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

Can Chicken Swim? That is a common question for 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 certain 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 if they fall in water for too long, it may affect their health.

Chickens and Water

Before knowing about chicken’s swimming ability, let’s understand they like water or not. Water is an essential part of their everyday life, and it’s crucial for them to stay hydrated.

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

Most chickens dislike dirty and muddy water and will not drink the water if it contains any 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 chicken’s body is not suited for that 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?          

A reasonable question that arises in every person’s mind is what will happen if a chicken falls into a 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.

Like all other birds, chickens also have a natural ability to swim, and they can easily float in water. However, this ability is limited, and they will start to sink after a short period. Their feathers are not strong enough to repel water, which causes them to 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.

Chickens are similar to other birds and can drown in water, but if they swim for a small period, it will cause them to become 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 chickens remain wet for a long time, it can lead to hypothermia and 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, allow me to clarify that they cannot swim like a 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 the chicks in a bucket of water, they will drown and die. We should be especially careful with baby chicks, as they require warm temperatures. 

Baby chicks need someone who can supervise them to not go towards a pond or a pool. As the baby chick grows into a 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 won’t fall in the water purposely, but they can fall in by accident or 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, you should first dry and keep her in a warm environment. 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 aquatic 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, none of the chicken breed are good swimmers.

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: The duck has webbed feet, which help it paddle in the water more accurately and efficiently. The chicken lacks webbed feet and has a traditional claw standard in most aquatic birds.

Feathers: Many people believe that chicken feathers are waterproof, but that is not the case. The preen gland in ducks secretes an oil, which they use to coat the feathers and build a water barrier. This barrier protects them from water, which later becomes waterproof.

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


Chickens can swim, but only for a short time. If they swim in water for a long time, 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 cannot swim in the water because they don’t have webbed feet. 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 would rather not 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; it becomes dangerous for them to get back on the land. 

When allowed to swim in the water, these chickens struggle to keep their balance and are therefore not good at floating. I hope you found the answer to your question – can chicken swim?

Bijaya Kumar
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