On the corner post of the chicken run fence, just out of HenCam view, is a water spigot. It’s where I fill the waterer in the morning. I often leave the water running as I scrub the red plastic bottom of the waterer. The water streams into a narrow channel that the hens have scratched out along the fence line.
Chickens love moving water. They’ll even leave corn and crackers when they see it rolling along, like a tiny flash flood. They’ll drink as if they haven’t seen water in days. I’m not sure why this is – they certainly aren’t thirsty. And I don’t think that they care about the difference in taste between water in a plastic tub and water flowing through dirt.
I think that it’s the sparkles. Chickens love shiny things. They peck at raindrops hanging on a fence after a storm, they love my pants with buttons sewn on the hem, and when I pick up a hen, she’ll look astonished and delighted at my diamond ring. Good thing diamonds are hard.
I’ve never kept hens in a field with a stream, but my guess is that the chickens wouldn’t be as enamored with that as they are with the suddenly shiny, moving, drinkable corner of their yard.