Should You Give Chickens More Than Just Water?

When it’s not the heat, but it’s the gosh darn humidity, you may wonder if you’re doing enough to keep your chickens hydrated. 

And, in most cases, ensuring your flock has access to cool clean water 24/7 is usually enough. 

But sometimes, you might want to consider giving your chickens a little bit more to get through the hottest of the hot dog days of summer.

Reasons To Add Supplements to Your Flock’s Water

Aside from the heat, there’s a few other reasons you may want to add some extras to your chickens’ waterer. 

Consider adding a little something extra during these situations:

When It’s Really Hot

When the heat turns intolerable, you’ll notice that your chickens begin to show signs of distress. 

They’ll puff out their wings, open their beaks, and appear to pant. This usually means they’re pretty uncomfortable. 

Adding ice cubes to their waterers can help keep the water cooler longer. Plus, your chooks will enjoy the cubes (as a toy).

Ice cubes can double as entertainment for bored, overheated, chickens. Your chooks will peck and push them around the watering hole (and keep cool while doing so).

In short, it’s just one little thing you can do to keep your chickens comfy when it’s unbearably uncomfortable outside. 

Add Electrolytes to Water for Illness

When chickens are already battling the heat it’s no fun to be sick as well. Remember the last time you had a cold during the summer? 

Talk about uncomfortable, right?

But it’s also dangerous.

Because illness often leads to dehydration. And coupled with extreme heat, chickens have a lot to overcome. 

That’s where electrolytes come in handy. 

Adding some chicken-friendly electrolytes to your chicken’s water supply will help them bounce back from illness and make it through the heat much easier. 

A product that’s perfect for promoting chicken wellness is Henny+Roo 3 in 1 Vitamins, Electrolytes, and Probiotics for Poultry. We include this product roughly once a quarter in our monthly deliveries for backyard chicken keepers.

Electrolytes help optimize health and hydration during hot weather and times of stress. Vitamins are necessary for cellular functions. And probiotics help beneficial bacteria grow in the digestive tract, aiding digestive health. And it’s easy to administer – 1 packet is added to 1 gallon of water. Available in a 5-packet set here.

Dehydration Prevention and Treatment

Speaking of electrolytes, your chickens don’t have to be sick in order to benefit from the addition of electrolytes. 

In fact, if you’re proactive about the heat, and add electrolytes to chicken water as a preventative measure, you can ward off dehydration. Doing so will also help prevent illness caused by dehydration, and a lowered immune system, before it claims your chickens. 

So watch the weather forcast and add some electrolytes before the weather gets bad.

Mineral Deficiency

If your chickens are free-rangers, they will be excellent at finding the nutrients they need on their own. 

But if you’re location is lacking in an important component to your chickens’ diets, you may want to consider adding minerals to their water. 

Minerals can also help boost your flock’s immune system when there’s a bug going around the coop. 

Choosing the Right Minerals

As you can see, supplements can be helpful during the heat, but if your chickens are healthy, it’s not a necessity. 

On the other hand, if you’re losing chickens, or noticing a recurring health problem, it’s not a bad idea to take your chickens to the vet to uncover any underlying issues.

And if it’s a mineral deficiency, it’s important to know which mineral you’ll need to supplement. 

Water Acidifier – Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is said to have benefits for poultry including increased immunity, and the addition of beneficial minerals, and just an overall health boost. Another important use is placing a teaspoon per gallon in the coop’s waterer to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and algae. Don’t use it in metal waterers, though – it can corrode them over time.

At the Henny+Roo coop, we use Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother, which can be easily ordered and delivered to your home from Amazon.

In short, illness and mineral deficiency make it even more difficult to withstand the heat.

You’ll want to keep your chickens happy and healthy for years to come. Otherwise, they may stop giving you those delicious eggs you love!

*Henny+Roo is the first monthly subscription box for chicken keepers! 

Every month, get a curated delivery filled with chicken-themed products.  You’ll get healthy treats, timely health products, seasonal gifts, and hand-pecked goodies for you and your flock!

Shop our monthly plans and non-subscription items at