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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107 thoughts on “The Miracles of Chlorine…NOT!

  1. There is no substitute for HONEY & SALT, I mix them and give to my birds every week…had fantastic results since

  2. Hi Chris and everyone that given there comments I clean my drinkers with bleach what I use is 3cloves of garlic and apple vinegar cider pure honey all together in fresh water and I use lemon juice two days in week I say do not use bleach in water it will harm your birds thanks from Aron

    1. The first step in keeping pigeons healthy is keeping the rodents out of the loft.

      Test your loft, put a mouse trap with peanut butter in a plastic container with a hole for the mouse to get in and protect the birds. The next morning you might be surprised. Mouse droppings look like seeds and can kill a bird in 24 hrs.

      I use 1/2 gallon water containers and clean them and refill with fresh water twice a day rather than leaving it stagnant for 24hrs. I also remove the feed and water containers at night. This way the birds will start the day with a clean drink.

  3. Hi to all it appears that everybody is looking for a magic health bullet and will try anything, and in common sense hindsight every thing has a result but all the true results are hidden because of the unknown doses, it is a fact that washing the drinking containers in bleech and the residue when refilling helps kill worms in the birds.Birds that are medicated for noticable sickness most times do not recover quickly, so the answer is to use the most natural substances that promote good health and high immunity to stop the onset of health problems,my observations have been clean water and a regular additive of 15mls per liter of cidervinegar that has 5 cloves of garlic soaked in it for 7 days, added 3 to 5 days a week the acidity of the vinegar creates an acid reaction in the digestive system that the bugs cannot live in and the natural anitibotic in the garlic kills most that can start the problems has always been the does levels of garlic powder or oils mostly unkown too much is worse than not enough, this in summary is only miniumising the chances of infection and cannot control the effects of stress created by the owner or the whether,well fed health birds in a healthy inviorment do not need regular mediciation, yours in sport

  4. I have not bothered to read the whole article is I think it is wrong. I do however add Jik into a bucket of water and then rinse my water bowls in the jik water before filling up the water bowl with fresh drinking water.


  5. Hey yall I just want to ask what else I could use to bath my pigeons with plenty of lice? We don’t have much here in papua new guinea. Can I use dog spray? My pigeons are all native birds only but I threat them like racers. I have been also looking for a pigeon importer and would like to have a pair of breeders like jansenn or fabry’s or any available for a start. I want to start a racing club also anyone can help please?

  6. Maybe you can use it if your pigeon is sick for whatever reason, if not better leave them alone and let their own immune system do the work after all aren’t we looking for healthy pigeon?

    1. I am with you on that one. I think the birds immunity should be as natural as possible. Giving them clean water should be fine. Kenyan Fancier

  7. Terry brought up a good point. When medicating the water, it should be left to stand overnight or the water put into a bucket from a great height to create turbulence which in turn diffuses the chlorine from the water.This is to prevent the water affecting the medication. Another point on treating with any product in water, is to take account of the climate. In hot weather the birds take in more water,in cold weather less water.
    Products have recommended doses and these are at average climatic conditions. Hence in hot weather make the product slightly weaker, and in cold weather slightly stronger.If you do not you will either overdose or under dose. I personally know good fanciers who treat with bleach and do really well. They are convinced it is good for their birds and do not use anything else. Some tend to use a Baby utensil cleanser called “Milton”

  8. The problem with Bleach in the UK is that it varies in strength. Their are various makes and strengths and Bleaches from abroad. Therefore I would recommend that in the UK and indeed In the USA that a Bleach made of a consistent standard is used. In the UK , “Domestos” is to a British Standard and the manufacturer recommends 1 teaspoon to 1Gallon of water.
    There are also products that contain various acids to give a broader spectum and “Osmonds” do a product called Enviroboost. With all these products, if made too strong the birds are reluctant to drink it.

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