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.