The Good and Bad of Water

It does appear that the summer rains are upon us here in Florida. After months and months of drought and above 90 degree temperatures we are finding welcomed relief from the rains. But this brings up a good point about chickens and water.

Water is a chickens best friend but also its worst enemy. A chicken, like most living creatures, requires water to survive. It is imperative that a chicken has clean drinking water at all times. If your flock runs out of water even for as little as two hours you can send the girls into stress. This stress can can cause the hens to quit laying, go into forced molt, or can be attributed to a sudden onset of disease.

On the other hand a chicken’s coop and run need to be dry at all times. Many diseases can lay dormant in the ground for months or even years until one day there is enough moisture to bring them to life.Wet pens also make for stinky pens as well as an infestation of flies and other vermin.

Coops should be well covered yet have great draft free ventilation. Pens should be covered as to prevent the rains from making them wet. Watering systems should not leak or create wet spots. Chickens should be provided with enough clean water to satisfy them 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even during the winter months.

This is not to say that chickens cannot get wet. Chickens rightfully enjoy a good bath and chickens like mine also enjoy going out in the light rains and will stand out until they are soaked. But when you wear a down coat in 95 degree weather it probably feels really good. So remember wet to drink and dry to live.

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