Can chickens swim?

Whether a chicken can swim or can’t swim is an interesting question and few people know the exact answer to it.

Probably, adults do not want to experiment, and curious children do not always inform them about the results of their naturalistic experiments. I think that most people think that chickens can’t swim after all.

Comparison of duck and chicken

Let’s compare the structure of waterfowl, duck, and land chicken.

ducks swim

What are the advantages of the duck:

  • Powerful membrane legs to repel water.
  • Waterproof feathers.
  • Able to dive and control their body in water.

These qualities allow the ducks to be great rowers and swimmers. They move easily and gracefully in the water, which is not to say about their funny and clumsy movements on the ground.

The ducks have special sebaceous glands that release fat to lubricate and impregnate their plumage. This gives their feathers a water-repellent effect, and they do not get wet.

In contrast to them, chickens:

  • They do not have membranes on their legs.
  • The feathers are not waterproof.
  • They do not know how to dive and operate in water.

But although they do not have such water benefits, it does not mean that they can not swim or can not try! Yes, they don’t have any baffles on their legs, but this just means that their foot movements in the water will give a weaker repulse.

You can be sure that grown-up chickens and adult birds have an innate ability to swim and will not drown if they get into the water. This skill is securely built into their survival system. They just have to use it very rarely.

Of course, if the chicken is driven into the water for a long time, make it flounder and lose strength, wait for all its feathers to get wet and heavy. Then, purely theoretically, it can sink. And that, rather from exhaustion and fear than from the fact that it will go to the bottom.

A chicken is more likely to get sick from hypothermia if it spends a long time in cold water during the cold season than drown.

Drowning may be caused by small chickens, who will panic, lose control, and choke on hitting the water.

Is it worth making the chickens bathe?

In social networks, you can find videos where chickens swim in home swimming pools, and their owners make fun of this situation. There may be chemicals in the pool that prevent the water from getting moldy and can even kill a frog. So, if you strongly want to experiment with poultry – fill the children’s pool in the yard with simple freshwater and run the chicken there.

But as soon as you see that the bird is scared, trying to get out of the water, experiencing difficulties – immediately pull it out on the land!


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