Chickens not drinking for days

MorganLynne

In the Brooder
Jan 28, 2018
19
12
26
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.
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,874
33,114
1,092
On the MN prairie.
6 months old. I forgot to mention the hen layed one egg the second day she was here but none since.
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
 

MorganLynne

In the Brooder
Jan 28, 2018
19
12
26
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

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.
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,874
33,114
1,092
On the MN prairie.
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.
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.
 

MorganLynne

In the Brooder
Jan 28, 2018
19
12
26
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.

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.
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,874
33,114
1,092
On the MN prairie.
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.
:pop
 

MorganLynne

In the Brooder
Jan 28, 2018
19
12
26
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.

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.
 

MANNA-PRO

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