Looking for ways to prevent chicken water from turning green? Do you want a solution that keeps the water in your drinking fountains fresher for longer? That fuzzy green growth in chicken waterers looks unhealthy, right? The algae problem goes beyond appearance. Algae change the quality of your chickens’ water and can make them sick if they drink too much. It is not difficult to keep algae out of your waterers; it just requires you to pay attention.
What are algae?
Algae are a primarily aquatic eukaryotic organism that contains chlorophyll, or more commonly known as the green substance that forms in water. You can grow this organism if you let the chicken water sit for a while, especially if it is hot outside and the sunlight is shining on the water. But most people don’t like it, and neither do our chickens.
Did you know that algae are actually living organisms? It can grow and populate due to the nutrients in the water, and most forms propagate faster in direct sunlight.
However, it doesn’t really matter where you put your chicken’s waterer. If chicken water is left outside and exposed to air and sunlight, it will most likely start to turn green.
Are algae harmful to chickens?
Algae can be toxic and harmful to chickens, the answer is yes. It is potentially very toxic to chickens and other animals. It can cause severe neurological or liver damage or, at best, gastric upset.
How to prevent chicken water from becoming contaminated
I had gotten tired of cleaning my chickens’ waterers every week, so I needed to find a way to stop algae growth when the chicken water settles for a few days. Fortunately, there are a few solutions to this problem, one of which is quite easy and natural.
- The simplest solution is to remove the waterer from your chickens, take it to your laundry and clean the algae from the bottom and then refill it with water. The problem is that if you don’t remove all the algae, it will grow back even faster. I highly recommend that you don’t use bleach or other solvents because they are bad for your chickens, bad for you, and they can break the plastic water fountain.
- The second thing you can do is place your chicks out of the sunlight. If you wrap it in an opaque material, this is even better. The goal here is to prevent sunlight from reaching the water, although that is easier said than done. Don’t put it in the chicken coop either! Chickens are somewhat restless and will create a mess. This will create too much moisture, which is really bad for chickens.
- Another option is to add chemicals, but I recommend not doing this. I heard some people add a little bit of bleach, but that sounds like a very bad idea. For example, the chlorine used in swimming pool water can be harmful when ingested or by staying in the water for a long time. This is why many people inadvertently vomit if they drink too much. In addition, the chlorine will be ingested by the hen and passed to the egg. Then you too will eat chlorine.
There are other supposedly non-toxic chemical solutions, but I have found an organic solution that works.
Add a little apple cider vinegar to the water
Add approximately two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar per liter of water to your chickens’ waterer. This will organically increase the acidity level in the water, making it almost impossible for algae to grow. Make sure to shake the apple cider vinegar before using it.
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