Fun Fact: Did you know that chickens are made up of roughly 65% water?
A hydrated chicken isn't just a happy chicken, it's a healthy chicken that produces healthy eggs. There's nothing more important than making sure your flock has access to clean, fresh water, but keeping chickens hydrated can quickly become a chore in the harsh winter months.
For those struggling through a harsh winter with chickens, you know that in order to keep your hens hydrated, it requires multiple daily re-fills of the water bowl to prevent freezing - especially if you are using a nipple waterer or shallow bowl.
So here comes the much debated topic of water heaters and heat lamps. Are they safe? The answer is, they are as safe as you make them. While we don't recommend mixing electricity and water, if you do go that route, just make sure you are keeping a careful eye on your flock. Check the electrical source and wiring daily to make sure nothing is exposed to the elements.
For those of us who are a bit off the grid and don't have easy or safe access to electricity, here are our recommendations:
1. Opt for a large bowl (at least 1 gallon)
2. Don't over-heat water with bucket heaters. Chickens will avoid warm water and even in the low temperatures, prefer their water cold.
3. Use an automatic bowl - the flowing water will prevent freezing for longer periods of time. Set for every few hours so all chickens (no matter the pecking order) have the chance to drink fresh flowing water.
Our Hydro Pet automatic outdoor pet water bowl is a great solution for flocks. Use code HOHOHYDRO for 10% off.
Have a question about keeping your chicken hydrated? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hydro Pet