Anyone notice the little spin I did with the title? Water for Chickens, Water for Elephants… no? Anyways, chickens need water, as does any living thing. Sure, just giving your flock plain water will work, but why not spice it up a bit? There’s so many products you can buy to add to their water, and why not add that extra health boost to their water? It keeps your flock healthy, and gives you a bit of a relief knowing that they’re healthy. Here’s a few of my favorite tips and different things in my chickens water in order to help boost their immune systems and keep them healthy.
Apple Cider Vinegar
I’ve written a post all about Apple Cider Vinegar, which you can find here, but in a nutshell, ACV is one of the most beneficial things you can add to your flocks waters. It’s full of beneficial vitamins and nutrients that chickens need, along with being a good natural remedy for things like Sour Crop. On a side note, be sure to buy ACV that contains “the mother”, as the mother is the good bacteria that is caused from when the sugars in the apple is broken down. Not only is the mother the best part for chickens, but it’s also the best part for humans, helping to refresh hair, help with acne and even weight loss.
This is also a staple to have for your chickens. It’s amazing to use at least once a week in your flocks water, and is a good thing to add in your sick chickens water as it is high in necessary vitamins. Chickens don’t seem to like the taste of Nutri-Drench as much as ACV, but they don’t seem to mind it that much. I like to buy the large size off of Amazon for my flock, which you can find here.
This is a recent addition to my water routine with my flock. If Nurti-Drench was more formulated for sick chickens who need specific vitamins, then Poultry Cell would be the more daily alternative. This contains iron, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins such as A, D, E and B. I purchase mine from Amazon here.
These are easy and cheap to find, along with being effective. Garlic is thought to be able to boost the immune system in chickens, so it’s good to add in your flock’s water. As I use Nutri-Drench and Poultry Cell in my water and have found that my flock prefers the taste of those over garlic, I don’t use garlic very often. Also, be sure to only use a few cloves of garlic because to much garlic can actually be harmful to your flock and it can taint the eggs.
Those are what I use in my flocks water, and I try to change out their water every few days, and by then it’s near empty anyways. Once a week I like to disinfect my waters, treat pans, and any other feed containers I used in order to maintain good biosecurity. You can use plain vinegar, your own homemade cleaning solution, or purchase one from a poultry website, but I find the natural way is easiest. I spray my waters and pans with the popular Orange Peel Vinegar spray, which I wrote about here. Not only does it smell fresh, but it also is super easy to make.
*Don’t use bleach when cleaning out your chicken waters as it can help cause a buildup of ammonia and isn’t good for your flock to ingest. In a nutshell, keep bleach out of your coop in general. Also, don’t use Apple Cider Vinegar as it attracts fruit flies because of its sugar content. Plain white vinegar is best.
When cleaning my pans and waters, after I rinse out the container, I spray my cleaning spray inside and out and leave it soak for a few minutes in the sun. Not only is the vinegar working to kill pathogens and bacteria, but the sun is aiding in this process as well. After leaving it to soak for a few minutes, completely rinse out the spray and leave to dry in the sun. I find this is really effective in keeping everything clean and a good way to incorporate good insecurity in my chicken keeping.
There’s my tips on what you should add to your waters and tricks to keeping them clean, and I hope you were able to walk away with something you didn’t know before. I know I’ve said this already, but a chicken’s water is one of the most important things you can give them. Not only is water necessary for life, but in adding the right things, can help keep your flock healthy.
Be sure to follow me on Instagram @dancingwchickens as well to see updates on my flock and what I’m doing, along with some of my tips I like to share. Happy chickening!
Dancing with Chickens