The water supply is as important for the hens as feed. Both the quality and the water intake are important indicators for deficiencies. Water is a big part of the daily ration and stimulates feed intake.
Just before the chicks arrive, rinse the drinkers or the pipes with clean water.
Fresh and cool drinking water must be available.
Regularly check the water quality. Take a sample from the source and a sample from the end of the line. Leave them in the sun for two days and if there is a difference in algae development, rinse the lines. Algae are a source of bacterial growth Escherichia coli (E. coli). You rinse them by opening the water taps and letting water flow through for some time.
Ensure that each nipple gives water. Check this daily. A simple tap on the nipple will bring water, if it does not then check it.
Keep the water temperature between 22-25 ºC.
Maximum 20 chicks per drinker nipple.
Provide unlimited water for the first 3 weeks.
Keep the water pressure on the nipples as low as possible during the first two weeks. This is done by controlling the main taps. Check the water use! If they cannot drink, they will die!
Make sure that the water system in the rearing facility is the same as the drinking system in the hen house. If a hen is used to drinkers, they won’t find the water in the nipples on time.
After using additions, like water soluble medicines or feed supplements to the drinking water through the pipes, the whole drinker system must be rinsed.
The water:feed ratio must be checked daily. It must be between W/F 2-2.5.
If chickens do not have enough water when they are in production, they could easily start to moult (shed old feathers, hair, or skin) and lose production for at least 5 weeks.