Chickens not drinking for days

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MorganLynne, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. MorganLynne

    MorganLynne In the Brooder

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    Hi everyone, I’m new to posting on this site and hardly know how to use it so forgive me if I’ve done something wrong.
    Anyway, I got two 6 month old silkies on Saturday. A hen and a rooster. It’s now Wednesday night and their water hasn’t gone down at all and I haven’t seen them drink once. I know they know the water is there because they both inspected it and I splashed my finger around in it, and put a shiny green thing in there to get their attention. I’ve tried an automatic waterer as well as a dish of water and they won’t drink out of either.
    The weird part is that they don’t really seem dehydrated or like anything is wrong with them. They walk around normally and don’t seem weak. They eat. They’re really calm. The only sign of dehydration I’ve noticed is the skin on the back of their legs is loose and doesn’t go back right away when it’s pinched, which scares me.
    Today, I gave them a whole head of lettuce because that way I can at least get some water into them. They gobbled down a lot of it but not all. At least I know they have gotten a little water but I’m still very concerned.
    Anyone who can help, please do.
     
    drumstick diva likes this.
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    How old are they?
     
  3. MorganLynne

    MorganLynne In the Brooder

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    6 months old. I forgot to mention the hen layed one egg the second day she was here but none since.
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    Are you sure they're not drinking? Is the water level not going down? Do you have puddles where you are? They could be drinking out of them if you do. Mine prefer mucky puddle water to their nice fresh waterers when it's wet here. Oh, and:
    :welcome
     
    drumstick diva likes this.
  5. MorganLynne

    MorganLynne In the Brooder

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    Thank you! Yeah, their water hasn’t gone down at all. They’re staying in a chicken tractor for now, so they have no access to rain puddles. I even put the hen’s beak in the water like you do with new chicks but it didn’t compel her to drink.
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    Hmm, they must be getting moisture somewhere. Do you have any additives to their water? ACV, Herbs, etc? If so, I'd dump it and just give them plain water. Could they be getting moisture from the grass? I'm thinking if they're thirsty they'll drink, unless they don't like the water. Maybe it tastes different than they're used to.
     
  7. MorganLynne

    MorganLynne In the Brooder

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    It is possible they’re drinking from damp grass I suppose. I have nothing special in their water, it’s just plain old well water. BUT, that gave me a great idea! It sounds pretty gross, but my well water tends to have a strong rotten eggs smell. I’m so used to it that I didn’t even think of that. I imagine they’re repelled by the scent of the water and aren’t used to it, so they’re not drinking it. I’ll try replacing it with bottled water in the morning since that doesn’t really have a smell. Thank you so much! I’ll update you tomorrow.
     
    drumstick diva likes this.
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    On the MN prairie.
    :pop
     
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

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    Could you get them some watermelon - chickens usually love it, and it will get liquids into them.? Maybe a little sugar in water, or some gatorade would tempt them.
     
    puffypoo22 and TCCL like this.
  10. MorganLynne

    MorganLynne In the Brooder

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    That’s a great idea, I’ll get them some watermelon after work today. I put filtered water in the coop around midnight last night so I’ll update when I got home as to whether or not they’re drinking. Thanks everyone for you help.
     

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