Water for Baby Chicks

Water for Baby Chicks

Water is so important for baby chicks, that I always get them to take a few sips before they begin eating food.  

I have a very involved baby chick water program that I've used for years, and I really see much better, healthier chicks as a result.  

It all starts with your water.  We installed a LifeSource water system at our wellhead with a water purifier because we wanted to make sure the water itself was clean, contained the important minerals we need in our water and none of the bad stuff, and that any bacteria or viruses were eliminated from the water.  In essence, clean fresh drinking water. 

For babies, we always use waterers designed for baby chicks.  Anything else, and you risk having your baby chicks drown.  In an emergency, you can use a shallow dish, but place a lot of pebbles in it, so that the birds have to drink between the rocks.  I do not recommend drinking cups or nipples for babies.  It takes work for them to get water from those devices, and you want them to get as much water as easily as possible whenever they want it.  Babies dehydrate quickly.  

Over the years, I have tried different supplements, probiotics, electrolytes, and apple cider vinegar in various quantities.  Some with good results, others not so much.  The first time I used Apple Cider Vinegar, I made two mistakes.  First, I didn't buy the right type of vinegar.  You really need a vinegar that contains the 'mother'.  The second mistake I made was adding too much vinegar to the water, and the baby chicks refused to drink it.  Many experts recommended a tablespoon per gallon.  

Another thing I pay attention to is the temperature of the water.  Many experts say the first drink of water baby chicks take should be at brooder room temperature or at least 90-95 degrees.  Warmer water helps to keep their little tummies warm and make them feel warm.  For the first drink of water, I use an electric tea kettle in the brooder room to warm up their water.    

Here is my current combination of items I add to the water: 

  • 5 Gallons Water
  • 1/3 Cup Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother)
  • 18 drops Oregano Oil
  • 3 packets of Sav-a-Chick Probiotics
  • 3 packets of Sav-a-Chick Electrolytes. 
  • Mixed Well and heated to 95 degrees.

I dip each baby chickies beak into the water, and allow them all to drink before they eat.  With this routine, I have found that my baby chickies are more active, healthier, and grow faster with a lot less pasty butt.  I continue with this for the first 3 days after hatch.  Then once a week until they are outside full time and out of their brooders, which is when I switch to once a month.

I am still experimenting with the formula, as I would like to eventually add cinnamon and garlic to the mix, as I have heard wonderful things about those ingredients when used with baby chickies, and I am experimenting with fresh cranberry juice.


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