Chicken keepers are always looking for new ways to keep their chickens happy and healthy, whether it be exploring new toy ideas or learning what their dietary requirements are. Especially during the heat of the summer, it’s essential to find ways to keep your chicken healthy and hydrated. You might be thinking about how coconut water is good for humans because of its many electrolytes. So, is it good for chickens too?
Can Chickens Drink Coconut Water
Yes, it’s a great source of potassium and other electrolytes that chickens need daily. It has more potassium than a banana! Coconut water is very beneficial for preventing dehydration in chickens or for replenishing any lost or needed electrolytes if they are suffering from heat stress.
We’ll take a look at everything you need to know about giving your chickens coconut water, the best brands, and why you need to start!
Coconut Water Nutritional Information
Coconut water, aka coconut juice, contains several nutrients and benefits. One cup (240 grams) contains the following:
|Vitamin C||5.8 mg|
|Dietary Fiber||2.6 g|
|Total Omega-6 fatty acids||4.8 mg|
|Pantothenic Acid||0.1 mg|
Is Coconut Water Healthy For Chickens
Coconut water has many health benefits for us humans; it contains electrolytes like sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, and most importantly, POTASSIUM. Potassium is essential when it comes to our hydration, and when it comes to your chickens, potassium is just as important for them!
Most store-bought cans of coconut water contain around 500mg of potassium, making it much higher in potassium than other electrolyte options. Coconut water is relatively easy to obtain and can be found at any grocery store or supermarket. This makes it the perfect option for hydrating your chickens.
Laying hens require about 150MG of potassium per day. This is usually acquired daily in their feed. However, in the summer heat, your chickens do not eat as much as usual and need more potassium. This means it is necessary to find another way to substitute in the potassium.
According to European Poultry Science (EPS) the easiest way to do this is through the hens’ drinking water. This is because, in high ambient temperature, their water intake increases while their food intake decreases considerably.
What Are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are essential nutrients such as potassium, calcium, and sodium and are crucial for both humans and chickens. Like us, chickens can get their electrolytes from drinks such as Gatorade, Pedialyte, or coconut water.
Why Are Electrolytes Vital For Chickens?
- Electrolytes act as an anti-stress relief for poultry of all ages.
- It helps regulate muscle contractions while keeping your flock hydrated.
- Help balance the pH levels in your chicken’s bodies.
- Support hydration and health during hot weather.
- Aids in flushing out waste products from a chicken’s cells.
Best Coconut Water for Chickens?
There are tons of different brands you can buy online. Most will be fine to share with your flock, but you want to take the time to read the ingredient labels and opt for the ones that are 100% natural.
You can even buy fresh coconut and give your chickens the water from it. I’ve put together a list of some of the best ones your chickens will be happy to drink.
- Zola Coconut Water 100% Coconut Water
- Pure Brazilian 100% Coconut Water
- Coconut Water 100% Pulp Free Juice
- Waikoko 100% Coconut Water
- Viva Coco Organic Coconut Water
Next time you’re at the grocery store, pick one up to see if your chickens like it.
Can Chickens Drink Too Much Coconut Water?
While it is possible, it likely won’t happen. Like anything, moderation is the key to keeping your flock healthy.
Drinking too much can cause your chickens to suffer from diarrhea and other issues such as crusty looking feathers and constant scratching.
While it’s true that chickens eat a lot of food, they will not eat themselves to death, so I’m sure they won’t drink too much coconut water.
If your chickens prefer coconut water over regular water, make it available until they drink it all. After everyone has had a chance to drink, pick it up, to ensure they drink their regular water and it doesn’t spoil.
Fresh coconut water loses its quality quickly when exposed to oxygen.
When To Give A Chicken Coconut Water
It’s essential to watch for signs of dehydration and heat stress in your chickens. Signs include:
* Panting or a hard time breathing
* Pale combs/wattles
* Lethargy or lack of energy
* Lifting wings away from their body
In severe cases, your chicken might have diarrhea or even go into seizures/convulsions.
Vet Poultry also warns that heat stress can cause a change in your hens’ egg quality. Changes might include thinner shells and smaller eggs. They might taste different or have an overall low internal quality.
If you notice your chicken is experiencing any of these symptoms, they need electrolytes, and ASAP! This would be a great time to give your flock some coconut water.
Coconut water is high in electrolytes and excellent for nursing your poor feathered friends back to health. Just make sure to take your chicken to the vet if they are experiencing severe symptoms and you don’t notice improvement within a day.
How To Give Coconut Water To Chickens
There are many creative ways to give your chickens coconut water.
You can try simply putting the water in a dish and see if they will enjoy it plainly. You may have to gently dip your chicken’s beak into the water for them to take to it and understand it’s drinkable.
If your chickens enjoy it plain, try adding some ice cubes to provide extra freshness and cool them down faster.
Another way is to freeze the coconut water into cubes using an ice tray. You can then add the cubes to your chickens’ water, allowing the cubes to release electrolytes as they melt.
The increase of electrolytes in your chickens’ diet might also increase their thirst, so make sure to always have fresh water for them to drink as they please.
Can Chicks Drink Coconut Water?
Coconut is entirely safe for chickens of all ages, even day old chicks. Young chicks go through a lot of stress when you pick them up from the hatchery, transporting them to your home. Because of this, coconut water is one of the best things you can do to help them get relief from the traumatic experience.
Many chicken owners have used coconut water or Gatorade as an electrolyte packet supplement.
Coconut Water Electrotryle Drink for Chickens Recipe
You can use ordinary water, but coconut water contains more potassium, so use whatever you have on hand.
4 Liters of water
1 teaspoon salt
One teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 cup of 100% coconut water
One teaspoon of honey, molasses, or sugar
One clove crushed garlic (boosts their immune system)
Mix all the ingredients and serve to your chickens! You may need to use a little bit of warm water to get everything dissolved properly before adding cold water.
Chickens can have coconut water. It should be used as an electrolyte supplement every summer or anytime you think your chickens might need a little extra hydration.
As long as your chickens are drinking regular water, they likely won’t overdrink coconut water. If you’re concerned they may be drinking too much, you can always pick up any excess after everyone has had their chance to drink some, or it’s been standing still for a while.
Coconut water is high in electrolytes and the easiest way to provide your chickens with the potassium they need in the summer heat. It is also easily accessible and can be found at any grocery store or supermarket.
Coconut water is just as good for your chickens as it is for us!