will go out of their way to defecate in their drinking water if they have to. Many of them prefer perching on top of the container that holds the water in the water fountain, and as a result, they will have easy access to defecate in it. My research has shown that positioning anything above it should eliminate the possibility of that happening. You should also give them with an adequate perching spot so that they will have less of an incentive to contaminate their water supply.
#2 Wash out the container weekly!
It may surprise you how quickly a water fountain or bowl may get sticky and covered in algae if you have never seen it happen. Contaminants such as algae and other types of bacteria carry the risk of causing serious illness or even death in some situations. They create chemicals that can cause damage to the brain or liver of chickens as well as people, which can ultimately lead to death. Because of this, it is extremely vital to scrub the container clean once a week using a scrub brush and then sanitize it using a solution made of vinegar.
The most effective method for sanitizing galvanized metal fountains, which are susceptible to corrosion easily, is to use warm water and soap. Using dish soap to clean the water fountain is another acceptable method of cleaning. So long as you put forth some effort, everything should be OK!
Apple Cider Vinegar VS Bleach
Vinegar is a highly safe and inexpensive method for disinfecting the water that your chickens drink. It should be sufficient to use approximately 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar for every gallon of water.Even after giving it a good scrub, I don’t like to use bleach because it can be acidic and bad for my birds, despite the fact that I give it a good clean.
If you want to attempt to maintain the water cleaner and avoid the growth of germs and algae, you can add a very small amount of apple cider vinegar to it every day. However, you should not do this if you are using a metal water fountain since it will rust. Because of the acidity, it can cause the metal to corrode, which can then allow zinc to leach into the water. Zinc is poisonous to hens and should be avoided at all costs. Also, you should never add bleach to their water.
#3 Elevate the waterer
When a water fountain or bowl is placed on the ground, there is an increased likelihood that dirt and other potentially harmful substances will be kicked into it.
You can install it to the wall of the chicken coop, dangle it from the roof of the coop, or just lay it on top of some bricks. As long as it is elevated off the ground and shielded from the risk of having waste and feces thrown into it, maintaining its cleanliness ought should be a lot simpler to accomplish.
The water in some fountains is already elevated off the ground since the fountains come equipped with legs (you can see an example of this on Amazon). The majority of these are excellent examples of the kinds of water fountains that would be suitable for your chickens. It is simple and quick to refill, and it will keep the water off the ground for you, in addition to being convenient.
It is OK to use a bucket or bowl on the ground, however doing so is not recommended. These containers are particularly susceptible to becoming soiled and polluted at a rapid rate due to their ease of use. This is perfectly fine as long as you don’t mind having to rinse them out multiple times a day. However, they do not require significantly less upkeep than other options.
#4 Keep the water out of direct light
Not only will the water become extremely hot and unattractive for your chickens to drink if it is exposed to direct sunlight, but there is also a significantly increased possibility that the water will become tainted with algae.
The addition of a few drops of apple cider vinegar to the water fountain that is provided for your chickens will help prevent the growth of algae, but it will not completely stop the process. Especially if you don’t make it a daily habit to empty and clean them out.
A shady location is ideal for maintaining the cleanliness of the water fountain that you provide for your chickens by preventing the growth of bacteria and algae.
#5 Keep the water out of the coop!
The water that my chickens drink appears to become the most contaminated in the coop. Even if I keep it off the ground, I believe it is easier to keep it clean and safe when it is outside of the untidy hen house, which is something that I spend a lot of time cleaning by the way. Even if I keep it off the ground, I believe it is easier to keep it outside of the messy hen house.
If there is water in the chicken coop, there is a much increased risk that feces and filth will be kicked into the water. They seem to have less of an interest in making a mess of things while they are outside for some reason. My personal preference is to keep ours in the covered run area (you can find more information regarding this here).
If you have no choice but to keep their food and water within the chicken coop, investing in a waterer that can be mounted on the wall or one that features nipples should help you maintain clean water. However, this does not mean that there is a reduced danger of your coop being untidy as a result of the water being contained within it (you will still need to clean it on a regular basis regardless).
#6 Have more than one container
If you have a large number of chickens but only one water fountain, the fountain may become a gathering place for the chickens, which means that the water will be consumed more quickly and will be left in a filthy state.
Not only will a greater number of chickens maintain proper hydration, but it will also reduce instances of bullying and the amount of water that will flow over.
#7 Have a proper container
Because of its significance, this piece of advice may have been placed lower on the list than it actually is. It would really assist to keep the water cleaner if you do not give your chickens water from a shallow bucket or dish. When you use a fountain, the water is covered and, in most cases, you will fill it from the top. This results in less mess and less chances for them to kick dirt, bedding, or poop into the water, all of which are positive things. When their owners utilize open containers for holding water, I’ve even observed some chickens just standing or hanging around in the water bucket itself.
Chickens Love Making Clean Water Dirty.
My opinion is that it is simply in their nature to make things as nasty as they possibly can, but I suppose that is just how birds are. As a result, it should come as no surprise that they are equally adept at polluting their water as they are at polluting everything else. If you are growing frustrated with the consistently dirty water that your chickens drink, or if you are just getting started with raising chickens and doing research, then follow these helpful guidelines in order to keep the water source for your flocks clean.
Do I just give my chickens normal tap water?
The basic guideline is that if the liquid is safe for you to drink, then it is also safe for the birds in your care to consume. In suburban areas, the water that comes out of the tap frequently contains a variety of chemical additives, such as fluoride and chlorine; however, these substances are typically present in such trace amounts that they will not have any impact on your hens. If you are providing your chickens water that contains fluoride, it is best to increase their calcium intake by giving them some shell grit. In some instances, fluoride can alter bone density, so it is important to take precautions.
How often do I need to refill my chicken’s water?
Chickens can consume a surprising amount of fresh water given their size, particularly when the temperature is higher than normal. You need to make sure the water that your hens drink is always fresh by changing it once or twice a day. If you do this, you can rest assured that the water that they drink will always be clean.
What to use to supply the water
How therefore can you ensure that your chickens have access to the fresh water that they require without running the risk of their fouling it?
It is not a good idea to store your hens’ water in a basic plastic tub or container since it is simply too easy for them to fall in or jump in and contaminate the water. In addition, in order to maintain their health, hens must consume a substantial amount of water on a daily basis, specifically about a half liter for each bird. That’s quite a lot of water to maintain in a container that’s simple for them to get their beaks into if you’ve got a big flock!
Chicken waterers are built with the capacity to hold a significant volume of water (this particular vendor sells options ranging from 2 liters to 4 liters to 20 liters). In addition, they provide hens with access to water through a trough that has thin walls; this reduces the likelihood of dirt or other particles falling in, as well as the likelihood of your chickens wallowing in the water.
The following are the characteristics that your flock’s drinking water must have in order to continue to meet their demand for liquids:
- A cover or top is necessary to prevent the growth of algae in the water.
- A narrow passageway via which the chickens can reach the water, but which does not provide them with sufficient room to walk around in it.
- a high volume; the waterer must have the capacity to hold liters of water; the size that you require will depend on the number of animals in your flock. In this scenario, it is usually ideal to have an abundance of water available for your chickens to drink rather than not having enough.