Generally speaking, chickens do not need water at night when they’re locked up in their coop to sleep, no.
In fact, a lot of starter or smaller coops don’t have space for a waterer inside. Plus, a lot of experienced backyard chicken owners choose not to put a waterer in their coop.
When Should I Put Water in the Chicken Coop?
There are always exceptions to the rule, isn’t there!
A couple of instances where I would recommend you make water available overnight is;
If you have a broody hen sitting on eggs. Their eating and drinking routine is obviously disrupted, and they will often hop off the eggs at night to eat and drink.
The other is if you’re not getting up early to let them out. Once chickens are awake, they like to graze on food and water throughout the day.
If you don’t wake up around dawn when I’m guessing your chickens do, then it might be a good idea to have some water available.
The reason why it’s not necessary overnight under normal circumstances is that once it’s dark and chickens are settling into sleep, they sleep through to morning.
Chicken’s don’t typically wake up in the night and wander around taking a sip of water or a midnight snack. For one, their vision is really bad at night, so they’d find it challenging to do so.
How Long Can Chickens Go Without Water?
It’s vital that chickens have fresh drinking water available at all times during the day when they’re awake.
If you have chickens, you will have noticed they drink often. Very often.
It’s estimated that if they go 24 without any water, they will start to have issues regulating their temperature and may show signs of fatigue.
Something as simple as this can also affect egg production. If you have laying hens, anything that causes them stress can cause them to stop laying, or interrupt it at least.
48 hours and beyond, and there is a serious risk of chickens becoming dehydrated and ill. This is sped up if the weather conditions are hot of course.
It’s not something you want to risk. I know sometimes their water supply can get frozen, and that might go unnoticed for a few hours or something similar.
That’s fine, it happens.
You should do everything you can to ensure they have drinking water available during the day though. It’s not essential overnight, however, as I’ve already explained.
Chicken Food and Water in Coop or Run? Which Is Best?
There is often the debate between backyard chicken owners about where it’s best to keep their food and water.
I will say right away, that in my experience I most commonly see people keeping their food and water in their run.
This is usually because there is more room, they don’t need it available overnight, and it’s easier for us to access too.
If you (and your chickens) are lucky enough to have a nice spacious coop, however, I’d put it inside with them.
The best placement for you might depend on your own circumstances. If food can get damp outside, that’s a bad thing. Moldy food is toxic to chickens, so that has to be avoided.
Also, chicken feed has a tendency to attract pests like rodents, other birds, etc. You don’t want to attract or feed other animals, so that’s another good reason to put it in the coop. Or at least cover/seal it overnight.
So, in a nutshell, wherever your feed is able to stay dry, and both the water and food are not able to be stolen by pests, that’s the best location.
Related - Should your chicken coop have a roof?
In Summary - Do Chickens Need Water at Night?
Chickens do not need water overnight. I’ve explained why in this article, as well as explaining where it’s best to keep their water, how long they can go without water, and more.
Raising backyard chickens is surprisingly easy, and incredibly rewarding. As long as they have drinking water and food available during the day, and are locked up securely overnight - you’ll have a happy flock.