Ammonium Chloride in water

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Dave Z, May 15, 2010.

  1. Dave Z

    Dave Z In the Brooder

    May 29, 2009
    My question is coming, but first some background.

    Here in the desert we use evaporative coolers. An evap cooler is a big fan that draws air across a wet substance, thereby lowering the air temp by 30 degrees or so. Works great on dry days and way cheaper than regular air conditioning. Problem is that sometimes it smells like a fishtank and blows that smell into the house. Not always so pleasant. To help with that and other potential problems, the system does a purge every so often, pumping out the water that is in the tank and refilling with fresh water.

    I have that water discharging onto some plants where it makes a small pool. The chickens sometimes drink there. Not a problem, might be a little higher in calcium and other minerals, but still just plain water.

    So I found some stuff made for putting in the water to help control the smell even more. The active ingredient is Ammonium Chloride. Very small amount, but I'm concerned about it being in the discharge water and the chickens drinking it.

    My research so far finds that Ammonium Chloride has many uses, including a supplement in cattle feed and certain human medicinal uses. It's also used for "contact explosives" whatever they are.

    Anyway, would a small amount of Ammonium Chloride be harmful to my birds? They have plenty of other fresh drinking water sources available all the time. The discharge water is only available once or twice a day.

    Also, I'm thinking about planting something in their run which is pretty shady most of the day. Do azaleas present any risk to chickens? I understand they're bad for horses.

  2. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    Should be fine. These days pretty much all water in the US aside from some wells are treated with chloramine which is 2 ammonium and 1 chlorine molecule. Ammonium chloride just has some salt with the chlorine instead of binding the chlorine and ammonium directly. So long as the concentration isn't too high it should be safe to drink.
  3. Dave Z

    Dave Z In the Brooder

    May 29, 2009
    Thanks. I won't worry about it but I'll keep an eye on the birds for any strange behavior.
  4. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    The discharge water is only available once or twice a day.

    Pile up some rocks where the water pools and they can't drink it at all​

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