If you own a farm or grew up on one, chickens are sure to have made a part of your poultry. Chickens are great as pets, and as a domesticated creature, it can be great for your business too, providing you with fresh eggs and even meat.
If you own chickens, you may have been wondering whether they can swim. Perhaps you need to take them out for a bath, or you would simply like to let them frolic around in the tub for a while. The fact is chickens love water. Even though their wings and legs may not seem to be designed for swimming, these lovely birds do swim, when it is necessary for them. Like most animals and birds, chickens have an instinct for survival. So if chickens are placed in water, they will acclimatize themselves to it and adapt quickly.
Water is not a chicken’s natural habitat
Even though water is not a chicken’s natural habitat, if you were to take your flock of hens to a swimming pool, they would be able to swim just fine. If you are raising chickens, you can take your birds out for a swim, as long as you are supervising them.
It is important to remember though that chickens are not meant for swimming. They use water more as a bath or for playing in a pond. So do keep in mind that deep water is not a place where chickens would naturally turn to. This is why it is recommended that steer clear of putting your chickens under duress.
Chickens are not the same as ducks when it comes to swimming
Chickens are different from ducks when it comes to taking a dip in the pool. The main reason for this is the difference in the anatomical systems of chickens when compared to ducks. Ducks have waterproof feathers. So when ducks are put in water, their feathers don’t get wet and hence they can swim effortlessly. But the feathers of chickens are not water resistant. This means that their feathers will get heavy when they are wet. This makes it difficult for a chicken to swim. The heavy, wet feathers could also make the chickens sink from all the weight. It is thus recommended that you stay close to your chickens when they are in the water.
Another reason for their inefficiency in swimming is that chickens do not have webbed feet like ducks do. The webbed feet help the ducks to float and move forward in water as they act as oars while swimming. Since chickens don’t have webbed feet, they are not able to swim in the same manner as ducks do.
Exercise caution when taking your chickens out for a swim
Notwithstanding all this, chickens are capable of floating in the water and swimming short distances if the need arises. Studies have shown that chickens have a natural, inborn ability to swim without even being taught how to swim. As soon as chickens are placed in water, their natural instinct kicks in, and they start to swim. But there are also incidences of drowning and consequent death of chickens inside a bucket full of water, so you must be careful with your pets.
Another important thing to remember is that chicks cannot swim. It has been found that if baby chickens are put in the waterlogged area, they immediately drown and lose their life.
Roxy the swimming chicken