Linda : Is it imperative for chickens to have clear fresh water every day or can they get sick from it not being changed? In the winter time we set a heated dog water dish out for them and in the summertime we have a hanging bucket that’s covered and has the self watering nipples on the bottom. Thank you so much.
My Reply : Chickens can get sick from drinking dirty water so any left for them should always be clean. It is often easier said than done to keep them drinking only clean water as many chickens seem inexplicably drawn to kicking mess into their waterers and drinking out of dirty puddles when they get the chance to. Whilst a covered hanging bucket as you have should keep the water free from any mud, poo or other debris it may itself need cleaning quite regularly as water containers tend to build up a residue after a while. If the water is left unchanged in containers for days on end it can get a bit stagnant and then the bacteria builds up which potentially could make them sick. As a general rule, even if it looks clean, it should be changed every day – two at the most.