How much do laying chickens actually drink?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jsmith2952, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. jsmith2952

    jsmith2952 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2013
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    I have 3 chickens who free range most of the day. In their coop they have a 1 gall waterer that I fill every day. The thing is, it never really looks like any water is being drunk. I've left it for a few days as a test but it still hovers at relatively the same spot. Since they're free ranged I'm assuming that they must be getting their water elsewhere, as they are healthy, lay pretty much daily and the eggs are beautiful. But just as a rule of thumb, how much should they be ingesting? Is there a way to encourage more water consumption if need be? I read somewhere that I can make a mash of oats and their feed and water. Is that a good idea or an invitation for pests?

    Thanks in advance,
    Jen
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    http://www.chickenwaterer.com/v/vspfiles/assets/Chicken Calculator 2/Chicken Calculator.htm From a waterer manf. Most things I have read say water requirements are pretty directly related to temperature, regular laying hens need 5-6 ounces a day when it is cold, and twice as much when it is really hot. They will get some from what they eat, they are also bad about drinking out of any standing water they find, dirty or not, rather than going back to the nice fresh water we offer them. Besides leaving dry out free-choice, you can soak some of their food in water (pellets/crumbles/mash whatever will all wind up looking the same) and just feed it so they clean it up in an hour or two (so it doesn't go bad), I do that during the really hot days sometimes. Not sure if it makes much difference but it makes be feel better. The ISA management guide does say that cool water on hot days will increase productivity, but that is commercial birds, not sure how it would relate to free range birds.
     
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  3. jsmith2952

    jsmith2952 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great link! Thanks for sharing it! I love charts and data like that! :)
     

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