Animals

Drinkers Chickens

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Hens drink a surprising amount of water and this is because they are almost always active during daylight hours. Therefore, it is vital that hens have access to a source of drinking water when they need it. If a chicken does not have access to water (for whatever reason) it can quickly become dehydrated giving it a heat stroke or worse die - and this can happen especially in hot weather.

Often, rookies in chicken farming imagine that water supply for their chickens is as simple as buying a chicken drinker at the local pet store, or even use a second-hand container.

Unfortunately, it is not always so easy to choose the right drinker for your chickens and, just as important, the owner of the pen. As some people inevitably discover, even a single chicken (let's not say more) you can make a good mess of a water container if it is not used correctly. In addition, if the right type of container / drinker is not chosen, it can become a true Responsible> less mess.

Simple rules for chicken drinkers

A chicken trough It can be easily emptied by acc> hens accessing the drink. In addition the drinkers can fail, get stuck, drip, and / or be contaminated by other animals, etc. To avoid these problems you just have to follow these simple rules:

  1. Use the drinking troughs suitable for chickens - Yes, a bowl or bucket of water will work, but it is not ideal and should not be used as a permanent option.
  2. Make sure the drinker is positioned so that it cannot be tipped over or soiled by poop or other dirt. This can easily be done by hanging the container at the height of the back of a chicken or by placing the container in a position that you do manually (such as bricks, etc.).
  3. Try to keep a minimum liter of water per chicken per day.
  4. Have a backup container (one second in a different location) just in case there is a problem with the other. This also helps shy hens have a different option. if they are being bullied by other chickens.
  5. Keep the containers in a cool and gloomy place, as this not only causes the water to cool to drink, but also helps prevent the formation of algae and moss in the container. If the drinker is in a position where it receives some sunlight, then cover the top (if possible) or use a dark drinker (which you cannot see through).
  6. If you use a gravity-fed trough (such as cups or nipples), don't make the water bowl it is too large or connect it to the mains, otherwise leaks will occur. A good-sized container for gravity-fed troughs is less than 30 liters and if the power grid is used, make sure you install a good pressure reducer!

The importance of water in chickens

At 26º in the shade, the water it is critical for the survival of any living being, that is indisputable, however the water in the chicken pens has an importance that in many occasions the producers can lose sight of, as is the same with the Canaries, being a vital reason to choose properly the drinkers for canaries. Here are some of the needs of chickens in this regard.

It is vital for chicken metabolism

ANDWater is involved in all aspects of poultry metabolism. It plays an important role in the regulation of body temperature, the digestion of food and the elimination of body wastes. At normal temperatures, poultry consume at least twice as much water as feed. When thermal stress occurs, water consumption will double or quadruple.

It is an essential nutrient for the bird

Often water It is taken for granted and yet it is probably the most essential nutrient. Water is by far the largest component of the body and, in general, represents approximately the 70% of total body weight. Access to water is very important, and lack of water for several hours will probably cause a decrease in egg production. Hens are more sensitive to lack of water than to lack of food.

Amount of water needed

Water and food consumption rates are interdependent, so lower water intake can also reduce food intake. There are other factors that affect water intake, the temperature being the most obvious. For example, chickens drink between 30-50% more water when the ambient temperature is higher than 32º than when it is 21º. Water intake is also affected by the type of drinking fountains used. The general rule for water intake is that the water intake is usually 1.5 to 2 times the food intake.

For the digestion of the hen

The water in the feed softens the food so that digestion occurs. Without water, dry food forms lumps that can press the carotid artery of the bird, decreasing blood flow to the brain.

This can cause paralysis and possible death. Poultry anatomy complicates things. A division in the hard upper palate of the beak allows air to enter the nostrils and prevents the chicken from forming a vacuum in the mouth.

A med>But without forgetting that fresh and clean water will provide more and better nutrients to the animal.

Types of drinking troughs for chickens

There are many different types of chicken drinkers available, however, the three most common are:

1. Bucket, container or watering hole - Open containers are easy to use for chickens and will drink easily. However, these types of drinkers may have a tendency to be difficult to keep clean.

The container / bucket needs to allow the chickens to drink so that you can imagine a tall bucket that becomes harder to drink when the water drops.

Therefore should be superficial enough not to have this problem, but then the chickens will get tangled in it. A shallow trough placed above the height of the back will work well as long as it is filled automatically, otherwise it can become a nuisance. A large open bucket / containers are ideal for ducks. Chickens will use buckets to drink, but it is better if provided chicken drinkers separately.

2. Self-contained water distributors (standard) - Basically, these drinking troughs tend to be the most common type used by backyard poultry breeders. They are: filled manually, they contain from 500 mils up to 10 liters (sometimes more), and fed by gravity. Standard drinkers have a shallow lip around the base of the container, which makes it easier for the bird to get a drink and, because the top of the container is closed, it can be hung to prevent contamination by poop and dirt. It is good for small flocks of birds (one - four). Keep in mind that plastic drinkers will become brittle and will have a short life if they are exposed to regular sunlight.

3. The bell drinkers They are an effective and cheap option for small flocks of chickens.

4. Automatic drinking troughs - There are several different types of automatic drinking fountains, but in reality only two categories, those with an autonomous water source (such as a drum) or those that are fed by a main water source (such as a power grid hose).

Personally, unless you carry out a commercial operation, we would not consider hooking your chicken troughs to a main water supply or even a large tank. Why? Because it is simply overworked and could lead to more problems than it is worth due to additional installation problems and costs such as pressure reducers, exhaust pipes, and leaks. I keep anything from 20-30 large birds at a time and I have found a 20 liter drum (or container with a lid) to be the perfect size.

5. Cup or nipple drinkers They are mainly used with automatic drinking fountains and it is important to use good quality parts. European lubrication vessels are very good, but they can be expensive. But cheap chicken cups or nipples are a total waste of time and effort so it is better to invest in good ones. With our specialized online store you ensure good quality. This usually means paying a little more for quality cups or nipples (wherever they are made) there is a good selection of poultry cups and nipples.

It is also very important to know that most cup and nipple drinkers have a pressure threshold, which means that if you have them connected to a network hose or a large container such as a water tank, a pressure reducer MUST be installed otherwise the drinkers will drip.

The cup and nipple drinkers are definitely our favorites because they rarely get dirtyThey are easy to install, require little maintenance, last for years, waste little water and are easy to use for chickens. In case you are wondering, chickens and other poultry (such as quail) adapt easily and learn to drink from cups and nipple drinkers. Nipple drinkers are great for use in flocks of quail.

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