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Why Chickens Drink More Water

chickens drinking water

When chickens drink more water during hot weather, new chicken keepers often become alarmed and worry that something is wrong. But increased water consumption during summer is perfectly normal. It is one of the ways chickens keep cool.

The water intake of chickens varies for many other reasons besides hot weather. Some of those factors include diet, age, and sex.

When chickens drink more

  • Their diet is high in fiber
  • They are eating more (as in cold weather)
  • Electrolytes are added to the water
  • They are laying hens

When chickens drink less

  • Their diet is high in energy
  • They are eating less (as when sick or injured)
  • The water is contaminated or otherwise tastes bad
  • They are roosters

Normal* water use per 25 chickens

4 weeks old 2 quarts
8 weeks old 4 quarts
12 weeks old 6 quarts
non laying hens 5 quarts
laying hens 5-7 quarts
roosters 3½ quarts


Factoids about water intake

Water temperature affects intake. A chicken will drink more if the water is cool in summer and warm in winter.

Chickens drink the most when they wake up in the morning, and just before they go to roost at night.

Chickens drink more as they get older, but their water intake actually decreases as a percentage of body weight.

More about chickens and water

How Chickens Keep Themselves Cool in Summer

7 Ways to Help Your Chickens Stay Cool in Summer

How Much Water Does a Chicken Drink?

And that’s today’s news from the Cackle Coop.

Gail Damerow is the author of Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens. Image by tawatchai07 on Freepik.

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