Can Chickens Drink Chlorinated Water? (Pros + Cons)

Water is life for all organisms on earth, chickens included. Chickens, and a variety of other animals, can go for days without eating food but can only go for a couple of days without drinking water.

The type of water that you feed your bird is of importance, this article looks into whether chickens can drink chlorinated water 

Can chickens drink chlorinated water?

Chickens should ideally not be given chlorinated water, it is true that the use of chlorine has been beneficial because chlorine works as a disinfectant but this chemical can be harmful to chickens, and to humans, if taken in large amounts.


Chlorination is commonly used to clean and treat water keeping bacteria away.

Bacteria and viruses in water will be kept at bay if you decide to add chlorine to your bird’s drinking water. Doing this will also keep residual contamination at bay. 

Chlorine levels of 3-5 ppm (parts per million or milligrams per liter (mg/L) in your bird’s water is recommended, this will be enough to maintain protection, but levels above this are unnecessary, not recommended, and can also be dangerous.

Chickens should ideally be given clean plain natural water.


A study found that feeding baby chickens chlorinated water caused these birds to develop major side effects such as a reduced level of activism, poor survivability, constant shivering, droopy feathers, poor circulation, smaller size, and slow growth.

These birds also developed heart disease and clogged arteries as a result of drinking chlorinated water. The same study found that birds who drank spring water had no heart disease and had vigorous health overall.  

If you’re giving your birds chlorinated water, and then eating these birds, this water will affect your health as well. Chlorine is a carcinogen and increases the risk of cancer developing in the body. 

How to minimize risk:

If you only have access to chlorinated water you can minimize the effects of the chlorine in the water by running the water through activated carbon filters. 

The activated carbon filters will remove most of the chlorine from the water.

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other chicken related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in:  Can Chickens Drink Well Water?, Multiple Broody HensChickens Pecking Each Other To DeathBullied Chicken Not EatingBroody Hen Eggs Not Hatching

Can Chickens Drink Chlorinated Water? (Pros + Cons)
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