How Clean the Water?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by cabincrazyone, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. cabincrazyone

    cabincrazyone Songster

    Dec 26, 2010
    NE Minnesota
    I've been collecting rain off the roof with barrels under three downspouts for years, to water the flower garden. Algae grows in the barrels .... eventually they get downright slimy. Would it be safe to water chickens with it if I kept the slime dipped out?
  2. jacyjones

    jacyjones Songster

    Jun 9, 2008
    Aberystwyth, Wales
    My personal feeling would be that chickens will drink from very dirty water in puddles etc but I would rather make sure the water I give them is as fresh and clean as possible - from the tap in my case.
  3. Quote:I agree.
  4. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Crowing

    Apr 19, 2009
    Some people insist the water be so clean not only COULD they drink it, but they WOULD. Personally, that's a bit overboard for me. As long as the water was clean when it went in the waterer and the waterer is reasonably clean, I'm okay with it. They're not humans, they're chickens and I am not going to spend all day policing the cleanliness of their waterers. If they want to dirty it up, so be it, they're the ones that have to drink it.

    That said, I wouldn't use the water from your rain barrels unless you use the water up relatively quickly -- but from the sounds of the algae, that's not the case? -- simply because water that sits can get stagnant. I'm not sure there's any direct threat to the birds, but it's just not something I would do.
  5. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Erring on the side of caution may prevent trouble. I change my birds water twice daily - fresh, clean, no slime. If they then decide to drink from a puddle after it has rained, so be it, but I've done all I could do to try to prevent a problem.
  6. cabincrazyone

    cabincrazyone Songster

    Dec 26, 2010
    NE Minnesota
    Thank you ... there's no reason why I can't give them tap water. It's pretty hard to beat Lake Superior water. I'll just forget about the barrels.
  7. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    If you add some apple cider vinegar to the rain barrel, it changes the pH and makes the environment unfavorable for algae growth. Plus, your chickens would benefit from it as well. You can search for ACV threads here on BYC. [​IMG]
  8. cabincrazyone

    cabincrazyone Songster

    Dec 26, 2010
    NE Minnesota
    Quote:Thanks ... I'll look into that. The reason I started this thread is because the rain barrel will be right up against the run ... couldn't be handier.
  9. WV_Chicken

    WV_Chicken In the Brooder

    Sep 18, 2010
    Augusta, WV
    I give my ladies clean water every morning and usually check it in the evening. If its poopy then I give them fresh water then too. I usually do once a day. Just remember that what they drink is going in their system and will eventually be nutrients for their eggs.
  10. kentucky jay

    kentucky jay In the Brooder

    Dec 16, 2010
    my birds get fresh water every morning , then again when i get home from work ......... i dont know if i would do the rain barrel thing !!!! doubt it though !!

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