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Water, Food, and Treats for Your Free-Range Chickens

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Provide your flock of chickens fresh water at all times.

Water hydrates chickens and is necessary for optimum health, healthy eating, and egg laying. A mature chicken drinks one to two cups of water each day. Other factors that determine their water intake include weather, temperature, whether or not the chickens are laying eggs, and their general health.

Always provide at least two sources of water: one waterer inside the coop and one in the outside pen. Free-ranging chickens need a clean, fresh water source in the garden or access to their waterer located in the chicken coop. Provide a water source that covers at least a third of your flock drinking at the same time.

Different types of water systems are available for chickens. The most common is the bell waterer, made out of plastic or metal, which comes in one- to five-gallon sizes. The one- to two-gallon size is easier to handle and is filled more often, keeping the water supply fresh and clean.

Look for the bell waterer that has an indention in the handle for hanging with an “S” hook. This indention keeps the waterer in place. Keeping a water source at shoulder height for chickens helps keep their water clean from mud and manure.

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