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Why do chickens sometimes drink less water?

2021-01-12

Water is one of the nutrients necessary for chickens to maintain health and high yield. Practice has proved that chickens can live for a shorter period of time without water than without feed. The water intake of chickens is usually 1.25-2.5 times higher than the feed intake. When the environmental temperature, diet composition, chicken's own condition and water quality change, the chicken's drinking water will be affected. The following editor briefly introduces the 6 factors that affect chicken water consumption.

1. The increase in ambient temperature will increase the water consumption of chickens
 
When the ambient temperature is below 0℃, the chicken's drinking water will decrease; when the ambient temperature is 0℃-20℃, the chicken's drinking water will not change much; when the ambient temperature is higher than 20℃, the chicken's drinking water will start to increase; When the ambient temperature is 35°C, the chicken's water consumption is 1.5 times the normal water consumption (at 20°C). However, there are signs that the sudden change in environmental temperature caused the chicken's drinking water to change only temporarily, and it can return to normal after the chicken adapts.
 
2. Changes in diet composition have a significant impact on the water intake of chickens
 
Generally speaking, the increased content of fat, protein, salt and potassium in the diet will increase the water consumption of chickens; compared with other protein materials, the water consumption of chickens fed with soybean meal and meat and bone meal significantly increases. In addition, certain fish meal with high calcium content will cause the chicken's drinking water to increase to varying degrees due to the age, type and processing season of the fish used.
 
3. The water consumption of chickens increases with the increase of their age
 
The water consumption of laying hens will suddenly increase as they reach sexual maturity, but once the egg production peak period has passed, the increase in age will no longer have a direct impact on water consumption.
 
During the laying period, the higher the laying rate of the chicken, the greater the water consumption. It is generally believed that for every 10% increase in the egg production rate of a chicken, its drinking water will increase by 12 ml. For example, when the laying rate is 50%, the daily water consumption of each layer is 170 ml, and when the laying rate rises to 80%, the daily water consumption increases to 206 ml.
 
4. Drinking water contains certain compounds
 
Certain compounds such as sodium chloride or sodium sulfate in drinking water will increase the water intake of chickens, but when the drinking water contains magnesium sulfate or zinc sulfate, the water intake of chickens will decrease.
 
5. When the water temperature rises, the water consumption of chickens tends to decrease
 
The amount of water a chicken drinks has an important influence on the composition of its feces. An increase in the amount of water in the chicken will increase the water content of the feces, so that the litter will be moist, which is not conducive to the growth of the chicken, and the eggs are also easily stained. Once the chicken's drinking water exceeds 2.5 times its feed intake, the chicken manure will become soft and thin, which will eventually seriously affect the chicken's growth and egg production. In summer, the temperature is high, the water consumption of chickens increases, and the manure of caged chickens is often too thin. In a fully enclosed chicken house, water drinking is implemented three times in the morning, noon, and late, so that the chickens’ daily drinking time is three and a half hours, which can significantly improve the soft stools of the chickens and the chicken manure is also easy to handle.
 
Restricting drinking water by 28% less than free drinking water does not affect the egg production of laying hens; once the reduction of restricted drinking water from free drinking water exceeds 50%, the egg production rate of chickens will be reduced by 15.6% and the egg weight will be reduced by 2 grams , The weight is also significantly reduced.
 
6. Limiting drinking water to broiler breeders may achieve the goal of weight control.
 
Compared with the limited feeding method, the limited drinking method is simple and easy to implement, the water content of the litter is also low, and the chickens do not have the quirks of eating litter and pecking feathers, and the entire chicken flock is relatively stable.


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