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How much SHOULD they be drinking?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by amgreen1980, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. amgreen1980

    amgreen1980 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 30, 2011
    Steelville, Missouri
    Here in Missouri we are going on almost a month of 100+ heat index. I have 3 chickens at the moment, 14 week old barred rock roo, 14 week old RIR hen and a 17ish week cochin banty. I keep their waterer filled always, but it never seems like they have drank any. They seem fine, they scavenge the yard and woods all day long. Should I be concerned? I could probably try and mark the waterer when I put it out, to check if it is going down. I would hate to lose one to heat after we already lost 4 to a stray dog [​IMG]
     
  2. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2010
    If they have been in this heat and surviving, they are definately drinking and probably getting enough water - either during foraging or in their run. Do you let them out every day? If not, I would make sure they are able to drink from their waterer and that they are not just getting it during foraging sessions. What type of waterer do you have for them? Is it an open source where they can actually see the water?

    Sometimes my chickens will drink A LOT of water and other times very little and it does not seem to be base don weather for some reason.

    If they are showing signs of heat exaustion or dehydration, you can add ice to the water to help cool them down. I always fear that anything might go wrong with my chickens so I would measure the water levels to see how much they drink. It will be a good thing to know anyway.
     
  3. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    You may want to leave water out for them somewhere in a few places when they are ranging. They will drink dirty and muddy water if they find it in the field, but fresh water lessens the chance of illness. I have read where they can be so caught up free ranging they will not return to the run or coop for water even on a hot day. If there is no water in the fields from lack of rain then they may dehydrate before getting back for the night.
     
  4. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 2, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    I bought one of those upsidedown plastic waterers to save myself some work but am finding that my chickens drink much more out of a simple 5 qt. plastic bucket filled to the brim. It's also faster to dump and refill than the fancy one.
     
  5. amgreen1980

    amgreen1980 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 30, 2011
    Steelville, Missouri
    I have a typical 1 gallon chicken waterer. With the red 'tray' on bottom. I will try to give them a few more water options tomorrow. The free range all day every day, but I doubt they are finding any water 'out there' other than what I provide. My rooster has has really watery bowels the last few days. Is this a bad thing? I thought I had read that if they drink lots of water this could happen, but couldn't remember where I saw it. Thanks for all the advice!
     
  6. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2010
    That is normal. They will go through a bunch of different types of poo and it is normal.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I bought different waterers to try for my new chickens this year--galvanized metal ones, plastic ones, big ones, little ones. The ones they prefer are wide shallow pans--rubber and metal that are avbout 3-4 inches high, and even clay saucers that go under large potted plants (their faverite.) They especially like to walk through them and cool their feet in those. They are much easier to clean and I could have saved a lot of money on the expensive ones.
     
  8. PipiOli

    PipiOli Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 15, 2011
    I have big circular trayon the ground filled with water all the time. That way they can drink as much as they want...
     
  9. amgreen1980

    amgreen1980 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 30, 2011
    Steelville, Missouri
    We added another water source, at the edge of the woods where they like to hang out and have been adding ice to it every so often. Right now it is 98.6 degrees with a heat index of 103! I am trying to figure out a good way to cool their coop a bit in the evening. It is too big for frozen water jugs to do any good. 8x8 with a very high ceiling. I am going to try to get dh to take the box fan out there and see if that helps.
     

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