How long can hens safely go without water??


8 Years
Jul 30, 2011
I'm a bad chicken mommy!!
I let my four chickens out this morning at about 7:30; their gallon waterer was a little over halfway full. I didn't get the chance to go check on them until about 2:00 this afternoon. When I did my main hen Brownie had escaped (again). She usually runs straight to me and follows me like a puppy back down to the pen. This time she seemed weary and when I offered her some bird seed she turned her nose (beak) up at it. She never, EVER does that!!

I took her down to the pen and the other chooks came up and ate the bird seed, but Brownie wandered off into a corner and laid down in a corner (her back to me) and acted like she was about to fall asleep, which she never does during daylight...atleast not when treats are being offered! I was freaking out!!!!! I thought she was sick for sure!!

Then I look over and see that their waterer was Bone Dry!
I have no idea how it leaked out that quickly, or how long they had been out, but as soon as I started filling it up she came over and started drinking. They all did. Now she seems fine. Thank God!!!! There is water outside the pen for the cats she has access to, but it was almost gone as well. I'm just wondering, was she dehydrated, or was she just punishing me for being a bad chicken mommy???

How long before lack of water gets dangerous for a chicken? I never want this to happen again!
I have two automatic waterers... one in the run and one in the coop. Plus they always have their swimming pool which they sometimes prefer when it needs cleaned. Seems like the nastier the better.
Hahah! Thanks guys!! She probably was just punishing me! She popped back pretty quick.
She really did freak me out, though!!

I'm gonna go out and get another waterer as suggested. Thanks again!

The lack of water thing does worry me, though...what if I were out of town and my neighbors were taking care of them ( they can't check on them throughout the day like I do ) and they went all day like that? Would they be okay??? I know, I'm sounding paranoid now.

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