Can chickens survive eating snow if their water freezes?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by kristenm1975, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2008
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    I work 15 hour days and won't be around to make sure their water doesn't freeze. I can't imagine the whole big 25 gallon galvanized waterer would actually freeze solid if it's just getting down to 19 or so. Okay, so maybe it would. I don't know. I'm from Seattle and we just don't see this kind of cold real often.

    There's snow in their yard and I would think if they get thirsty, they'd eat the snow. I saw one hen doing it today. Do you think that would hold them for the day or at worst, two days?

    Thanks!
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    It takes a lot of snow to make enough water. If they were desperate, they would probably try to get water that way, but ideally, if you could give them a steaming warm dish of water in the morning and in the evening, they'll make it though our next few days of cold. Just eating snow probably isn't enough, and they would spend a lot of energy doing so. I want to say that when you are stranded in snow, you are not to eat snow directly for water as it takes more energy that way. If you fill the 25 gallon can with hot water, it will probably take a good while to freeze.
     
  3. Rte.66_chicks

    Rte.66_chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not only does it take a lot of snow to make a little water, the snow cools their core temp. Not good. The suggestion above should provide them with sufficient liquid water.
     
  4. sunnydee

    sunnydee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you have electricity in your coop? Is there a way you could run an extention cord and buy a heated water base to keep pluged in on those cold days when you are away working?
     
  5. Bammony

    Bammony Red-dress-less

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    I am in no way, shape or form telling you to not give your birds liquid water. AT ALL! I feel that any animal should have it. BUT.....what do birds in the wild do? Pheasants, quail, chuckar (sp), wild birds, etc. all have to get water somewhere, and when the water source freezes over, where do they get their water? [​IMG]
     
  6. sunnydee

    sunnydee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:They get it from streams, lake openings, etc. where it runs all year and DONT freeze over.
     
  7. Bammony

    Bammony Red-dress-less

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    Quote:They get it from streams, lake openings, etc. where it runs all year and DONT freeze over.

    Interesting. Doubt it. But interesting none the less.
     
  8. sunnydee

    sunnydee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:They get it from streams, lake openings, etc. where it runs all year and DONT freeze over.

    Interesting. Doubt it. But interesting none the less.

    I have a stream in my backyard that never freezes where it runs fast...I always see wild birds there drinking.
     
  9. CHICKEN little 1

    CHICKEN little 1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They would have to eat alot of snow to get enough liquid. Plus it would lower their body temp which would not be good. [​IMG]
     
  10. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    MERRY LAND
    I know in scouts they always said dont eat the snow(espcially if it has a yellow tinge, but that is another story), in order to get drinking water we had to melt the snow, and it took a lot of snow to get enough water to boil noodles.

    I know chickens cant heat the snow first, but would assume the same priciple exists.

    Just found this too :



    From how to survive a snow storm while stranded http://www.ehow.com/how_2164476_survive-snowstorm-stranded.html



    Tips
    & Warnings
    As tempting as it may be, do not eat snow. Eating snow can actually deplete your body of energy, lowering its core temperature. Instead, allow the snow to melt, and then drink it.
     

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