my girls don't drink a lot

Brenda Jones

Songster
Sep 9, 2020
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Upper Eastern Peninsula of Michigan
my girls don't drink a lot, should I be worried? I give them a kinda sloppy fermented ration, and set out plenty of waterers for access. I have given them plain water (from the tap) , water with ACV, warm water, cool water, filtered water, purified water... and they just don't drink a lot that I can tell. I only use 1 quart hanging water dispensers and change them out throughout the day to keep them fresh. we live in an area where it stays pretty damp in the fall and they get to forage most of the day in a fenced yard. They much prefer to forage than eat their rations (they eat less than a cup of ration a day for 3 girls), and even though they have plenty of fresh water, if it has rained and left any water on the top of a bucket I use to cover a bush I don't want them to eat they will drink water off the top of that bucket. They do drink from their waterers but just not as much as I think they should be to stay hydrated. We are going to star to get into the -zero temps here and I really want to make sure they are going to have the best chance during those very cold days. I do have a brood heater in their roost area if I need to use it.
 

Offshoreorca

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Apr 15, 2020
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As long as they have 24/7 access to water (well, at least for every waking hour) you shouldn't need to worry at all. And I would advise not using heat unless it's an arctic outflow style cold snap as getting them use to heat during the winter can mean you would loose them if there was a power outage as the shock of the cold could do them in when they aren't use to it. As long as the coop is draft free and well ventilated - and your breeds of chickens are hardy - you shouldn't need to worry too much about heat.
 

Hei 20

Free Ranging
Oct 8, 2020
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my girls don't drink a lot, should I be worried? I give them a kinda sloppy fermented ration, and set out plenty of waterers for access. I have given them plain water (from the tap) , water with ACV, warm water, cool water, filtered water, purified water... and they just don't drink a lot that I can tell. I only use 1 quart hanging water dispensers and change them out throughout the day to keep them fresh. we live in an area where it stays pretty damp in the fall and they get to forage most of the day in a fenced yard. They much prefer to forage than eat their rations (they eat less than a cup of ration a day for 3 girls), and even though they have plenty of fresh water, if it has rained and left any water on the top of a bucket I use to cover a bush I don't want them to eat they will drink water off the top of that bucket. They do drink from their waterers but just not as much as I think they should be to stay hydrated. We are going to star to get into the -zero temps here and I really want to make sure they are going to have the best chance during those very cold days. I do have a brood heater in their roost area if I need to use it.
Oh, trust me. You don't want your chickens to drink a lot. :lau
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Brenda Jones

Songster
Sep 9, 2020
99
113
103
Upper Eastern Peninsula of Michigan
As long as they have 24/7 access to water (well, at least for every waking hour) you shouldn't need to worry at all. And I would advise not using heat unless it's an arctic outflow style cold snap as getting them use to heat during the winter can mean you would loose them if there was a power outage as the shock of the cold could do them in when they aren't use to it. As long as the coop is draft free and well ventilated - and your breeds of chickens are hardy - you shouldn't need to worry too much about heat.
Thank You Offshoreorca, I just went out to check on my girls and one of them was drinking water from the top of the bucket again despite the fact that I have 3 waterers out :confused:. I put the brood heater in the roost area just in case we get multiple days with double digits below zero... which we have at times had (we have been caught in a polar vortex during the winter for a few years now). I wouldn't use it unless they were obviously stressed by the cold. The coop is well ventilated and the temp inside the roost is just a degree or two warmer than outside, ( I have Styrofoam insulation around the outside of the coop- which is housed in the garage, and am using a deep bedding) it is out of the drafts and the coop is far dryer than it is outside.
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rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
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Jul 3, 2016
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Chickens always seem to prefer water out of a dirty puddle, or pooled on top of something, or dripping off a fence. Or they'll even eat snow. Plus you're feeding wet feed as well, so I'd expect their water consumption from a waterer to be lower.

I go through water about 50% slower in late fall-early spring than the other half of the year.
 

Sally PB

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
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I go through water about 50% slower in late fall-early spring than the other half of the year.
I was wondering/worrying about my chickens not drinking very much too. Then I read rosemarythymes post and it made sense. They seem to be drinking about half as much as they did a couple months ago when it was a lot warmer, so I'm not going to worry any more. Thank you!
 

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