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How Long Can A Chicken Go Without Water?

How Long Can A Chicken Go Without Water?

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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 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 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 cannot moisten food.

As a result, digestion stops, which means death to the affected chicken. The same case is valid when 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.

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

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, most chickens will eat snow out of desperation for water. Although they may survive, rest assured that it may not go down well with them.

For that reason, 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 during wintertime. Besides, some chickens are already molting or regrowing their feathers.

So lack of water will not affect them as 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 than in warmer conditions. The same case applies to the birds indoors compared to those raised outdoors.

The latter will 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 daily.

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 daily.

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.

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. They are diurnal animals, meaning 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, providing them with water at night is needless because they might not drink it. The same case is true with feeding. You should make sure that you keep the water 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, 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 a source of different diseases that can affect your birds.

Since their health is a matter of concern, you should always have a trusted water source. Rainwater can be an excellent choice because 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 be unable to digest their food due to a lack of necessary moisture in their crops. Worse still, giving them food before water can cause problems with their crops. 

When 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 help them regain 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 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 must choose the best option for your birds in your absence. 

If you settle for buckets, you should be prepared to provide at least 5 gallons of water for every six birds in a day.

Besides, you must 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 water source could be a tank or garden hose 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, the 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 an endless supply of water for your chickens.

In Conclusion

Your chickens can stay without drinking water for two days or 48 hours. This depends on several factors such as environment, breed, and age of your birds.

Nevertheless, ensure your birds have enough fresh water to keep them healthy, active, and happy.

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

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