How Well Can Poultry Taste Things?

Small and Backyard Flocks May 05, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Written by: Dr. Jacquie Jacob, University of Kentucky

Birds have taste buds on their tongues and the floors of their mouths. Poultry are better at tasting additives dissolved in water than dry additives added to feed. Poultry are therefore more likely to taste and refuse something in water than in feed.

Poultry are sensitive to the temperature of drinking water. They are likely to reject water with a temperature of around 90ºF or higher. Provision of cool water is important during hot weather to prevent heat stress. Poultry will drink cold water that is barely above the freezing point.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.