do chickens like water?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Brydie72, May 26, 2010.

  1. Brydie72

    Brydie72 New Egg

    May 26, 2010
    Getting a few pet silkies and was wondering if they would enjoy access to a small wading pool once and a while like on a hot day?
  2. chicken_china_mom

    chicken_china_mom Crazy for Cochins

    Apr 24, 2009
    Tab, Indiana
    Moderators are probably going to move this cause it probably should have been posted in Raising Chicks section, but I'll try to answer it before it gets moved to help you out. [​IMG]

    Chickens don't swim. Period. They don't wade, they don't swim. To cool off they go take a dust bath, I have Silkies as well as quite a few other breeds, as well as ducks, so I have the wading pool in my chicken yard because that's where the ducks are. My chickens will drink from the pool, but they won't step IN it. Chickens can't swim and would drown, and I would have to assume that a chicken with a tophat like a Silkie would have more trouble trying to get out if they did fall in, due to vision being blocked if they are particularly fluffy. So, no, you don't need to add the pool, but do add a clean cat litter pan, or some other kind of shallow pan like that, and add in some food grade diatomaceous earth. It's a fine white powder that acts as both a cooling agent AND a natural insecticide. Plus it reduces odor if you sprinkle it in your coop and nest boxes and around the chicken yard. When I use it, there is absolutely no odor what so ever. And my birds stay bug free. Good luck with your Silkies. What colors are you getting?

    Oh, I wanted to add, wherever you put your coop, make sure there is shade for the birds to retreat to when the sun gets to be too much. I have 2 coops and I parked them both under big maple trees so that my birds would have some cover from aerial predators and so they would have plenty of shade too. And my birds do quite well in the summer. I have the Silkies in with my Bantam Cochins, Bantam Buff Orpingtons, and a Dark Brahma roo and a Mille Fleur d'Uccle hen, not to mention the ducks, 4 Blue Swedish and 2 Mallards. No one overheats cause there is plenty of dirt holes and mud (thank you ducks, grrr).

    Hope that helps you out. Enjoy your new babies when they arrive!
  3. Oven Ready

    Oven Ready Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    I have to disagree on the chickens can't swim point.

    I agree they won't swim for fun but we have a pond next to the coop it's about 40x30 metres and often our chickens will fly across it, especially the rooster if he sees any young boys getting up to no good with one of his ladies.
    Usually they make it OK, but sometimes theres obviously some misjudgement and they crash land in the water.
    They don't sink, or drown, they just keep on flying/flapping in the water and they have, so far always, made it to the shore. They are very bedraggled when they get ashore but it doesn't take long for them to dry up and get on with the rest of their day.
  4. sune42

    sune42 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2009
    Northern Kentucky
    Ever heard the saying "mad as a wet hen"?
    1 person likes this.
  5. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    On hot days I actually set the hose to mist and hang it up on a post so they can stand under it when they get hot. The new ones are still adjusting to it but all mine from last year loved getting a nice cool shower on a hot day.
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    My chickens like to lay in the dirt under the shrubs, where it's shaded and cooler, when it's hot. Or in the grass, in the shade. Shade is very important in summer.

    Sometimes some of mine do choose to walk or stand in shallow water. They don't swim or lay in water, they just stand in it. They have never gone in deep water, where their feathers would get wet. They are more the "ankle deep" type of waders. I'm sure I've seen posts in other years, where people in hot areas have given their chickens something like a baking pan with some water to wade in, to keep cool. Those chickens used it for wading. Mine usually just decide to use one of the 5 qt. water bowls. I think maybe it just depends on the individual chicken, whether they like to do that or not.

    I do agree that giving them access to a dust bathing area is important for them. I don't think mine do it to cool down, but it absolutely helps them fight any external parasites they get exposed to in the environment.
  7. NurseNettie

    NurseNettie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2008
    Northern Maine
    I wouldn't waste the money, or the time you'll spend cleaning a stinky pool. In general, they dont' like swimmnig. They like dust baths, and lying spread eagle in cool dirt or grassin the shade. Mine do love splashing in the mud when the hose is running.. and drinking from the puddles, but I've never seen them do more than splash their feet and make a mess. We've got a big pond on our property, close to where they all free range, and I've never seen one even approach the pond. It's possible that they "can"swim, but it's not what they do to relax or cool down.

    Though I've heard of the saying, madder than a wet hen-- mine LOVE to be out in the rain and get soaked--- but I'm pretty sure it's because the worms come to the surface and are easy targets-- and they just are indifferent about getting wet at that point.

  8. texasgurl

    texasgurl Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 28, 2012
    North Texas
    My chicks love getting in their water bowl and playing and flapping around in it. I have seen a few pics on Pinterest of chickens swimming by their owners in their swimming pools. I agree with the above post... it probably just depends on the chickens. ; )
  9. texasgurl

    texasgurl Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 28, 2012
    North Texas
    Here's some videos of chickens swimming:

    And this one is just fun! A cat and dog scuba diving!!

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