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is rusty water bad for chickens? not laying very well. - Page 2

post #11 of 14

I have four forms of water:

 

1.  Well water with iron, sulfur and calcium.

 

2.  Softened water that runs through the house.

 

3.  Rain water which I collect in barrels and use on my vegetable garden.

 

4.  Spring water with I get at a spring four miles from my home.  (a lot of shlepping)

 

I have been giving the hens the well water because the softened water from the house stills contains sodium from the conversion. I don't drink the softened water and I don't think so much sodium would be healthy for the hens either (?).  I don't use the rain water because when it sits in the barrels for a few days I'm sure it collects bugs and other debris which may cause health problems for the hens.  (Although, considering what they drink when free ranging this seems overprotective.  

 

What worries me is that when I fill their clear plastic bottles fitted with nipples, I can see that the water turns a slightly rusty color by the end of the day.  I change the water everyday (lots and lots of bottle washing).  I am working by my butt off trying to care for them and still wonder if the well water is doing some harm to them over time.

 

I would appreciate practical advise and not conjecture.  

 

 

 

 

post #12 of 14

you could use a salinity refractometer to test your tap water to find the salt content. I'm not sure how much salt consumption is safe for chickens, but your vet should be able to tell you that  I don't think that rainwater would hurt your hens. If your rain water colletion container is open to the environment, maybe you could install some type of circulator, like a mini pond fountain, or aquarium powerhead circulator to keep it from becoming stagnant.

post #13 of 14
Unfortunately conjecture is all we can offer. We are not scientists and have not visited your coop. We are all backyard flock owners trying our best to help one another in any and all situations that might arise. We can offer opinions on what we would do or offer advice from our situations past.
post #14 of 14

A lot depends on the source of your rain water.  Is it the run off from a metal roof or a shingled roof?  I'd be somewhat comfortable using it from a metal roof.  The biggest issue is that you have a lot of birds flying overhead.  There is some what of a risk of the rain water being contaminated with feces, therefore disease from wild birds.  It's not that difficult to build a bucket water purification system, but I'd not bother with that route unless you have a warmer climate than I do!  I deal with frozen water from November through April!  While your well water is not palatable to you, your chickens should do fine on it.  Have you had it tested to see if it passes for human consumption?  If it does, you should be just fine giving them your well water.  Save the spring water for your own enjoyment!

Ephesians 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-lazy-gardener

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yes-you-certainly-can-brood-chicks-outdoors

https://tikktok.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/fermented-feed-faq/

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Ephesians 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-lazy-gardener

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yes-you-certainly-can-brood-chicks-outdoors

https://tikktok.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/fermented-feed-faq/

Reply
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