After being outside for some time, it is customary to be thirsty for something other than water- something more thirst-quenching. Gatorade is a great option to reach for in the refrigerator.
However, can your chickens outdoors drink Gatorade? Yes! Gatorade is an excellent option for occasional use as a preventative to keep them healthy and hydrated or provide a little boost to a sick chicken.
Gatorade, while helpful and reasonably healthy for chickens, should not be used as a replacement for water, though! It is essential to be informed of what is and isn’t suitable for your chickens. As with any living thing, even humans, certain things are unsafe to eat or drink.
As humans, Gatorade is an excellent source of hydration. It restores electrolytes lost during physical activity and hot temperatures. When we are sick, Gatorade is ideal in keeping us hydrated, especially when we lose fluids due to stomach viruses and other illnesses.
The same goes for chickens! Let’s look at the benefits Gatorade provides for our hens and roosters.
Gatorade Nutritional Information
Let’s take a peek at the nutritional information of Gatorade Thirst Quencher.
|Total Fat||0 grams|
Chickens and the Heat
If you are a chicken owner, you most likely are familiar with some of the extreme dangers of heat places on your chickens.
When temperatures rise, chickens are at risk of heatstroke, heat exhaustion, and, in some cases, death. For chickens, lowering their body temperature can be difficult, as they do not sweat.
Chicken’s body temperature is higher than humans. Their average body temperature is around 104 degrees. This means that they are better off in colder climates than they are in hot temperatures.
Heat stress is a massive danger for chickens, and it is essential to keep them cool and hydrated to prevent damage to their bodies. While Gatorade is a great way to keep your flock hydrated, it shouldn’t a replacement for water.
Chickens typically naturally lay fewer eggs in hot weather.
Why is Hydration Important for Chickens?
Chickens, like all other animals, need water to survive. Egg production, digestion, regulating body heat, and going about day-to-day chicken things require water.
Even for eliminating waste from their bodies, chickens highly depend upon precious H20 to stay hydrated! Yes, chickens will drink water from a bowl, so it’s not hard to keep them hydrated.
It is important to note that when your chicken undergoes heat stroke or heat exhaustion, a chicken’s water intake will double or even triple.
Gatorade’s Benefits To Chickens
Just like with humans, Gatorade serves as an electrolyte replacement, helping to hydrate or rehydrate our little chickens.
Sometimes, even the sugar content acts as a little “pick me up.” As with anything, however, you should only give it in moderation. It is a good idea to mix a small amount into your chicken’s natural drinking water for the added boost.
It can be used for healthy chickens as a preventative to help prevent overheating or sickness among your chickens.
Chickens are easily scared and stressed by lightning, heat, overcrowding in the coop, molting, predators, and changes to their environment or routine.
Giving your chickens Gatorade occasionally can help prevent them from developing a sickness from these stressors by keeping them hydrated and giving them that extra boost!
If you have an upcoming stressful event, such as a move, treating with Gatorade a few days before and leading up to the event can help keep your chickens in the best health.
Just be careful not to overdo it because Gatorade contains high levels of sugar and other ingredients that can be harmful when given to chickens in large amounts.
When chickens are sick, it is easy for them to become dehydrated. Hydration is one key to a healthy chicken.
When you start to notice signs of sickness among your chickens, such as lethargy, panting, hunched over appearance, lack of appetite, dullness, low egg production, and sleeping more than usual, treating with Gatorade to get them electrolytes is a great idea.
If a sick chicken is not eating and drinking on their own, you may need to syringe feed the Gatorade to your chicken.
Use a small syringe to feed them small amounts at a time, being sure not to aspirate the chicken.
Can I Give Gatorade to Chickens?
According to Backyard Chickens, you can give chickens a small amount of Gatorade. Electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade, Pedialyte, coconut water, etc. aren’t harmful when given on an occasional basis.
The electrolytes are essential in both young and old chickens to aid in the muscular and nervous system. In fact, sugar water has been proven to aid sick chickens.
Without electrolytes, a chicken can experience seizures and even die.
While Gatorade is not harmful to chickens, it is important to only give them a small amount. Too much Gatorade can cause diarrhea in chickens. In addition, Gatorade contains artificial sweeteners and flavors that may not be good for chickens.
How to Get A Chicken to Drink Gatorade?
Getting your flock to drink Gatorade is not as hard as it sounds. Pour some Gatorade in a bowl and let your chickens drink it. They may be a little hesitant to drink at first, especially if they’ve never drank from a bowl.
Once they investigate the bowl and realize it’s safe to drink, they’ll likely drink all of it.
Monitor your chickens closely to ensure they don’t have any type of allergic reactions.
Can Baby Chicks Drink Gatorade?
No, baby chicks less than four months old should not be fed any human foods or drinks. Instead, you’ll want to ensure they are eating a high-quality starter pack and have access to freshwater.
They should be given plenty of time to grow and develop properly, before introducing them to human foods and drinks of any kind.
Which Type of Gatorade is Best for Chickens?
When it comes to chickens, they can be sensitive to anything that a natural part of their diet.
If you think about it, chickens are animals and not designed to be eating all kinds of processed foods and drinks.
Gatorade comes in an organic form. The Organic Thirst Quencher has only seven ingredients and much fewer carbs, sodium, and sugar. It still is advised that you either give each chicken a small individual amount or mix some into their drinking water.
However, in a pinch, any Gatorade will work just fine! Do not worry about the flavor! They will likely be attracted to all flavors. You can even make fun frozen treats for your chickens in small Tupperware containers or ice cube trays. The chickens will love snacking on them while they melt.
Homemade Gatorade Chicken Recipe
During dehydration, your chicken’s body loses minerals and nutrients essential for their bodies to function correctly.
We now know and understand the importance of replenishing those electrolytes to provide optimal health or help out an ill chicken.
Gatorade is an excellent tool for this but includes many additional ingredients that are not the best for your chicken. Creating a homemade Gatorade such as this one may be a better option, and most of the ingredients you should already have on hand at home!
Homemade Gatorade Recipe #1
All you will need is:
- A cup of water
- Two teaspoons of sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
All you need to do is stir all of the ingredients together until fully dissolved. And then mix it in their water for a preventative solution or administer directly to a sick chicken.
Homemade Gatorade Recipe #2
Another recipe for a homemade Gatorade solution can be found HERE. For this one, the ingredients differ slightly, so that it will be up to you!
You will need:
- 1 gallon of water or coconut water
- One tablespoon of sugar
- One teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- One teaspoon of potassium chloride
Coconut water is an excellent choice because it is rich in potassium and is an all-natural way to rehydrate.
Potassium chloride is typically found in hydrating sports drinks and is sold in many health-food stores.
Like the other mix, all you need to do is mix all ingredients until they are all fully dissolved into the water or coconut water.
Gatorade is an excellent option to help a chicken’s body to rehydrate or to maintain optimal hydration. We now know the importance of keeping chickens hydrated and Gatorade’s many benefits to our chickens.
Some tips to remember when providing Gatorade for your chickens are as follows:
- Moderation is your friend. Mix the Gatorade in with water or distribute to each chicken in small doses to be sure not to overdo it. Keep in mind that chickens are much smaller than humans and need a lot less than we do to achieve the same benefits from the sport’s drink.
- Electrolytes are a game-changer. With stressed or sick chickens, electrolytes can make all the difference! In some instances, Gatorade may do more for your chicken than water alone can.
- Chickens hide illnesses well. When chickens are sick, they usually try to mask the symptoms to avoid being preyed upon or picked on by other flock members. When you first notice differences in your chicken’s behavior, it is time to whip out the Gatorade right away.