hens, chicks and water

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by centrarchid, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Presently I have two free ranging hens with chicks (9 or 12 chicks). Area ranged is roughly two acres and includes two feeding stations and one waterer that is on west side of area ranged. Feeding stations are about 50 yards apart and moved every couple of days and are not armed every day and they are always empty by noon. Purpose is to promote foraging but to keep birds from leaving property. Older birds adjust ranging daily like a heartbeat that coincides with whether or not feeders are loaded with feed. Ranging on days without feed applied is about three times larger than days when feed applied. Regardless, birds go to roost with full crops. On weekends I am able to monitor movements of hens pretty closely, especially in respect to visits to waterer. What I have noticed is that on days when feed is loaded into feeders, hens visit waterer multiple times during the day while when no feed is applied they visit only once and that occurs early in morning. Distance walked from foraging areas and feeders to waterers can be a good 400 feet.

    Anyone watched to see how feeding influences visits to water?
     
  2. johnnyg07

    johnnyg07 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 3, 2011
    north haven ct
    this is strange ...im still fairly new at this i have 2 hens (barred rocks) and 2 pullets ( ri red and buff orph.) i too notcied when they stay in the coop and run and only feed on their pellets they drink an entire 1pint waterer some times 2 deponding on the temp. but always a lot when they first wake up.,...when i have the time to watch then usualy while im working in the garden or cleaning the coop the get to raom the 1acre+ yard they love scratching the leaves for worms.. but when they are out the watereer is outsidee with them and they will visit it every now and then but dont drink nearly as much as when they are inside which i would think would be the oppisite as when i am running around the yard i drink more water than when my parents keep me locked in the coop...(im joking they dont keep me locked in a coop,....they leave it unlocked haha) but i was also wondering if there was a reasion for the decreased water consumption.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I think when relying more on foraging rather than feed, the higher moisture content of live food item helps meet most, possibly all water requirments. The feed on the other hand has minimal water.
     
  4. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:There, ya answered your own question. Grass and bugs minimize the need for water, while dry food increases it..........Pop
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    The question.

    Anyone watched to see how feeding influences visits to water?
     

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