Do chickens need water at night? (winter)


In the Brooder
Feb 17, 2016
It's winter now and it gets dark at 5pm. The chickens are in the coop from 5pm to 6am, so 13 hours. Do they need water during this time?

Last winter I had water in the coop with a diy heater to keep it from freezing, but I removed the power due to fire concerns and reading multiple threads here reassuring me the chickens don't need heat.

However, the water freezes at night without a heater. Does it even need to be in the coop? Or are they fine with just getting water outside during the daylight hours?

Chickens do not need water at night. Whether or not water (or food) needs to be in the coop is probably dictated by your climate. I have neither food nor water in my coop, but my climate is such that my chickens are never confined to the coop because of snow/ice/cold.
No, chickens do not require water at night. Just be sure to put it back in the morning.

Welcome to BYC, it’s great to have you! :welcome:woot
I keep there water outside in the run and it does freeze at nine. They should be fine with no water while they’re roosting but if you feel concerned maybe just put a small tub of water out there for them for the ninth time. I use Rubber containers in the winter because the plastic ones tend to crack. I cracked a lot of containers before I learned that
As stated above, while at roost they do not need access to water. That said, if they wake prior to water being made available and do have access to feed, that can be problematic. This is not a problem if, for example, the feed is outside the coop and the birds cant access it until you go out to let them out and put out water
Chickens on the roost don't drink. They head to the roost as it starts getting dark and don't come down till it starts getting light. They don't drink at night. As long as they have water in the morning, I'm sure they'll be just fine.
Unless they have to get up 3-4 times a night, & hit the fridge for a drink before they go back to bed.
I have water (but not food) in my coop because I sometimes like to sleep in a little. :p I don't want them to go thirsty wasting for my lazy self. BUT I don't have to worry about their water freezing here. If I did have to worry about it, I'd probably leave it out. And is probably forego sleeping in, too.
I keep feed and water in both coops 24/7. I use a heated base in cold weather. 20161018_090102.jpg .
I add light year round at 5am till just after sunset. 20170412_054932.jpg .
Whenever chickens can see wether natural or artificial light, they need water available. Feed should be available soon after too. When I turn on the lights at 5am, some go straight to feeder others to waterer. GC

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