Young rooster taking a bath, neck deep in water in an old cast iron tub.

Backwoods Chick

6 Years
I went out to check on my goat's water this afternoon and one of my young roosters was just sitting in the tub, completely submerged in water, his head and neck were above the water. He didn't seemed distressed. Wasn't sure if he had fallen in and couldn't get out or what he was doing. I guess the other rooster or something else tore some feathers out of his back the other day. I had put some Blu-Kote on it. Don't know if he was just soaking. I picked him out of there and he seemed fine. Maybe he was chasing grasshoppers or other bugs in there, or maybe just taking a bath. A friend who has had chickens says it's weird. I know they will play around in water, stay out all day in the rain, just never saw one in water that deep before. Guess I'll have to keep an eye on him. Maybe he's part duck but he wasn't floating too good.
That just doesn’t sound right. Chickens will stay out in the rain and will stand or wade in shallow water to cool off, but for one to actually try to swim would be really unusual. I know someone had a video on here of a chicken swimming but that looked to me like that chicken had been taught to “swim” by putting it in a pool with high sides where it couldn’t get out. Chickens can be trained. After a few times, it would learn to paddle around until it was lifted out.

Chickens are pretty light, having hollow bones and all that like other birds so they can fly. A chicken will float up fairly high when first put in water and will float upright. They can move by paddling. But they don’t have the same oil on their feathers as ducks, geese, and other waterfowl. They have some oil on their feathers but not much. After a while the feathers will get waterlogged and may drag the chicken lower in the water.

It sounds to me like he landed in that water for whatever reason (probably avoiding the other rooster) and couldn’t get out. He can’t launch himself off the water to fly without webbed feet. He can’t jump if his feet don’t touch bottom. After being in there a while without being able to get out, he got waterlogged, calmed down, and sank deeper in the water.

This is just a guess. I wasn’t there watching so I don’t know for sure. It would be interesting to see if you find him in there again. That would pretty much blow my theory.
Thanks for the reply. All the critters are grounded today. Goats took off went over by my neighbors dogs late in the afternoon and then went roaming over in Wayne's World - my neighbors 180 acres late in the afternoon and must have headed way south. The fences aren't very good and they could end in Mexico. So I had to go out on the tractor with a shredder on the back and try to navigate through bush conutry, briars, trees to find them. By the time I got back they were by the gate (and holes in the fence) waiting for me so I could feed them. Then I found 16 eggs out in a small pen/dog house so the chickens are also grounded, and the rooster who can't be trusted around water. Guess I'll but a big rock in there so he can climb out. His feet could touch the water, but maybe he couldn't get out cause he got water logged. Don't remember him be a whole lot heavier, but not sure how long he was in there. I didn't hear a commotion that I noticed. Well thanks for the help. Didn't think it sounded right. I don't give my animals a whole lot of extra feed, a little in the morning and a little at night just so they won't stray too far and everybody is free range, unless the drought gets real bad or in winter when it's real cold and they are having kids or nursing, then they get a round bale of hay that I harvest so they don't drag real young kids all over and somebody ends up playing "where's the kid", "who's your mama", etc. The chickens love grasshoppers and run all around all summer keeping them under control and foraging for anything else they can find. I close them up at night in the winter and as soon as the door opens not matter what the weather, they are off like a herd of turtles. Last night when I checked the fences for goats stuck in my back field, there was a young deer in the back corner. Guess the mom jumped the fence and she couldn't. Had a mom and fawn all one hunting season inside my fence which is probably the only safe place for miles. The fawn (didn't see any spots) just stood in the corner and watched as I idled by on the tractor. Hope her mom comes back and they stay the winter. There's a tank (pond) with lots of water and lots of grass to graze on. I'll have to take some extra corn down if they are still there. Well time for my other job. Take care and thanks.

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