Ducks and chickens both have feathers but they are different in their love for water. Duck keepers set out small pools, provide ponds or containers to satisfy the duck’s love for water. The chicken keeper creates coverings, hideaways, and dry spaces for the chicken.
While chickens will spend time in the rain, it is generally after they have already gotten wet and have determined it is the only way to forage and possibly get some food by pecking and looking around. As a general rule, chickens do not like water. Chickens prefer dry and even warm temperatures and shun damp and wet spaces.
In terms of water, chickens often are found walking in their watering tub but on a whole it is to move other chickens out of the way to get a better spot for quenching their thirst or showing dominance by getting in first and foremost. Chickens, for the most part avoid wet spots and moist spaces and if you watch carefully you will see a chicken side-step a puddle to avoid it rather than paddle on through.
As recent as today, we had a Florida thunder storm. The lightening bolted and the thunder roared. I walked out on the balcony of the bedroom to see what the chickens were doing and only one was found standing in that downpour. Lena was apparently trapped by the fenced area and couldn’t figure out how to get under the dry coop with the others.
In our case, we have open runs with places where the girls and 3 roosters can go during rainy days. Our runs include metal coverings and umbrella to protect food from getting wet. If our chickens do not get under those dry areas, or go inside the coop, they will get wet.
Today, as the storm subsided, I noticed several of the chickens venture out until all of them were pecking and enjoying rummaging the ground as the light mist upon their backs continued. I don’t think they enjoyed getting caught in the downpour or even eating during the misting time but probably decided it was what it was and off they went into the yard to find food. They could each be seen shaking off water off of their backs. Chicks are obviously not fans of water unless it’s for drinking and they tend to drink most any kind . If you’re a chicken keeper, you know what I’m talking about.
5 things to do for your chickens during rainy days:
1. Provide a dry place for them to go during the rain. Possible ideas for rain cover is metal, umbrellas, beneath coops, under nesting boxes.
2. Prepare for the rain by placing umbrellas, tin or wooden pieces over corners of the run if your runs are uncovered.(We are in Florida. There are times we are able to plan for the rain and other times the winds are too strong. On occasion we have to literally pick our chickens up and put them inside the coop so do what you must to protect your flock.
3. Keep coops open during rainy days. Sometimes they will actually go inside the coop during a rain storm.
4. If you do not have a dry place for food during a rain storm, pick up food before the wet period. This will save you money as chickens will not eat soggy food.(Rats will tho! argh!)
5. After stormy days clean out your coops. The rain causes such a mess and wets the bedding in coops. Chickens need a warm dry place for roosting at night.