Can chickens eat snow?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by team_realtree, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. team_realtree

    team_realtree Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2009
    I have no electricity at my coop so I am trying to think of a way to keep my 8 hens over the winter. Can I put snow in a bucket for them to consume in place of water?
  2. 1_FnkyFrm

    1_FnkyFrm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2010
    Knoxville, Tn
    Where do you live?
  3. team_realtree

    team_realtree Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2009
    Quote:Windsor Ontario.
  4. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    Central Oregon
    No...It's not the same. They need water so they don't get dehydrated. If it's not warm enough for the snow to melt, you'll have to take them out water, and also make sure it doesn't freeze.
  5. team_realtree

    team_realtree Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2009
    Quote:Wouldn't the snow passing through there system melt instantly turning into water?
  6. UrbanChick101

    UrbanChick101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2010
    Eastern Iowa
    The snow would melt, however, it would lower the chickens core body temperature as well, and they would have to eat lots of snow to stay hydrated. Making them extremely cold, I am sure.[​IMG]
  7. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    mine ate a bit of snow. [​IMG] only and only when free ranging. i did not leave buckets of snow for them in their run....
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
  8. Bat Cave Silkies

    Bat Cave Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 11, 2010
    Bat Cave, NC
    UrbanChick is absolutely right, please pay heed.

    My girls will eat snow when they're out free-ranging, but I certainly wouldn't expect them to use snow as their source of fluids.

    Could you run an extension cord to the barn? then hang a heat lamp over the waterer?
  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Of course they can eat snow...mine sampled it occasionally last winter. But NO, this is NOT to be their water source, no more than it should be a dogs or humans water source. As someone else said, being forced to eat snow for hydration would wreak havok on the body. That's no different than saying "I don't have time to give my dog water; he can just eat snow." [​IMG]

    The rubber type pans seem to contain heat better than metal. You will need to take warm water out to them in the morning, and again when you get home from school or work. Once more before nightfall would be nice. That's just part of responsible animal ownership, making sure they have food, water and shelter available to keep them healthy. And it's worth it!
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
  10. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    You have to give them water. I have been surprised that my coop is always warmer than the outside temperature. So, that'll help you. Also, if you get a couple of waterers, you can switch them in the afternoon/evening.

    Remember, eggs are composed primarily of what?

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