Watering Free-Range Birds

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Matt-B, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. Matt-B

    Matt-B In the Brooder

    Jul 28, 2010
    West Lafayette
    Hi all,

    I'm new to chicken farming - 2 days in. Built a coop Monday night for five 5-month old birds we inherited. We plan to free range as much as possible. They will have access to woods and a pasture with no fences.

    There is also a nice cool, shallow, always flowing creek about 100' from the coop, down a hill. Do I need to water the birds at night, or will they get enough water during the day at the creek in the woods?

    Right now they have been in the coop for two nights - but we plan to let them out this evening for the first time. We may not introduce them to the creek right away, but I'm sure they will find it soon enough. We will water them until we're sure they know where it is.


  2. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Crowing

    Apr 19, 2009
    Provided "bedtime" is dusk to dawn, they will not need water in the coop. They will sleep when it's dark. If they will be in the coop during daylight hours a waterer wouldn't be a bad idea, though as long as it's just an hour here or and hour there it wouldn't be absolutely necessary for survival.

    That said, I would strongly encourage you to provide water near the coop outside during the day. 1) You really don't WANT your chickens ranging out into the woods. The risk of predation increases exponentially the further from your immediate yard they get. 2) A flowing (even slowly) creek is a dangerous watering hole for a chicken. Chickens cannot swim, are not strong and drown easily. Grown chickens have been known to drown in kiddie pools. [​IMG]
  3. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009

    I agree 100%. My birds free range, but I keep waterers in the coop, run and outside the run so they HAVE to come back for water(course when you spoil them as bad as I spoil mine, they'll come back the minute they know you're walking toward the coop).
  4. BlackBart

    BlackBart Songster

    Mar 29, 2009
    I have water for mine in different places and they go to the pond and creek. I have extra waterers by the coops.

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