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Chicks and the Importance of Clean Water

Chicks and the Importance of Clean Water

Have you ever woken up to the joyous moment of walking out into your chicken coop and discovering the eggs that your hens have been carefully incubating have hatched? The chicks’ adorable little cheap and fluffy appearance fills you with excitement. So now that they’re here, how can we ensure that they grow up to be healthy and strong?  The most important rule is clean water.

Clean water is the key to raising healthy chicks. Water makes up 50% of a chicken’s body composition so it is vital that they always have access to drinking water. Lack of water dramatically slows their growth rate and can quickly result in death. So, if you want them to grow up strong, always check to see if they have enough water.

Did you know chickens can’t sweat? Just likes dogs, chickens lack that ability to sweat as humans do. Chickens instead need water to cool them down from the inside out. 13°C is the best all round water temperature for them. Any higher or lower temperature can result in a lower water consumption. If this happens, your chicks can quickly become dehydrated.

Both water and food consumption are extremely important to a chick’s overall health, lack of one, will result in a lower consumption of the other. In chicks this has the potential to stunt their growth, in adults it can affect the ability to produce eggs.

If you notice that your chicks aren’t drinking as much as they should be. As worrying as it can be, know that you must never force them to drink. Both chicks and hens can drown very quickly as water can very easily travel into their lungs. Instead check for external reasons as to why this may be. Food, stress, temperature, and contamination are all factors that could be affecting your chicks desire to drink.

Always provide your chickens with fresh clean water as contaminated water can cause illnesses. To know if the water is clean enough for your chicks, consider if you would be willing to drink it yourself. If the answer is no, then it is not clean enough for your chicks.

Dirty water can play host to countless disease-producing microorganisms, bacteria, and parasites, which can all cause illness in your birds.

Illnesses it can cause,

  • Salmonella
  • Listeriosis
  • Campylobacter
  • Botulism
  • Coccidiosis

These all play a risk to your chick’s health. To avoid these illnesses, keep water off the ground so that your chicks can’t contaminate it physically, by standing or pooing in it. Make sure they can still easily access it though. There are plenty of waterers available to help reduce contamination, so be sure to invest in one that will help to keep your flock safe. Make sure you thoroughly clean your waterers as well. Stagnant water can lead to its own issues, as can algae. So, keep them clean, and up to date with fresh water, and your chicks will grow into healthy hens who will be with you for years to come.

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