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How Long Can A Chicken Go Without Water?

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2 Gallon Chicken Waterer - Horizontal Nipple Setup (4 Nipple)
2 Gallon Chicken Waterer – Horizontal Nipple Setup (4 Nipple)

So, how long can a chicken go without water? Taking care of my chickens involves quite a lot. For instance, I have to shelter them, provide adequate security, feed them, and provide clean water to keep them hydrated. Water is a basic need for all animals, including chickens. That is why you need to consider providing your flock of birds with water all the time.

A chicken can go without drinking water for two full days or 48 hours. Or it can take fewer hours when conditions are a little bit warmer. After that, the chicken may die due to prolonged dehydration. Chickens raised in hot climates will die just under 8 hours of staying without water.

Water plays a significant role in the lives of your chickens. Without enough water, your birds may not survive for long. Also, lack of water among layers might force them to stop laying for some time until they get enough of it. 

When your birds don’t get access to water, their crops dry out. When it happens that way, this vital organ becomes unable to moisten food. As a result, digestion stops, and this means death to the affected chicken.

The same case is valid when you are raising your birds in places prone to extreme winter conditions. This is because all available water becomes frozen solid, making it impossible for your flock to drink.

In your flock, cockerels will most likely withstand water scarcity because they don’t lay eggs. This means layers will be the most affected where water is scarce.

In winter conditions, most chickens will resort to eating snow out of desperation for water. Although they may survive, rest assured that it may not go down well with them. For that reason, make sure to provide your flock with clean, fresh water in winter.

Compared to summer, winter does not pose a severe risk to your birds if they don’t get water. This is attributed to the fact that layers stop laying eggs when it is wintertime. Besides, some chickens are already molting or regrowing their feathers. So lack of water will not affect them in the same way it would when living in warmer areas.

How Much Water Should You Give Your Chicken in a Day?

  • On average, chickens drink 180 to 250 milliliters of water per day. This amount varies depending on several factors. Critical among them is the climatic conditions of where you are keeping your birds. 
  • Your chickens may drink less water in cold weather conditions than in warmer conditions. The same case applies to the birds that are indoors in comparison to those raised outdoors. The latter will most likely drink twice the amount of water to cool themselves.
  • In this regard, you must consider giving your birds at least ½ liter of water every day. While doing so, pay particular attention to broilers. Since they have a higher growth rate, they will need more water than other chickens. Each one of these will easily drink a liter of water in a single day.

How Much Water Should You Provide Baby Chickens or Chicks?

  • Your Happy Chicks 1 Qt. Hanging Harness (Plastic Only)
    Your Happy Chicks 1 Qt. Hanging Harness (Plastic Only)

    You should not allow your chicks to stay for more than 6 hours without drinking water. If you let them stay longer than this, they will become dehydrated. Lack of water can harm your little birds, especially if you are raising them in a warm environment. 

  • This should remind you to supply your young chickens with enough water not only for drinking but for cooling as well. Just like other animals, chicks need water to promote specific biological processes within their bodies.
  • Chicks drink less water compared to adult chickens. But they need this precious commodity regularly because they are growing faster, and their metabolism is high. This calls for the need to have a steady supply of water to these young chickens. 
  • Below are helpful tips for watering your chicks:
    • Make sure to keep waterers or pipes that supply water to your birds clean.
    • Raise the waterers a few inches off the ground to prevent scratching chickens from making them dirty.
    • Ensure that you have two water sources.
    • Choose a secure location to keep the water vessels for your birds.
    • Give your birds a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar once per week to keep them healthy.
    • Keep the water under shade to maintain its temperature.

Do Chickens Drink Water at Night?

  • Not really! Chickens don’t need water at night in the same way they will do during the day. This is because they are diurnal animals, meaning that they stay active during the day and sleep at night. Since they settle into a deep sleep throughout the night, they won’t have time to wake up and drink water. 
  • Therefore, it is needless to provide them with water at night because they might not drink it. The same case is true with feeding. You should make sure that you keep the waterer and feeders outside their coop or somewhere safe.

Do Chickens Need Fresh Water Daily?

  • The answer is yes! Just like you, your feathery friends need fresh water daily. If possible, make sure to provide them with water twice a day during the summertime. You can increase this amount of water to four times per day if you are keeping your flock in warm places. 
  • The water you take to your birds should be fresh and clean to keep them healthy. Water is known as a source of different diseases that can affect your birds. Since their health is a matter of concern, you should have a trusted source of water all the time. Rainwater can be an excellent choice, given that it is free of harmful chemicals and pathogens.

What Should You Do if Your Chickens Have Been without Water for Too Long?

  • The first step to take is to hydrate them. At this point and time, your birds could be in dire need of water. Most likely, they are dehydrated after spending several hours without accessing this precious commodity. 
  • Once they have taken enough water, give them food to regain their lost energy. Don’t make the mistake of feeding them before watering them. If you do so, they will not be able to digest their food due to a lack of necessary moisture in their crops. Worse still, giving them food before water can cause a lot of problems in their crops. 
  • When it comes to feeding them, the feed should be mixed with water to make it wet and easy to digest. A few soaked or boiled whole grains will be easy to digest and may help them regain their energy quickly. 

How do I Get My Chickens Watered Throughout?

  • Easy-Clean Water Bowl Water Bow Stainless Steel Hose
    Easy-Clean Water Bowl Water Bow Stainless Steel Hose

    If you feel that you may not have time to look after your birds, you should find a way to keep them watered. This vital decision will give you peace of mind wherever you will know that your feathered friends are comfortable. 

  • But nailing down the best system to have your birds access to water can be a tricky affair. This is because there are numerous options out there, but each one of them works differently. For instance, the bucket system is quite different from automatic chicken waterers in many ways. This means you need to choose an option that will work best for you birds in your absence. 
  • If you decide to settle for buckets, then you should be prepared to provide at least 5 gallons of water for every six birds in a day. Besides, you will have to find several locations to place these buckets to serve more chickens.
  • Alternatively, you can choose the automatic chicken waterers to make your work easier. With automatic chicken waterers, you will not have to worry about waking up early to water your flock. All you will have to do is to attach this poultry equipment to a reliable water source. 
  • The source of water could be a tank or garden hose located close to the chicken yard. The best thing about automatic chicken waterers is their ability to dispense water throughout for your birds to hydrate themselves.
  • Automatic chicken waterers come in different styles and designs to suit your chickens’ needs. When buying them, take your time to consider the space available, distance from the primary water source, and the number of birds they should serve. Once you have these factors at the back of your mind, you will know which equipment is right for your chickens.

Related Questions

What’s the importance of water to your chickens? Chickens need water to quench their thirst, digest food, remove waste, and regulate their body temperature. For layers, water plays a crucial role in the quality of eggs. That is why eggs are 70 percent water.

Why should you provide your birds with more than one option for accessing water? This is to ensure that there is an endless supply of water to your chickens.

In Conclusion:

Your chickens can stay without drinking water for two days or 48 hours. This depends on several factors such as environmental, breed, and age of your birds. Nevertheless, ensure that your birds have enough supply of freshwater to keep them healthy, active, and happy throughout.

Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Chicken Board!!

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