At this time of year, torrential rain storms could hit your area, and if you are a new chicken keeper, you may wonder if the myth is accurate and your chickens can drown simply by being out in the pouring rain.
Will chickens drown in the rain by looking up is nothing more than a myth, so you are lucky there? Chickens are pretty smart, and even free-range chickens run for cover in heavy rains.
However, there are some things to know because chickens know that worms come out in the rain, and chickens love to forage in these conditions. Now, the question changes, can chicken be in the rain?
The age of chickens makes a difference, as young chickens don’t have the same types of feathers. So, in our guide, you can learn more about whether can chickens get overly wet and what happens if they do. By the end, you’ll see that it’s unlikely to find a chicken drowning, but you’ll know what to do with baby chickens to avoid them freezing in cold conditions. (Read Can Chickens Eat Snap Peas)
Can Rain Kill Chickens?
Chickens cannot be killed by a rainstorm as it is; nevertheless, excessive amounts of rain pose the problem of your chickens becoming hypothermic. If it is raining hard, and chickens are trapped somewhere, it could be chickens drown in rain-flooded areas, but not from the rain itself.
For this to happen and a flood will drown chickens is highly unlikely. Chickens have excellent survival instincts and will seek shelter once the rain is too heavy for them to hunt for bugs in the wet.
Note this applies to adult chickens, and younger chickens should stay indoors.
Can Baby Chickens Drown In The Rain?
If they are caught off guard or become stuck in a body of water without a way out, baby chickens could drown in the rain. The temperature drop that results from being wet is the major issue. If it looks like it might rain, keep the chicks indoors.
To offer your newborns the best chance of surviving throughout their first six weeks of life, keep a watchful check on them and the weather.
Can Chickens Sleep In The Rain?
Rain keeps chickens awake. Their instincts will help them find a warm, safe place to sleep. Something is amiss if a chicken is napping in the rain. Rain doesn’t bother chickens, but it cools them down. Adult chickens seek shelter before this happens often.
The night is when most chickens’ natural predators come out, so you won’t have to worry about this. (Read Can Chickens And Goats Live Together)
Can Chickens Swim?
Although they can swim, chickens aren’t very good at it. They’ll tire and could accidentally drown if left in a vast body of cold water. Crossing a large puddle or small stream doesn’t pose too much of a problem.
Unlike other birds like ducks and geese, their feathers are not made to be water-proof; although they can fend off light rain without too much worry, they can’t stay afloat and swim like waterfowl.
However, hypothermia is a serious risk if they get too wet for too long.
Can Chickens Drown In Water?
All chickens can drown in water deeper than their height, but most are fine for a short time. However, baby chickens drown, even their drinking water, which is a serious risk if they fall over. Hence, this is why you place small gravel in the bottom of a drinker to avoid this.
Adult chickens drowning this way isn’t a thing, and even most chickens won’t drown in small bodies of water.
How To Dry Wet Chickens
Chicken owners may not see a chicken drown, yet as we have seen, chickens can suffer if they get too wet in anything heavier than light rain. If it is a heavy shower on a hot day, you’ll have little worry, yet here are some things you can do to help your feathered friends, especially the younger ones.
1. Wipe Water Off Them
Water cools the body and can cause your chickens to get too cold. Chickens’ feathers are water-resistant, yet not water-proof. Grab a towel and smooth their feathers from their back and down their sides.
Don’t rub against their run of the feathers or rub too rough.
2. Ensure Your Chicken Coop Is Warm
Make sure the coop is warm enough if the weather is cold by checking the temperature. There is no need to be too concerned because chickens gather and huddle to keep each other warm and dry. It is a worry only when the weather is cold, and a draft blows, such as in the late fall or winter.
3. Ensure Your Coop Has Good Ventilation
With chickens, ventilation is necessary at all times. They frequently experience respiratory issues, and coop dampness can cause this. Even if wet, ensure there isn’t too much humidity inside their coop. Good ventilation can help them dry and avoid these breathing issues. (Read Can Bearded Dragons Eat Jalapenos)
4. Provide A Dry Dust Bath
Your chickens may develop mites and other bacteria as a result of cuddling and wetness. Just make sure they have a dry place to take their dust baths since this helps to combat these issues.
Finding some dry dirt after a little rain may require some work, but it can solve many issues.
5. Replace Bedding
Check your chickens’ bedding after heavy rain to make sure it hasn’t been moldy or infected because damp bedding breeds bacteria and mold when it gets wet.
Should Silkie Chickens Get Wet
In that their feathers are soft and downy, they don’t repel water effectively. So, silkie chickens are similar to baby chicks.
Your silkies should be kept within their shelter while most other chicken breeds venture outside in the rain hunting for bugs. If not, they will be soaked and could become unwell from hypothermia.
Wet Chickens Need To Be Dried-Off And Warmed-Up
Most chickens seek shelter when it rains, although if your chickens get too wet, you’ll need to warm them up and dry them off. This is especially true if they exhibit any hypothermia symptoms.
Lethargy (low energy/poor movement), puffed feathers, staring blindly, and stiffening are all warning signs. Make dry their coop has warm, dry bedding that is routinely changed so they can air out and warm up.
Again, getting wet can be very deadly for chicks.
What Attracts Chickens to the Rain?
Chickens love the rain because the rain brings insects, worms, and more tasty things from the ground. Another benefit of a rainy day is that it offers shelter from predators and other birds of prey.
The moisture retained by these hens’ feathers will make it simpler for them to escape a flying or ground predator’s hold if they are ever successful in their attack.
Adverse Effects of Rain On Chickens
Chickens can withstand cold weather by insulating themselves with air trapped in their feathers. However, soaked chickens are far more vulnerable to the cold than dry chickens. Further attention is needed for baby chicks. Being too cold might cause baby chicks to die very quickly.
Chickens should not be repeatedly exposed to rain and should be dried off as quickly as possible to prevent respiratory problems and fungal diseases under their feathers. Give your flock a warm bath after they’ve played in the rain, and then blow dry them.
Chicken Bullying In Wet Weather
Make sure your chickens have plenty of access to shelter on wet days. Some chickens may be bullied into remaining outside even when it becomes unsafe for them as a result of limited access. Higher-ranking chickens enter through the doorway and block the younger chickens from entering.
Internal parasites that live on muddy feet can cause issues like bumblefoot and coccidiosis. Make sure your chickens have access to dry food and water for drinking. Food that is too wet will become completely mushy and swell like cereal while also containing bacteria and fungus.
Offer your chicken a dust bath when they are coop-bound to keep them occupied. Chickens enjoy taking a dust bath, especially when they are together. It is how they groom themselves, keep the beauty of their feathers, get rid of extra way oil, and eliminate external parasites like mites and lice. (Read Do Possums Eat Dog Poop)
Related Questions and Final Thoughts
Are Chickens Waterproof?
Although they are water-resistant, chicken feathers are not waterproof. Most chicken breeds have feathers that bead water when it hits them, with a few exceptions, such as the Polish chicken.
Even in rainy weather, this keeps the chicken warmer. The risk of illness or death increases if it rains heavily or if the chicken’s feathers are unhealthy.
Can Chickens Sleep In The Rain?
Chickens are known to be peculiar birds. When night falls, some of them prefer to stay in their roost rather than enter the coop.
Some chickens stay out in the rain if they can’t be inside their coop. If it’s warm, chickens won’t be in danger from the rain, but if the temperature drops overnight or a sudden frost hits, the chickens will be in grave danger. It’s possible the chicken will perish if the rain changes into the snow, sleet, or frost.
Does The Rain Affect Chickens Laying Eggs?
Although rain does not influence a chicken’s ability to lay eggs, a rapid shift in the weather, such as a dip or rise in temperature, can make hens cease producing eggs. Even if the weather turns extremely cold, chickens’ egg-laying isn’t affected by a gradual change in the weather.
Can Chickens Drown In The Rain?
Rain can cause chickens to drown. Some chickens stare in wonder until the rain drowns them. Chickens are more likely to drown if they are caught in a rainstorm, such as rain coming off a roof, or if they become submerged in water.
Is Rain Bad For Ducks?
Ducks seldom ever get wet, as opposed to chickens that finally do. Ducks’ feathers are waterproof thanks to an oil gland covering them. Ducks can therefore be seen on a pond’s frozen water even in the dead of winter.