The average laying bird will drink up to 500ml of water a day, by taking a sip and then tipping her head back to swallow. She will drink little and often, increasing in regularity if suffering from nutritional deficiency or illness, less if she is not laying. If a hen is deprived of water for 24 hours, it may take up to 24 hours to recover, during which time it is unlikely that she will lay. If the period is over 36 hours, she may go into moult followed by a period of poor laying.
Minimum water needs per 12 birds:
Chicks 1-7 days – 1 litre
Growers 1-4 weeks – 2 litres
Growers 4-12 weeks – 4 litres
Adults 12 week plus – 6 litres