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How To Keep Chickens’ Water Clean

Chickens need constant access to fresh, clean water, but sometimes they can make a real mess of it! Here are some ideas on how you can keep chickens’ water clean.

Chickens need constant access to clean water, but they can be messy!  Here are some ideas on how you can keep chickens' water clean.

3 Ways To Keep Your Chickens’ Water Clean

The first and most basic way to keep your chicken waterer clean is to simply refill it daily, regardless of the delivery system. This obviously requires a lot of hands on involvement, which isn’t always ideal.

You can also use an automatic watering system. There are lots of ways to set up an automatic system. You can make a basic gravity fed bucket waterer. (Click here for instructions! ) Or you can install chicken nipples on PVC pipes connected to the hose. There are also pre-made waterers that you can buy. If I’m going with a hanging waterer, I prefer a nipple system as they don’t get gunk inside them as easily as open gravity fed waterers.

I currently have a rubber pan with a hose in it. The hose is on an automatic timer, which runs twice a day to flush out the bowl and refill with fresh clean water. This system currently works best for me because it keeps the chickens supplied with cool water even when it’s extremely hot outside, and it automatically creates muddy areas for them to walk around in during the hot afternoons.

Read more about keeping chickens cool by clicking here.

And third, the best way to keep your waterer clean is by keeping it out of the chicken house and in the run. If you have pastured chickens it will stay even cleaner out on the grass. This means they’re only stopping for a drink and aren’t just standing around kicking debris into it or standing in it.

    More Tips For Chicken Waterers

    • Use dark colored bowls to limit algae growth.
    • Keep it in the shade to keep it clean and reduce algae.
    • Have them at shoulder height to discourage kicking in litter and standing in the bowl.
    • Clean waterers regularly with soap and water and a scrub brush.
    • Do NOT use acidic cleaners like vinegar with metal waterers. It will ruin the coating.
    • Have a back up system available just in case their main waterer breaks or fails.
    • Monitor your system daily in case of breakage, clogs, or leaks.

    Clean water is a basic necessity for your birds! If your current system isn’t working well, feel free to give something new a try!

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