Hard water affects taste of eggs?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by AuroraRouge, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. AuroraRouge

    AuroraRouge New Egg

    Mar 12, 2012
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    We're on well water here at the Bersbach Bungalow, and when we had it tested, the Culligan man said "Wow, you folks have some really funky water!" Although the well water is fine to drink (ie, it's not going to kill us) it tastes just horrible. It tested at 80 ppm, too hard to be corrected with a filter, so the human inhabitants at the Bungalow drink trucked-in bottled water.

    Currently, I'm watering our young hens with bottled water, on the theory that the "blech" water taste could affect the taste of their eggs when they begin to lay. Has anyone had problems with this? I don't really want to keep them on bottled water forever, but as our main motivation in getting chickens is to have fresh, delicious eggs, I'm leery of jeopardizing our future omelettes by switching to the well water.

    Any thoughts?
  2. SmokinChick

    SmokinChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    Kingsville, MD
    Softing your water and filtering are two different things. Culligan is making a buck. Get your water tested at an independent lab. Then you'll have good hard facts. I installed a ph neutralizer and a softener myself. Easy peasy. My water made pasta turn red when you boiled it!
    My chickens do not get the treated water. Only because the hose bibs are not hooked into the treated lines.
    Chickens drink out of mud puddles, if the water is safe they and you will be fine.
  3. jeepguy982001

    jeepguy982001 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2011
    athens, wv
    lol i grew up on well water. It didn't taste as good as bottled water but it won't hurt the chickens. Plus being in wv it smelled like sulfar but if you put it in the fridge and let it get really cold it taste just like bottled water.
  4. grammaC

    grammaC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 8, 2011
    SE Minnesota
    How about using a Britta pitcher? We have well water, that doesn't taste too bad, but the filter takes all taste out, and it's always very cold from the frig. Also, I feel better about making formula for my grandson with the filtered water. It would still be kind of a hassle to water the birds with filtered water, though.
  5. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    Maybe it's just me, but I cannot imagine that the hard water would affect the chickens or the eggs. The water the city supplies tastes great, but the chickens will walk past the water and drink out of the puddles after a rain. Just because it tastes bad to you does not necessarily mean that it tastes bad to the chickens. If the water is safe, I would let it go at that.

  6. ChaoticCritters

    ChaoticCritters Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 14, 2012
    I live in the middle of nowhere, so we have a well, septic system, etc..

    People drive from the city to come get my eggs and my chickens get good ol' well water that is NOT filtered or softened. The livestock hydrants come straight from the well (the house water is filtered/softened).

    As far as the chickens, I have a portable water tank that I use to fill their waters and everyone comes running to drink the mud puddle created by my leaky hose when filling the waterers.

    Same with the pigs, they absolutely will NOT drink out of their clean, sanitized water barrel unless their mud wallow is dried up and clean water is all they've got (I've got a waiting list to buy my piggies).

    Now if only someone would tell the horses about the delights of mud puddles, they throw an absolute tantrum if there's a piece of hay in their water bucket, no way would they ever drink from anything remotely resembling a mud puddle.
  7. AuroraRouge

    AuroraRouge New Egg

    Mar 12, 2012
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Interesting. Well water is a first for me, so I'm probably over-thinking things. The hens certainly didn't seem to mind when I gave them water straight from the hose today, so I think that's what they'll be getting in the future. Thanks for the input!
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Our last place had horrible iron water. We drank filtered, never occurred to me to filter the animal's water. They drank it for five years, eggs and meat tasted great.
  9. potluck

    potluck Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 19, 2011
    I have had well water in three different states and some of it is way worse than others. Right now I put purchased filtered water in the coop but when they are out they drink well water from the kiddie pool the dogs swim in. I haven't had it tested in a few years because I don't drink it but I probably should because I bathe in it. I agree with Smkin Chick though - get it tested independantly - here the health department does it- I just test for bacteria, not sure if they test for hardness.
  10. yakibert

    yakibert Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2008
    Whidbey Island, Wa
    I agree with the Brita idea. We have well water ...tastes wonderful but looks like yellow pee. We use the Brita faucet filter for any time we want a glass of nice cool water to drink or when I make some ice. Other than that, we just use the water as is (cooking, bathing, etc.). I would try giving your chickens filtered then unfiltered ..might not notice a difference ..or maybe one could be better than the other. Maybe unfiltered water makes for great tasting eggs.

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