How to Keep Chicken Water From Turning Green

How to Keep Chicken Water From Turning Green: 3 Ways

Looking for ways how to keep chicken water from turning green? Want a solution that keeps your flock’s drinking water fresher for longer?

Don’t worry, there are other solutions than changing the water every few hours!

In this article, I will explain:

  • Why water turns green
  • How dangerous it is if chickens drink green water
  • How you can stop/delay water turning green
  • And I share an awesome product that solves the problem altogether

Ready? Let’s dive in:

Why Does Water Turn Green Outdoors?

Water turns green when left outdoors because algae starts to form on and around water sources.

There are many types of algae, and there are many reasons why it might start to form. But, the bottom line is that it’s bad for chickens. Potentially, it’s very bad.

Plus, it can be a pain to keep getting rid of and cleaning out their waterer as I’m sure you’re aware.

Did you know that algae is actually a living organism? It’s able to grow and populate due to the nutrients in the water, and most forms spread quicker with direct sunlight.

It really doesn’t matter where you put your chicken’s waterer though. If the water is left out and exposed to air and sunlight, there is a good chance it’ll start turning green.

Is Algae Harmful to Chickens?

Is Algae Harmful to Chickens

Algae can be toxic and harmful to chickens, yes.

Algae is an interesting substance. It’s neither a plant, animal, or fungi. It’s a one-celled plant-like organism that thrives on surfaces and in the water where it gets moisture and sunlight.

It’s also commonly called pond scum because it almost always grows in ponds. There are various forms of algae, the most common is called Cyanobacteria or blue-green algae.

It’s actually potentially very toxic to chickens and other wildlife. It can cause some serious neurologic or liver damage, or at best some gastric discomfort.

Not really a surprise when you look at that paint-like green film on the water, is it?

How to Keep Chicken Water From Turning Green

If you want to continue using a waterer with the water exposed, there are two things you can do to stop or at least reduce the speed in which water turns green:

  • Place the waterer in a sheltered area out of direct sunlight
  • Add a little apple cider vinegar to the water.

The reason I make these two suggests is that; algae multiples a lot faster in direct sunlight. So, positioning the waterer somewhere cool in the shade can make a huge difference.

And, ACV acidifies the water. Which I’ve read can help keep algae at bay. It’s certainly worth trying these things if you want to continue with your current waterer.

There is a better solution though if you’re willing to put in a little bit of effort. You can use “poultry nipples”, just like large commercial poultry watering systems use.

LOVATIC Poultry Water Nipples

You can pick up a pack of 10 on Amazon via the link or image below:

These are exactly the same as the devices used in large scale poultry watering systems. You may have seen them, large scale operations usually have a long pipe with little red devices on that chickens walk up to at peck at to get water.

Those are called “poultry nipples”. There are two main reasons why this is the preferred way to provide water to chickens on a larger scale:

One is to stop their water being contaminated by algae, droppings, and other dirt.

The other is so they don’t have to keep filling up waterers. They can connect a pipe to a mains water supply and it basically supplies fresh water all day long.

They are really easy to install too. All you need is a bucket, a drill to make holes, and some of the nipples.

Here’s a YouTube video showing you how to fit them and why they’re perfect for stopping your chicken’s water turning green or getting contaminated in any way:

In my opinion, if you’re willing to put in the little bit of effort to install these little devices to a plastic drum – it’s by far the best solution for keeping drinking water fresh for your chooks.

RelatedThe benefits of giving chickens apple cider vinegar.

In Summary

Changing drinking water one or more times a day to combat algae and other dirt contaminating your chicken’s water isn’t fun.

There is a better way as I’ve covered in this article. I recommend investing a few bucks and the few minutes it takes to fit poultry nipples.

It makes life so much easier. You don’t have to change water as often, which is a plus, but the real benefit is that there’s no risk of your flock getting sick from water that has become toxic due to algae being present.


Image credits – Header photo by Annie Theby on Unsplash

What are algae? –

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