Every animal on this planet needs water to survive. Without water, the body of the animal will start to break down and eventually die. When it comes to chickens, it’s the same. They need water every day to survive and be healthy. Most people know chickens will drink water during the day. What about at night time? Do chickens need water at night? Or can do go throughout the night without any water.
In this article, we go into detail on whether chickens need water at night or not.
Do Chickens Need Water At Night?
At night, chickens will not need to drink any water. There will no health issue if they don’t drink any water at night. They will just sleep through the night and wake up at dawn to drink water.
However, there are times where they may drink water at night. Chickens are similar to humans in a sense. For humans, we too sleep throughout the night, but sometimes we may wake up in the middle of the night for a snack or drink. This is the same behavior for chickens as well.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to always have some water in the chicken coop at night. Just in case your chickens get thirsty, they can drink some water.
2 Reasons Why Chicken Don’t Need Water At Night
Chickens Are Diurnal
This means the chickens are active during the day and will sleep through the night.
In the morning, the chickens will wake up at dawn and start their daily routine of finding food and drinking water. Throughout the day, they are actively digging, scratching, and pecking the ground looking for food.
At dusk, the chickens will start to make their way to the roost. From there, they will sleep all night until the sunrise the next day.
Chickens Have Bad Night Vision
Chickens have good vision during the day, but at night, they can’t see very well. When they can’t see well, the chickens will usually stay in one place.
Being able to sleep throughout the night will also help protect them from predators. One such predator that lurks at night and have an appetite for chicken is the fox. Foxes are sly animal and very quick, nimble, and quiet. They can move around without being noticed. Therefore, the chickens being still will not cause any commotion and will prevent the fox from finding them.
Chickens have an organ called the pineal gland that helps them sense when it’s dark or light outside. With that organ, when it’s dark, it will tell the body to rest. There’s no point in moving around and foraging for food when you can’t see anything.
Advantages Of Having Water Inside For Chickens
The chicken will go inside when it’s dark
Chickens are one of those animals that will stay out as late as they can. At night, due to their bad vision and predators that hunt at night, it can be dangerous for them.
One of the daunting tasks each day is getting them to go inside their coop. If you have a few chickens, it should not be an issue. When you have a lot of chickens, that could be a problem.
Therefore, one way to get them to go inside before night time is to put their food and water inside. This will encourage them to go inside their coop without having you to chase them all the time.
You want to put the food and water for about an hour before nightfalls. Over time, once they get used to the routine, they’ll go into the coop without you needing to guide them anymore.
Access To Clean Drinking Water
Chickens will sleep throughout the night so water isn’t actually needed in the cage. However, when they wake up, the first thing they usually will do is go and drink water. This is something you should do if you don’t have time or can’t come to open their cage that early.
Each chicken is different and they have different wake-up times. The early riser won’t have to wait until you come to open the coop to let them drink. Keeping water in the coop will allow them to drink when they are thirsty.
If you like in the cold climate region, water tends to freeze at night. Therefore, you’ll need to add water heaters to the water. Water heaters will ensure the chickens will have access to fresh water that will not be frozen during the colder months.
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Disadvantages Of Having Water Inside For Chickens
Drips and Spills
When chickens drinks they tend to spill water all over the place. This is how chickens drink water and there’s no way to train them not to.
When there’s spillage in the coop, it will dampen their bedding and other objects in there. If there’s chicken dropping, once the water mix with it, there will be a pungent smell coming from the coop.
There’s really no way to prevent this except to clean inside their coop every morning.
Discourage Them From Going Outside
If the chickens have water and food in the coop, they will become lazy and don’t want to go outside anymore. Everything they need is in the coop and they’ll stay there all day long.
This will cause a problem since the longer their in the coop, there will be more chicken dropping and more spilled water all over the place. This will lead to poor hygiene and bacteria growth in the coop.
How Much Water Do Chickens Need?
How much water a chicken needs will depend on many factors. Some of them are the size of the chicken, age of the chicken, breed, season, and outdoor temperature.
For a full-grown chicken, they will need to drink a pint of water each day. That’s amounts to about 16 ounces of water. The smaller chicken will typically require less water.
As for the season, during the warmer months, the chickens will need more water to keep them hydrated. It’s important to keep their bowl filled with water throughout the day and night.
During the colder season, chickens tend to drink less water. However, you should always try to keep their water bowl full. Also, when water sits too long, it will start to accumulate dirt and even parasites. Throughout the day, change the water a couple of times to keep them fresh and clean.
As for the breed, boilers or chicken raised for meat tend to consume a lot of water. On a typical day, these breeds can consume over 2 pints a day. Due to their high water intake is what makes them grow quickly.
Aside from all the factors, each chicken is different and you should pay attention to each one. This is to ensure each chicken will get plenty of water and prevent them from getting dehydrated.
How Much Water Do Chicks Need?
When baby chickens hatch from their egg, they can go without water for up to 72 hours. This is possible due to the yolk that’s still attached to them. The yolk will provide nutrition and water until then. After about 72 hours, the chicks will need to drink water and eat food to keep them from starving.
As for how much water chicks need, there’s no specific answer to that. Each chick is different and it would be hard to determine for each one. Therefore, always make sure there is water available for them throughout the day and at night.
Chicks will usually sleep throughout the night as an adult chicken would, but they sometimes will wakeup due to being thirsty. Make sure the water is available to them in the coop and easy access for them to drink.
It’s important to note that chicks could die if they don’t have water for over 6 hours.
How Long Can Chickens Go Without Water?
A chicken should always have access to water to keep them hydrated or serious health issues can occur.
How long a chicken can go without water will depend on their health and the outdoor temperature. A chicken that’s in good health and in a warm temperature can survive for 48 hours without water.
If it’s scorching hot outside, no matter how healthy they are, chickens will start dying within a couple of hours without water.
After 24 hours without water, chickens will not be able to regulate their body temperature anymore. They will start looking for a shady place like under the trees or plants. Also, symptoms will start showing as well such as labored breathing, pale combs, and frequent fluttering of the wings.