The Miracles of Chlorine…NOT!

**Before reading this article I would like to tell you that I DO NOT AGREE! with putting chlorine, bleach or any other chemical like that into your birds drinking water. These chemicals are toxic to the birds, in the article below you will notice that Dr. Marx states that after using the chlorine in his loft his loft was essentially disease free. I have no doubt that Dr. Marx’s birds were disease free because the chlorine will kill all bad bacterias in the birds however along with killing the “bad” bacteria the “Good” bacteria in the birds will also be destroyed which in turn will destroy the birds immune system and natural immunity to disease. Let me give you a little scenario lets say you chlorinate your birds drinking water in your loft yes your birds seem to be disease free but after drinking the chlorinated water your birds immune system becomes weak. Now lets say you ship your birds to a race and now your birds are kept in a loft that doesnt chlorinate their water. Without the chlorine acting as an artificial immune system in the birds your birds own weakened immune system will be bombarded by normal bacteria from both the new loft and the new birds that they come in contact with. Now your birds are highly subseptable to new disease that normally the chlorine would have killed and so on and so fourth. My opinion when keeping pigeons is to only medicate when absoluetly necessary. Some fanciers in my opinion go overboard and weaken the natural immunity of their birds with artificial supplements. The reason why I posted the below article was to show you different ideas and opinions that fanciers have. Again I DO NOT agree with chlorinating your birds drinking water, in my opinion please use it for what is was meant for; a cleaning solution and a cleaning solution only.**

Thanks -Chris

The Miracles of Chlorine

The addition of common household bleach to the drinking water does, indeed, have beneficial effects on pigeon health.

This seems a little weird since the drinking of cholrinated water has negative implications in human health, especially with suggestions that it may be incriminated in the increased rate of cancer.

Chlorine is a strong chemical which binds to most organic molecules and can change their chemical identity, making some non-toxic compounds become toxic.

Personally, I use a filter on my drinking water which removes chlorine; but my pigeons drink a lot of it with what I percieve as beneficial effects. NEVER PUT ANYTHING ELSE IN THE DRINKING WATER AT THE SAME TIME AS CHLORINE.

The ususal method of treating the drinking water is to add 1 to 2 teaspoonsful of common household bleach, such as Clorox or Purex, to each gallon of water. The amount varies depending on the temperature. When it is hot the chlorine leaves the water faster, so use more; when it is cold, it leaves the water slowly so use less.

Chlorine is a very strong disinfectant and keeps the water-transmission of disease organisms to a minimum. Most diseases of pigeons can be spread via the drinking water, so the judicious use of a disinfectant can prevent some of the things that our pigeons may be exposed to.

There may be a hidden benefit as well: the increased consumption of chlorine, which in turn is eliminated by the kidneys, produces a more acid urine. The urine is excreted along with the feces.(it is the white cap on the feces) This net result is a more acidic dropping. Salmonella, and other bacteria, dislikes an acidic environment.

This may decrease the environmental proliferation of the bacteria, making it less likely for pigeons to contract an infective dose. This is theory, and not proven scientific fact, so thake it for what it is worth. I have given it a lot of thought and concluded that this is why lofts that deal with paratyphoid do better after treatment, if the birds are kept on this chlorinated water.

I handled convention race birds this last spring/summer. The only thing that I did for the birds was to keep them on chlorinated water. Mine was the only loft that experienced no sick pigeons. Is that coincidence? I think it probably isn’t.

I also theorize that drinking this chlorinated water has a negative influence on the trichomonads in the oral cavity. I need to do some simple research to confirm this but, in my mind, it should have some effect on the numbers of these organisms. It at least will minimize the water transmission of trichomonas; and this is the main route of spread.

Remember: NEVER PUT ANYTHING ELSE IN THE WATER AT THE SAME TIME AS CHLORINE. IT WILL PROBABLY NEUTRALIZE THESE COMPOUNDS OR RENDER THEM TOXIC TO THE BIRDS . When wanting to give vitamins or a treatment for coccicia, worms, or trichomonas, etc., simply leave out the chlorine for those days and then resume when the dosing is completed.

Household bleach should not be considered a treatment, but only a preventive measure.

The Miracles of Chlorine by Dr. David E. Marx DVM

The Leading Online Pigeon Racing and Racing Pigeons Magazine – The Pigeon Insider

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105 thoughts on “The Miracles of Chlorine…NOT!

  1. Maybe using bleach in the water might help prevent the spread of sickness, when a loft suffers an outbreak, such as young bird sickness, but its long term use might damage the very delicate balance of gut flora that’s desirable in healthy pigeons,There’s too much confusion on the subject of pigeon health ie, what’s the best product to use in order to maintain good health,yoghurt, cider vinegar, garlic,
    vitamin’s etc.and the amount of medication to treat various illnesses is staggering, every treatment is based on flock treatment using two liters of drinking water, no instructions for a single treatment, if a family member had the flu ? would your Doctor write a prescription for the whole family ? I don’t think so, yet we are ill advised to treat the flock as a precautionary measure.I have seen stray pigeons eating scraps and drinking from filthy puddles along with feral pigeons in an exposed environment, and look none the worse for their troubles, I think overcrowding and over feeding is central to most of our problems with pigeon sickness. we need to go back to basic loft management.
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  2. I rinse my drinkers and let them dry then I use them. No one has ever tested the pigeons liver after drinking chlorine for a period of time We have Mr. Olympiad in this area and he uses it but never shows a champion even though he thinks he is an Olympiad flyer…..thought

  3. CHLORINE, I rinse my water holders in a CAP full to 4 gal ,I think 1 Tab will purifie 500 Gal , Check there web site, Me and my birds will stick to drinking wellwater for now.


  5. well – it sounds logical but i’m worried about trying it if it is not proven cos it could harm the birds. I might give it a go this year with my young un’s tho – maybe every other day. I do think it is good to clean your loft out with bleach though as much as you can during the summer when it dries out quickly.

  6. ive been useing it ,from day one.ive used it in my fresh water fish tanks for oscars,to keep them clean ,(for 14yrs.).ive had birds almost 3 yrs. ive always used clorox, and i use it in the bird bath, I;VE NEVER HAD A SICK BIRD ,I;VE NEVER USED MEDS . USED IN THE BATH I;VE NOTICED I ONLY SPRAY FOR LICE 2 TIMES A YR.i dont realy know very much about birds ,i am learning ,BUT,i do know first hand it works .i use 1 gal . drinkers. 1 cap ( off bleach bottle ) per drinker . 1 time per day. it freezes fast ( water ) here in indiana (usa) i change water 3 times a day in winter ,but i only use bleach 1st.per. day i have a 20 gal. babys swimming pool for a bath i use a quarter cup it seems alot but it evaps fast. good luck ..

  7. Dr Marx has published other articles about chlorinated drinking water. He has done several things that I believe are a DIS service to the pigeon sport. NONE of his opinions are based on facts, which he readily admits. He claims the process to prove this theories would be simple, but he never follows through with scientific research. To say that droppings should be more acidic when on chlorinated water, without doing the research, is pure conjecture. If he is a DOCTOR, trained in avian medicine, he should understand the necessity of documented proof before making bold statements like he has. When stating that he handled convention birds and was the only loft that experienced no sickness, he said, “Mine was the only loft that experienced no sick pigeons. Is that coincidence? I think it probably isn’t.” He thinks it PROBABLY isn’t? Is that any way for a trained professional to report on observations in one single loft? I challenge Dr Marx to back up his “feelings” with true, hard documented, researched conclusions. Maybe we, as fanciers, either aren’t important enough to the good Dr to warrant quality information, or else he feels we’re just too stupid to do our own testing and will listen to anyone with an opinion and a title… As for me, I believe that keeping pigeons on a chlorinated water regimen will in a very short period of time remove from them the necessity of having a strong “constitution” or immune system. Subsequently, they will not pass along a strong immune system to their children, leading to inferior young birds that fall prey to any disease that comes along. But that, of course, is only MY opinion…


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