Can Chicken Swim? Read Before Allowing Them To Pool or Water

Can Chicken Swim? That’s a common question for most newbie poultry farmers.

Chicken is the most amusing of all household pets, passing out even dogs. If you are a pet parent to them, it’s sure that your phone gallery is filled with videos and photos of your flocks. 

Here is our detailed guide on pet chickens.

Chickens generally don’t swim. They can manage to swim anyhow for a short time for their survival. 

However, water is not suitable for chickens, and falling in water for too long may affect their health.  

Chickens and Water

Before knowing about chickens swimming ability, let’s understand they like water or not. As a fundamental portion of their everyday life, water is essential to keep them hydrated. 

Chicken needs a lot of water to drink during the summer season. They dehydrated during running and grazing in the sun. 

Most chicken dislikes dirty and muddy water and will not drink the water if it contains some poop or dirt. But in some cases, chickens love to scratch inside water.

Chickens can’t swim and have the ability to perform swimming activities. They are not for living in the water. The body of the chicken is not for such an environment.

The early thing that hits the viewer is that the feathers go waterlogged and heavy in no time. Seeing that we can say that they are not waterproof. If the chicken panic during swimming, it can easily drown in a bucket of water and may die.

Can Chicken Swim in A Pool?          

It’s a reasonable question that arises in every person’s mind, and many people think about this, what will happen if the chicken falls into the pool. 

We know ducks and geese can easily swim in the water, and they are meant for this purpose; they are built for life in water bodies.

Also Read:  How to Raise Baby Chicks? Raising Chickens Tips : Week 1 to 20

Like all other birds, chickens also have a natural ability to swim, and they can easily float in water but for a short period. They get tired quickly of swimming in water as their feathers can’t repel water much, and they become heavy and soggy.

We should not worry about chickens inside water. The chicken will not go inside the water knowingly. A major accident may occur if a chicken falls into a water tank or in a well.

Being a farmer is undoubtedly considered a danger for animals. We should use sprinklers or tubes to the property where animals can drink water. Read our guide on best chicken waterers.

If they fall inside a water well or tank for whatever reason, they must lose their balance while bending towards the tank, while drinking or may be attacked by another animal, in which they may fall due to fear of getting caught.

A chicken is like other birds and can drown in water, but if it swim for a small period, it causes him to be tired, wet, and even fatal. They will not drown in the rain. 

You should provide them with a path to get out of the rain and dry them. If they stay wet for a long time, it causes hypothermia in chickens, leading to death. 

Meanwhile, the death occurred due to drowning. The cause for frequent death is the cold temperature. Read our guide on how to keeping chicken coop warm in winters?

Can Baby Chicks Swim in Water?

If you are thinking about whether a baby chick swims or not, let me clarify that they cannot swim like chicken because they did not have developed the ability to swim.   

Baby chicks cannot swim in the water as compared to the chickens. They are very sensitive and need brooding.

If we put them in a bucket of water, like a rock, the chicks will drown; thus, they will die. We should take extra care of baby chicks because they need warm temperatures. 

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Baby chicks need someone who can supervise them to not go towards a pond or a pool. As the baby chick grows into chicken, they will develop swimming ability. 

Young chickens are partially suspected of drowning in the small ponds and water wells. Chicks are susceptible to wet and cold, and in that situation, water may be fatal for them.

What Happens If Chickens Get Wet?

Firstly we don’t have to worry about chickens when they are around water. They will not fall in the water intentionally, but they can fall accidentally or dangerously by another animal.

Due to their free-range nature, they like to roam and discover the place in which they live.

If your chicken gets wet by swimming or drowning, we should first dry and warm them. They also act like humans. If we get caught by cold, we get sick; they are just like us in this character.  

Suddenly, if a chicken falls into the water, we can also use the dryer on low effect to blow out water from them.

Which Chicken Breeds Can Swim on Water and Which Not?

Have you ever glanced at aquatic animals? Their body structure living under the water is opposite from terrestrial animals. Isn’t it right?

Their bodies are designed so that they can live, swim, and breathe in water. It consists of a gill to breathe oxygen in the water. On the other hand, most terrestrial animals are not fitted for swimming in water.

So, non of the chicken breed are good swimmer.

Ducks Vs Chickens

Let’s compare duck and chicken based on their anatomy. 

The duck is an aquatic bird that can both walk and swim on land and water.

Feet: Duck inherits webbed feet, which help to paddle in the water more accurately and efficiently, whereas chicken lacks webbed feet and has a traditional claw standard in most aquatic birds.

Feathers: Everyone thinks that chicken feathers are waterproof, but that’s not true. Ducks have a special gland known as the preen gland that secretes oil that they rub all over the feathers to build a barrier. This barrier protects them from water which later becomes waterproof.

Also Read:  Do Raccoons Eat Chickens? Protect Eggs, Feed and Coop

From the above facts, we can conclude that the absence of every feature that a bird needs to swim is not present in chicken.   


Chickens can swim, but not for a long time; if the chickens swim in water for an extended period, they will get tired, wet, and die. 

If we want to keep the chickens safe, we must store the water in an empty area or have a way out from flocks. Keep your flocks safe from predators using best chicken wire and hardware cloths.

Chickens don’t have any webbed feet, which is why they cannot swim in the water. Many birds and other animals have webbed feet, and they can swim in water quickly and conveniently. 

They can swim a little to get out of the water as they are not comfortable in the water, and they don’t want to be there for a long time. So, they try to get out of the water as soon as possible. 

As chickens don’t secrete any oil to make their feathers waterproof, the longer they stay in the water, the heavier their body will be, and it becomes dangerous for them to get back on the land. 

When allowed to swim in the water, these chickens lose their balance and are therefore not good at floating. I hope you got your answer to the question – Can Chicken Swim?

Can Chicken Swim? Read Before Allowing Them To Pool Water
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