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What's the longest your chickens have gone without water?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by DawnSuiter, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. All the recent frozen waterer panicks have led to a lot of talk about chickens spending any amount of time without fresh water. I KNOW it's vital to their survival and of course they all need fresh water... but just how long have your chickens "accidentally" gone without water?

    I myself screwed up big time once, and I'm certain my entire hen house of 30 chickens went almost 24 whole hours without water, overnight of course but still. Others have definitely been without a source of water for at least a few hours due to spillage, forgetfullness, poor communication and what-have-you.

    Granted this is only occassional, but they have all been fine in any of those cases. Is there really any reason to panic if your chooks are waterless for a few hours, for instance, waiting for waterer to defrost itself in the mornings... or for whatever other reason it might happen?

  2. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    I know they say ducks will choke if they have food an no water but chickens don't seem as life an death. If you let them run out of water for more than 2 hours expect egg production to drop by at least half for a few days. Mine have never gone more than a few hours without because an over ambitious (grandmother) backup system. If it was just me they would just have to deal till I got up at noon or it thawed on its on.
  3. txchickie

    txchickie Songster

    Nov 15, 2008
    Mine have accidentally been without water over night and they were okay. As for me? I nearly had a panic attack [​IMG]
  4. Splash_Guard

    Splash_Guard Set Free

    Dec 3, 2008
    Water is provide in the hen house and out of doors in the open pen. I'd say 10 minutes, max, without water.
  5. ams3651

    ams3651 Songster

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    a couple hours. when i go in they crowd me while Im filling, I have to stand back for a minute and let them take a drink from the tub before I put the bottom on but they dont seem bad off. I wouldnt want to go a whole day though.
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Probably 14-16 hours of dusk till morning when they don't come down or out from their sleeping spots to drink in the winter.
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My chickens were without water for about five hours in 90 degree weather. I filled their waterer one morning but forgot to upcap the spout after filling.
    We had gone to town and I didn't realize my mistake until we returned home almost five hours later.
    They were very thirsty, but had no other ill effects.

  8. cjstanman

    cjstanman Songster

    Jun 3, 2008
    Just north of Raleigh
    Same for me - either they knock it off the hanger and it runs out, or lately it was frozen by morning. Either way, no ill effects, they just come get a drink when I fill it back up. (I guess in hours it would be 5-6 hours.)
  9. mjdtexan

    mjdtexan Songster

    Sep 30, 2008
    our feeders usually last a few days. The other day though they emptyed them faster than usual and when I went to feed them they had no water. When I refilled the waterers they went nuts on the water

    So I am guessing they went about 6 hours without water.
  10. QuailHollow

    QuailHollow Songster

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2009

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