Baby Chickens and Water
The basics for survival are food, shelter, and water. Water is the most important survival need because you will die of dehydration long before you starve. Chickens also need water to survive and there are a few chicken waterer options to consider.
Introducing Your Chickens to Water
When you first get your baby chickens, they are not so good at drinking water. You are supposed to dip their beaks in water when you first put them in your brooder. This shows them, hey this clear stuff is water, right here in this bowl/dispenser.
The first thing you want to keep in mind is that baby chickens are pretty dumb. Funny, awkward, dumb. You will need a shallow water dish to keep them from drowning. I have seen people put marbles in the chickens water bowl to keep chicks from drowning. Marbles also keep ducks that might be in the same brooder from playing in the drinking water.
Keeping Your Chicken’s Water Fresh
Your chickens will be healthier throughout their lives if they have access to fresh water. Sounds easy, right? Ha! Chickens will poop in their water. Baby chickens are especially bad about getting poop in their water. I really believe they were trying to poop only in the water at one point. We had to change the chickens water at least 3 times a day while they were in the brooder.
In addition to keeping poop out of the water, you will also need to keep other things out. Chickens like to scratch and will throw dirt/food/anything into their water. We found that raising the chicken waterer off the ground on a cinder block helped to keep most of the junk out of their water. Once it is warm outside, you will get algae growing in your water. To help slow the growth of algae, throw a capful of apple cider vinegar in with the water.
What Type of Chicken Waterer
We started with an upside down bucket style chicken waterer. You can see that the drinking reservoir isn’t very deep. Add 8 chickens, one get pushed over in the water… You see where I’m going with this. Marbles save lives people. This worked fine and we used it for about a year, but the algae and dirt required us to empty/clean the pan part often.
This is another affordable and super cute waterer from petco
Next we got a bucket with nipples (he he). Chicken watering nipples are cheap and can be found in a lot of places. We got a pack of 25 from amazon for like $5 and a bucket from home depot for about the same. You simply drill holes in the bottom of the bucket and screw in the nipples. You end up with something that looks like this with the nipples on the bottom, but costs $10. This setup also keeps dirt out, since there is no opening. You have to teach the chickens to use the new type of waterer, but ours picked it up fairly quick.
If you are super into DIY chicken stuffs, check out this guys crazy automatic waterer.