Salt in chicken water?

by Robert Bradford
(sw MO USA)

Meg, Can salt be added to chicken water to give a few degrees of freeze protection? I have read both that it is toxic and that it can be fed free choice. Some feeds include 0.15 to 0.25%. Should we try it and if so what ratio?


MEG: FOR BEST HEALTH, CHICKENS REQUIRE A WATER SALINITY UNDER 2000 MG/L (=PPM), BUT CAN TOLERATE TWICE THAT FOR LIMITED PERIODS.

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Apr 07, 2012
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Soft shells
by: Anonymous

I later read that excessive salt can cause soft or missing shells. I now use salt in the water only when the temp is expected to be below 30 F. and only 1 teaspoon per gallon.
Robert

Jan 21, 2012
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salt experment
by: Robert

I wanted to try adding salt to the chicken water to give a few degrees of freeze protection. My Dr. (DVM) says anything below 2000 ppm will not hurt them. I am experimenting with ¼ teaspoon per gallon which, if my calculations are correct, is 977 ppm. If this improves our hard water problems I will report back.

Today I found about 1/2” of ice in the coop at 18 degrees F.

My other Dr. (DC) says that a teaspoon of salt is about 2000 mg and a 4 liters are about a gallon. Therefore 4 t would be about 2000 ppm so I used 1 t per gallon which is about 500 ppm. I will check the water hardness again in the morning.

This morning when I let the chickens out it was about 30. There was a very thin layer of ice on the water. I do not know how much colder it was earlier.

Today the temp was 32. There was soft water in the coop and 1/4” of ice over a small pond. This system may be a winner. When it gets colder we may go to 1000 ppm.

Some ice at 18 degrees. Still 5000 ppm.

I will post this now because the next 3 mornings have an above freezing forecast.


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