Can You Lead a Chicken to Water?

It’s more like this: you have to convince them the water is there.

The hens have had their new water trough a few days now, but no one had seen them use it. I’d let their old water dispenser in the coop, so they could transition, but they kept going up and banging on it.

We have tiny chicken brains.

Jewel, who somehow managed to injure her leg, liked the drip area. I guess it’s her hydrotherapy spa.

Anyway, today I decided to do some water education. I turned the tap on and let the water run. Everyone was intrigued, judging from the clucks and tilted heads. Even Fancy Pants was there, taking her evening brooding break.

The gang’s all here.

I let the water run until it overflowed, hoping they’d see that the pipe produced water. It worked! They all ran over and poked at the runoff. Jewel immediately set herself in the biggest wet area. Still, no one had used the trough.

We can drink from here!

I ran the water a little more, and Bertie stuck her beak in and drank. After another minute, Ginger did it. And even Fancy Pants got a big drink before retiring to her throne.

Advice: if you want eggs, get normal, hardy, layers like these gals. Fancy chickens are hard.

I left to get them some dandelions, and on my way back I saw voluntary drinking. And Jewel has positioned herself right next to a water outlet, so she can rest and heal. Awwww.

This is very convenient! I’m a satisfied customer!

We hope she feels better by the time we get her new boyfriend next week!

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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