Rain water?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Faso, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Faso

    Faso In the Brooder

    Oct 17, 2012
    Pompton Lakes, NJ
    This may be an odd question but is rainwater bad for my chickens? I was thinking of making a system to collect rain water near my coop and then using that water to change their water instead of the faucet on the side of the house.(it would be closer and easier...)

    One of the major problems is that my house faucet is turned off for the winter. My wife isn't going to like me bringing the chicken stuff in the house to add water so it's going to be a chore very soon! I know the rain water will freeze eventually too but it would help me quite a bit when it's not frozen, which it normally won't.

    I was thinking...In the summer months sometimes bugs and such hatch from water. If this happened to the rain water barrel, is that bad or is that not a big deal? If i put a screen up, it should keep leaves out so in general, it should be clean, right?

    Any downsides or should i not waste my time? This is my first 3-4 months with chickens so i'm very new but I have learned a TON here!

    Any pictures or links to your watering system would be great too!


  2. Poultrybonkers

    Poultrybonkers Crowing

    Mar 22, 2011
    If it was bad my chickens wouldnt be here i think if anything parasites are spread threw it.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  3. TimBaumann

    TimBaumann Songster

    Apr 8, 2012
    If you lived in some major city in japan or china you wouldn't use rain water! All the air pollution mixes in with the water vapor and causes acid rain which might carry some toxic chemicals that will hurt chicken in the long run! BUT.. since you live in Prompton Lakes, NJ you will get very clean rainwater unless you live next to some weird power station! I don't know about the bugs in the water though!

    Good luck!

    Mr MKK FARMS Crowing Premium Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    My chickens drink rain water all the time (And they have been doing it for years) and they aren't hurt or anything!!
    I would say just let em' drink rain water if they want!
    Good Luck!
  5. Hawgon

    Hawgon Songster

    Aug 22, 2011
    Vancouver, WA
    I could put the finest filtered water in a sanitized dispenser at the perfect temp for them and soon as I open the run door they would run to the nearest, nastiest mud puddle and drink like they were dying of thirst.......Weird creatures....I love em.....I have used rainwater for mine for about a year and they seem to like it and are in great health. We get enough rain here that I occasionally drain a gallon or two out of the tank and let it refill with fresh and I even fill their range waterers with the rainwater. My tank holds 20 gal. I do drain the system during the winter so it doesnt freeze, I will address that issue next spring...lol, and they use the heated waterers......






  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Mine have been drinking rain water for the last 2-3 months. I don't have a system, I just have a black rubber tub and a kiddie pool in the run. It rains, those containers fill up. That's my system! Oh, plus them drinking out of all the icky puddles in the run......I think they drink more from there than the containers.

    I've read about storing water for humans, and one thing to keep in mind is where the runoff comes from, like is this from your roof gutter? Then you need to keep in mind what your roof is made from, anything toxic going to leach from your roofing materials to the water?

    As far as bugs, etc in the water, I'm very not picky about things like that. Chickens eat bugs. Chickens search through horse poo for bugs. My birds have clean water available and chose to drink from puddles.
  7. Hawgon

    Hawgon Songster

    Aug 22, 2011
    Vancouver, WA
    X2 my roof on the run is new polycarbonate sheets and new plastic gutters.....no asphalt shingles or anything like that...funny what they find as "good" to eat or drink......I just add a little ACV to the water every now and then....
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013

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