“If you cannot drink the water yourself as the farmer, please do not give it to the chickens”
POOR QUALITY WATER CAN BE A CAUSE OF UNEXPLAINED HEALTH PROBLEMS IN CHICKENS and most farmers do not pay attention to this important input of production.
Chickens can survive longer without food than they can without water. Water is involved in every aspect of a chicken’s metabolism. It plays an important role in regulating body temperature,digesting food, and eliminating waste from the body. To remain healthy, poultry flocks require water of adequate quality and quantity.
This article will focus on water quality and the next article will look at water quantity.
Several factors influence water quality, including the color, taste, and odor of water, as well as the presence of bacteria or other microbes, the levels of minerals, and other chemical and physical factors.
Birds drink more water than they eat feed. Ideally depending on weather, birds drink 2 times to 2.5 times the amount of feed they eat. With this in mind it is thus very important to make sure your chickens are getting good quality water.
The quality of water given to the birds is often overlooked by most farmers. In recent days most farmers place emphasis on good quality chicks, good quality feed, good management and often forgetting the importance of water quality.
What is water quality? This refers to the biological, chemical, physiological and radiological characteristics of water that you give to your chickens. In summary, it is a measure of the condition of water relative to the requirements of your chickens.
The following are the summary paramaters for water
- Color, Taste, and Odor- Drinking water for poultry must be clear, tasteless, odorless, and colorless.
- Bacteria- Bacteria contamination of water can be an indication of contamination by organic material.
- Physical and Chemical Characteristics- The acidity or alkalinity of water is expressed as pH level. Poultry prefer water with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8 but can tolerate a pH range of 4 to 8.
- Hardness refers to the amount of dissolved minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, in water.
- Mineral Content
- Nitrates and Nitrites
- Sulfate (SO4)
- Phosphate (PO4)- High levels of phosphate may indicate water contamination from sewage.
- Sodium (Na)
- Chloride (Cl)
- Magnesium (Mg)
- Manganese (Mn)
- Copper (Cu)
- Calcium (Ca)
- Iron (Fe)
How do you ensure that your chickens are getting good quality water?
- Water tests should be done at least twice a year for microbiological and chemical contents to ensure that the water complies with specifications.
- Water should be regularly disinfected- BETAKILL
- If there are signs of biofilm, then use SANIBACTER
Bupo Animal Health has products that ensure your livestock are getting the best quality of water: Sanibacter and Betakill.
- Acts as an acidity regulator to improve drinking water hygiene by reducing water PH thereby reducing development of microorganisms in poultry water systems
- Avoids biofilm proliferation
- For disinfection of drinking waterfor poultry
- For broad spectrum disinfection against viruses, bacteria, fungi, mycoplasma and algae
- For disinfection of hatching eggs
- For disinfection of the air in poultry houses