Can Chickens Swim? Why Can’t Chickens Swim?

Chickens are, of course, not an animal that you are going to be finding too close to the water all that often. They aren’t ‘waterbirds’ after all. However, a lot of birds aren’t, but they can still tackle a bit of water on occasion. So, can chickens swim?

That is the question that we are going to try to answer on this page for you.

Can Chickens Swim?

That is dependent on what you mean by ‘can chickens swim?’. If you are wondering whether they can float on the water for long periods of time, quite happily, then the answer is: no. If you are wondering whether they can deal with a bit of water on occasion, then the answer is a bit closer to ‘yes’. But that doesn’t tell the whole story.

can chickens swim
Chickens aren’t swimmers

Chickens are Not Built for Swimming

What we can tell you, however, is that chickens are not really built for swimming. They have been selectively bred from a wild bird that would unlikely have ever come into contact with large bodies of water and, as a result, chickens are never going to have a trait that allows them to swim for long periods of time.

For starters; chickens are lacking the following:

  • Webbed feet
  • Waterproof feathers

This shows that they are not really built for the water. Of course, they can jump into the water, but they wouldn’t be able to last for long. Why? Well, let’s take a look.

Lack of Webbed Feet

This isn’t a ‘major’ factor in whether chickens can swim or not. After all, you probably do not have webbed feet, but you are probably able to swim quite well.

The problem is that without webbed feet, you can’t really just ‘glide’ through the water. It takes an astonishing amount of effort to get through the water.

Chickens do not have legs that are powerful enough for this. Granted, they will be able to move through the water a little bit. Some chickens have been known to paddle, but it is going to take far too much effort for them to be able to do it long term.

Waterproof Feathers

Chicken feathers will just absorb water that they come into contact with. The more water touching the feathers, the more water they will absorb. This will eventually get to the point where the chicken will sink in the water. It is far too heavy to float.

There is nothing that can be done about this. You may have seen a chicken swim before, but it would never be able to swim for more than a few minutes before it starts to sink.

Can Chickens Swim if Fall in Water?

You will want to get it out as soon as possible. You only have a few minutes to act here. Once it is out, you will need to dry it off completely.

If you do not, then there is a high risk that the chicken will catch hypothermia which can, of course, lead to death. It would take far, far too long for their feathers to dry out otherwise.

See also: Can Chickens Fly?
Interesting article: Did you know that chickens in Minecraft can swim?

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