While it may seem like a chicken doesn’t drink too much water at all, that’s not entirely true, as most of them will sip a little bit of water on a frequent basis during the day, and that adds up quickly. Water intake depends on a lot of factors, the most important of them being temperature, but let’s find out more details about how much water do chickens need.
Besides the quantity of water a chicken needs on any given day, there are as well other important considerations one needs to take into account when raising chickens, especially for those planning to grow them in large numbers, as the logistics for them will be entirely different than for those raising a few hens in their backyard.
How Much Water Do Chickens Need
As the case is with any living creature out there, the amount of water a chicken needs will vary according to several factors. Some of these factors depend on the chicken itself and are based on the size, age and the type. A laying hen will require more water than a rooster or a non-laying hen. Then, a chicken rose for meat only, because its growth is accelerated, will require more water than a regular chicken.
The amount of water a chicken needs also depends on its diet and the amount of food it consumes. A chicken that grows somewhere inside with only dry pellet food will require more water than one that grows outside and it’s free to roam around and look for natural food like bugs, grass, plants and similar sources.
Then, there’s the climate in which chickens are grown, the temperature, the humidity and the season. It’s logical a chicken in a hot and dry climate will need a lot more water than one in a humid and fairly temperate climate.
So, in the end, the quantity of water one needs to feed a chicken is not standard and will vary greatly, so you’ll need to make some observations in the behavior of the chickens depending on all these factors. But typically, a mature chicken will drink around 1/2 liter of water somewhere in a temperate weather and 1 full liter in warm weather, so that should be your starting point. As a general rule of thumb, it’s better to overestimate the amount of water to put in your chicken waterer.
Make sure the water you feed to your chickens is fresh and clean and that the waterer is kept clean of dirt, algae, manure or other debris accumulation. Most chickens will not drink it if water is dirty. Also, they will stop drinking it if it goes too warm. Winter is another problem if the temperatures in your area go below freezing point often.
So, it’s important that you change the water every other day, even if it wasn’t consumed, to prevent it from going stale. If you observe that there’s always a lot of water left in the waterer, consider putting less of it next time. If there’s nothing left, you should consider buying a bigger waterer or refilling it more often.
As a conclusion, it’s important that you make these direct observations at least in the first few weeks, so you get an overall idea of what and how you need to take care of for your chickens to have enough water.