How Long Can Chickens Go Without Water

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Keeping chickens can be a very rewarding hobby and even a super successful business. Anyone can learn what it takes to keep happy and healthy chickens. One of the first things to learn is how long can chickens go without water.

There are many different factors that will influence how long chickens can go without water. The rule of thumb is that chickens can survive 48 hours without water. This time is drastically decreased in warmer and humid climates with some climates only allowing for 8 to 12 hours before chickens die.

Some other factors that have a big influence are the age and general health of the chickens, their living environment and their behaviour. The chickens are also affected by the amount of water they receive so when they do not have an adequate water supply it can have a big impact on their behaviour and body functions.

How Long Can Chickens Go Without Water

As mentioned above, chickens can generally live without water for 48 hours or 2 days. Although they will most likely survive that time, you really do not want to stress them out like that. Allowing chickens to go for that long without water will have a big impact on their health and behaviour.

Going without water will affect all aspects of how the chicken functions. They will not be able to regulate their own body temperature, their feathers will stop growing, they cannot moisten their food so their digestion will stop and they will stop laying eggs. In some cases, they will take up to 2 weeks before they start laying eggs again after being stressed out without water.

The biggest factor to this will be the environmental conditions. When the climate is warm and humid the chickens will die much sooner compared to a colder climate. Therefore you want to be very aware if you are keeping chickens in a warm climate. The living conditions can also make a big difference, so when there are a lot of trees under which the chickens can find shade it will help a lot.

Another factor is the age and breed of the chickens. Baby chicks do not have as much storage capacity so they will need water much more regularly compared to adult chickens. Rasing chicks will take a lot of extra love and care. The breed of chicken can also affect how long can chickens go without water because some chickens are hardier or better adapted to specific climates.

How Much Water Do Chickens Need

A fully grown hen will drink 400ml of water per day in a moderate climate. In warmer climates, they might drink up to 1L of water per day. Considering their size, that’s a lot of water, so make sure that you built a setup that can provide enough water to keep your chickens as hydrated as can be.

First things first, in order to keep healthy and happy chickens, you want to make sure that have adequate food and water. This is the first and most important aspect a chicken keeper needs to know. But then how much water do chickens really need? As with anything, this will also depend on different factors like the type of chicken, size and age of the chicken, living conditions, climate, seasons and activity.

If you want more information on how many times a day should I feed my chickens, then i recommend checking that article out.

Chicken drinking water

In general, a fully grown hen will drink at least 400ml of water per day in a moderate climate. But, in warmer climates, they can drink as much as 1L of water per day.

Hens that are laying eggs will also need more water and any water deficiency will lead to a decrease in egg production.

How Long Can Chickens Go Without Water In Winter

Winter times will be more forgiving for your chickens when they are without water. A good estimate is that chickens can live up to 72 hours without water in the winter months.

It must be said though that it is never good to leave chickens without water, but at least they will be able to survive for longer periods without water when it is winter.

This will also be affected by the harshness of the winter in your area. So when it drops below zero the water supply will freeze and chickens will eat the snow if there is no other water supply, but this is definitely not ideal. It is important to make sure there is a good freshwater supply through winter.

Chickens are also much more dormant in winter so they do not lay as many eggs and their feather production is down so the decreased activity will also significantly decrease their food and water needs.

Should I Put Water In Chicken Coop At Night

Chickens are active during the day and sleep at night. Like clockwork, they will get going at dawn and return for rest at sundown. There is thus no real point to put water in the chicken coop for nighttime.

Chickens will do all their eating and water drinking during the day and once they settle in the coop to start roosting they do not require any water.

Keeping the food and water outside the chicken coop can have difficulties like drawing other animals or even pests which can have negative health effects for your chickens.

The best thing to do is to keep the feeders in the chicken coop where it is safe and protected, but you do not have to worry about the chickens eating or drinking at night. They will be at it first thing in the morning.

Why Do Chickens Need Water

It might be obvious but chickens use water for most of their bodily activities. Water helps the body run smoothly so that the chicken can generate energy to do its daily activities.

The biggest activity is digestion. Chickens use the water to moisten the food they have in their crops. Without it, they will not be able to eat.

Some other processes include removing waste from the body by flushing out the system. Forming eggs take a lot of water as well and also the chickens regulate their own body temperate by making use of their water resources.

Wrap Up

It may seem obvious, but, how long can chickens go without water will largely depend on the season and how hot it is. Chickens should always have access to water, but in hot conditions without water, chickens will only have a day or two before terrible consequences will occur.

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