Learn about the importance of water for your flock with Nutrena and Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
Keeping your flock of chickens hydrated is a must. It’s essential for egg production, digestion and regulating body heat. On scorching summer days hens, because they are unable to sweat, spread their wings and pant. Water evaporates from their mouths and throats, cooling their bodies. However, that water must be replaced by frequent drinks of water. Chickens don’t drink as much water in the winter time, but they need plenty of daily fresh water.
Ways to Water Your Flock
Old fashioned bucket – The easiest and most inexpensive way to water your chickens is with an old fashioned bucket. Buckets made of heavy-duty rubber don’t dent and are practically indestructible. However, they do have some cons: their small capacity, the ease birds have tipping them over, and a large water surface, which makes it easy for dirt and feces to get in the water.
Commercial waterer – A commercial waterer also works well. They typically hold 3 – 5 gallons with a small drinking area. It helps keep the water clean, and the larger capacity means you won’t have to refill the water supply as often.
Rain barrels – Another option is to use a rain barrel. You can set one up so the rain falling on the coop’s roof channels through a gutter into the barrel. The water will be right where you need it, so you don’t have to haul buckets of water out to your chickens. Rain barrels typically hold around 50 gallons of water, and you can fill up waterers with the spout at the bottom of the barrel.
Automatic waterer – If you have a hose tap near your chicken coop, you can use automatics waterers. The waterer is hooked up to the hose, and the system refills itself. With an automatic waterer, there’s no chance of running out of water and the chance for spillage is minimal.
Watering Your Flock in the Winter
Any waterer is challenged in the winter months, but there are a few options. You can use an electrically heated waterer for not only your chickens, but any farm animals or pets. They’re thermostatically controlled to keep the water from icing over. Just keep an eye on your birds and waterer–the chickens can easily tip over some waterers. You can also use a heated base with metal waterers. Learn more about different chicken feeders and waterers with our buyer’s guide.
Whether you’re raising them as pets, meatbirds or for egg production, backyard chickens are a fun step into hobby farming. At Blain’s Farm & Fleet, you’ll find everything you need to take care of your flock. You can even order baby chicks during Chick Days. For more tips on caring for your birds and other farm animals, visit our Hobby Farming blog.