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. Being in the swimming pool buisness, chlorine is always available. I BELIEVE IN CLEANING THE WATERERS WITH BLEACH, but rinse them completely until there is no smell of chlorine. chlorine is Toxic!!! It kills ALL bacteria both good and bad. I believe in sulmet 2 x a week and a good probiotic { primalac} 3 X A . WEEK/ after that a good feed clean water and grit. I f your birds are given chlorine ,though they may not appear sick, the chlorine will break them down internally.

  2. Maybe some fanciers think bleach is added to the drinking water to disinfect the birds. Absolutely not, the unavoidable practice of communal drinkers have forced many fanciers to treat the water and prevent everyday spreading of common bacterial and protozoal diseases when the water is contaminated by many birds drinking from the same source and this is multiplied when the temp rises during the day and the water becomes a breeding ground. Treat the water with low dosage of bleach,viralkill or peroxide. Many commercial enterprises use ozone, bleach and chlorine for disinfecting WHY? Because it does not work.!!! Also change your race loft water as often as possible—- this is all logic—come on guys. I agree if u cant drink the water in the drinker yourself CHANGE IT!!!!

    1. People who treat their water to prevent “everyday spreading of common bacterial and protozoal diseases when the water is contaminated by many birds drinking from the same source” are just lazy. It is not enough to change the water. The fountain needs to be thoroughly cleaned daily. And there should be enough fountains for the number of birds.

      If warm or hot weather is becoming a “breeding ground” for bacteria then once again the fancier is at fault for not furnishing cold water in this weather.

      I guess it is just a case of people who don’t have the time for the birds. They should sell them. Because all this crap that people put in the water is for a shortfall in their ability to manage and properly care for the birds.

      1. Working smart and not hard cannot be confused for a lazy person. And people that disregard science will stay behind. I always first look for a natural remedy when treating my birds and rely strongly on selection of the strongest. Most will understand that tap water is not stable or “clean”, that is a good reason to do extra precautions. Guys let’s be informative and open to science, please leave the personal advice about who can and who cannot keep birds to ourselves or at least to people we have met. Facts are superior to emotion.

        1. “Most will understand that tap water is not stable or “clean”, that is a good reason to do extra precautions.”

          Really? Can you show a link to the science of this? Thank you.

  3. Hi all i do not think you should use it. The only thing you should use it for is to Disenfect the loft flour.I think the best thing you should use in the water is APPLE CIDER VINIGER 2 times a week.Also vitiamians once a week also Garlic . Remember KISS. Keep it Symple Stupid.

  4. I would never put chlorine in my birds’ drinking water unless I had to! We have well water, so no chlorine other than what we need to put in it after fixing the pump or something else. I can’t stand city water. They put loads of chlorine and other chemicals in there to keep it “safe”. If I don’t like it, why do I expect my birds to?


    Why on earth would ANYONE use Chlorine when you can use Apple Cider Vinegar and get the same effect PLUS benefits? ACV kills bad bacteria but creates an acidic environment in which good bacteria thrive. Plus it has trace elements that are good for us and the birds, which chlorine does not have.

    There are other natural antibiotics as well, such as garlic and honey. They are much easier on the system than medications and chlorine.

    Also keep in mind where you live. If you are using the city’s water, then DON’T add chlorine to the water. There’s already more in it than I personally feel good about.

    And if you are that worried about bacteria, then just keep your water and food containers CLEAN with fresh food and water. Disease gets spread through ingesting contaminated food/water. Keep your equipment and loft clean and you should have no problems!

  5. I have a friend who has used chlorine in his birds drinking water for 41 years. He has had no ill effects. 1 tsp per gallon. Here is my thought. I have used it too. I like the thought of my birds water being disinfected & clean. But i also think you have to continually evaluate your birds, look at their droppings, look at their energy level, routing time around the loft, race results…….their overall well being. If you spend enough time with your birds then you’ll know if there is something wrong. For me, i have not experienced any bad symtoms using chlorine. I also use probiotics.

    1. Would you add bleach to the water you drink? What is your source of water that you have to be concerned with it’s quality? And lastly.. if you have “dirty water” why not just boil it first?

  6. That is a question which many fanciers all over the world asking every day ?

    Now I will share with you some of advices and secrets of the best breeder ever

    “First of all you have to buy super pigeons – with a lot of first ptices. Not pigeon swho is only one time 1st National and that is all. They have to be 4, 5 or 6 years real champions – like SUPERCRACK.

    You must start breeding with pigeons from a healthy strain which have not take too much medicines.
    If you start with pigeons who was given many medicines you must give them the same products or they will become sic.
    Many years ago the pigeon fanciers don’t know about medicines for pigeons but in that time there are also became super champions who know something more than the others.
    They give allways natural products like rain worms, little snails to eat and in the water onion, candy suger and white nittles.

    But the particulare with the pigeon food is that you must wash your corn in hot water from 80 degrees to make it clean from the mouse piss. The most corns they dry it in open field so there are a lot of mouses when you wash them you can see the different on your condition from your pigeons

    There are not so many fanciers who do that and that is the reason to keep your pigeons in super condition also now mayby the biggest secret just now is that so many people don’t know is that many champions give now bissmilk on their pigeons. That is a product from maybe 100 years ago
    This is the first milk from a cow when she have a kalf.
    The people don’t give it because it costs nothing and they allways think the best products must be expensive.

    Before you pair your pigeons up give them the bissmilk 14 days 1/2 liter on 5 kg corn. Then every 14 days you give it 2 days. Also your racing pigeons after every race you give it 2 days

    So 100 years ago my 2 grandfathers and Pepermans give it years ago and they have never sic pigeons

    I give more than 60 years bissmilk and I have never sic pigeons and when I bought some new ones and after 1 or 2 months they are sic I kill them. I have self one time kill 2 national winners they can’t bred healtly youngsters so pigeons you must also not sale to other fanciers. It was a big champion but nobody can win a price with his pigeons. So these pigeons have to give every day some products so when you don’t give it you can not do anything with this pigeons”

    1. This is just sad. “Most diseases of pigeons can be spread via the drinking water…” How about saying dirty water. This is just dangerous because someone who says they are a D.V.M put this in print.

      Thanks Chris for the heads up on this guy. This is real simple folks, it you would not drink it then it is not fit to be drank.

  7. well, we are all entitled to our own opinion. but as for me giving chlorinated water is not bad as long as it is in a right proportion. anything that is, too much even vitamins is bad to our pigeons.
    i give virkon-s, what i can say is it helps my pigeons. just apply probiotics after giving virkon-s.

  8. Now I’m wondering why wouldn’t the county water management system use apple cider vinegar in disinfecting human drinking water instead of chlorine? LOL!

    We’ve already tested chlorinated water with sick birds out of desperation. Once we had a team of sick birds that came home from a race, after failing with all the medication we know, we decided to give chlorine a try instead of destroying all the sick birds. Luckily, chlorinated water worked for them. No more flooding loft just after 3 days! More than half of the team survived after using chlorine. Those who perished were the ones treated with typical medication (perhaps due to bacteria that have developed immunity to common medicines)
    Nevertheless, I believe chlorine should only be the last resort; you can give it a try before destroying birds that don’t respond to common medicines, or with birds that always have recurring illness.

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