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Do your hens prefer dirty water, or clean water?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by m1marin, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. m1marin

    m1marin Chirping

    Nov 2, 2016
    San Leandro
    Hi everyone. I have a question about why chickens like drinking dirty water.

    We always have lots of fresh water available to our hens at various locations in the run and in the yard where they free range. However, I've noticed that when it rains our hens also drink from the puddles of water in the mud. They even like to sip the compost tea that drips out of our compost tumbler [​IMG].

    Do your chickens prefer dirty water over clean water? Maybe they like the flavor of dirty water better. I can't figure it out. But then again, they are chickens.

  2. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Songster

    Jul 18, 2013
    hmmm, my chickens prefer clean water. Everyone wants a drink when I replace their water. Now the ducks, the muddier the water the better. When you give them fresh they can't wait to muddy it up.[​IMG]
  3. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Crowing

    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    My girls drink very little clean water when there are puddles about. They were scratching in the puddles today. My girls are half quaked. GC
  4. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    My answer is: both.

    When I clean out the waterer and there's nice fresh water in there, they seem to enjoy that more than the water that was there before. At the same time, any muddy puddle seems to get an equal amount of attention. One of my hens vastly prefers the water that accumulates in the roof's gutter no matter what it looks like.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Both here also.

    I'm in the PNW, so a lot of rain and puddles. The birds drink from the puddles a lot, especially in the horse/cow pens where it's mixed with manure. there's got to be some minerals or some value they're getting from the muddy water, cause they sure go for it.

    they appreciate the clean water also, but when I overflow the waterer and it runs down the run, they make a little trail following it.
  6. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Songster

    Jan 16, 2016
    Mine will skip the clean water in the nipple bucket for the open pan of dirty water out in the run. Yes they will also drink from mud holes after the rain.I guess it's just more natural.
  7. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Songster

    Jan 16, 2016
    Yea no, I'm wondering if they don't like the taste of the chlorine from my garden hose vs the fresh muddy rain puddle.

  8. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Both here also .. my gals have three small waterers [refreshed once or twice a day] spread around the back garden and drink from all of them throughout the day [hot climate here].

    However, if there is a puddle they are into it like it is chicken candy. It does not matter if the puddle is from the hose and chlorinated, if it is on the ground, apparently it is good!

    I have one who prefers to drink from the fish pond [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017

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