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

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  1. #1 by herman on April 8, 2011 - 5:35 am


  2. #2 by ronald on April 7, 2011 - 9:38 pm

    bleach is good to warsh floors and walls garlic honey and apple cider are better for your birds health all natural not man made but in some peoples drinking water has clorine bleach to kill germs in the water not in my drink thak you and not in my birds water

  3. #3 by Daka on March 16, 2011 - 5:29 pm

    Only thing good to be put in drinking water for pigeons is garlik and vinegar.

    Good flight !

    Daka .Bosna and Hecegovina

  4. #4 by Think! on February 21, 2011 - 9:38 pm

    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.

  5. #5 by Mark Neil Gaviola on February 21, 2011 - 4:45 am

    Before I give anything to my birds I make sure of the pros and cons a certain substance can provide or cause to them… I personally treat them like my kids who is in need of TLC( Tender Love and Care).. About this Article!!! Common people it is used as Disinfectant!!! Certain what Chris have mentioned is 100% true it kills bad bacteria but along with it are the good bacteria that dies as well… Use Apple cider vinegar instead and check the wonders it can give your birds..

  6. #6 by Gavin on February 5, 2011 - 5:59 pm

    This is an ongoing topic and I must say that there are arguments true to both sides.The only thing that I have to say on this is that surely it cant be good for any system to be fed this on a continual basis year round. If you need to destroy an organism causing your birds illness then by all means do something but then back off so that the birds can rebuild their natural flora.There are many wonderous remedies given to us by nature so use them to your advantage.Disinfect your drinkers on a daily basis if you wish but not your birds!!Keep them acid naturally and give them a big dose of Gods antibiotic every day. Its called OXYGEN and its Free!!!!!!It is the best. Most disease is caused by stress and mainly overcrowding, overworking,over medicating etc etc. You can never over oxygenate!!!No draughts on your birds obviously but Lots of oxygen. Keeps them well.I also have no problem giving the birds one drink only on return from a race after being in contact with other birds but that is that if you have all else right in the loft.Cancer thrives on anaerobic conditions and so do all other pathogens. Give the bad bugs plenty of oxygen and they die. Thanks for all the interesting comments they make you think. Cheers and good luck.

  7. #7 by Christiaan on February 3, 2011 - 8:04 am

    I agree. It is still a good thing to give to the pigeons at a small amount the evenning after a race. The pigeons are in touch with hundreds of pigeons, which could be infected by certain deseases. I agree that a thing like bleach will destroy the good bacteria, but then put back the good bacteria the next day.I never have to stress about sick pigeons since 1988. It works for me.

    Thank you for all the good stuff. Go well

  8. #8 by Terry on December 29, 2010 - 4:53 pm

    Hi David thank you, to the info on the chlorine, I’ve got to say, chlorine is already in our drinking water so what I do, I leave the water standing a bucket over night and keep topping up when needed I don’t use bleach but I use Viadine 18 once, twice every two weeks on its own,I don’t mix. I was also told, when medicating for wormind – canker – cocci let the water stand over night as the chlorine kills,the mediction for what treatment given.
    once again Thankyou. I would like to wish you and your family A Happy and Healthy New Year.

  9. #9 by Alister murray on December 7, 2010 - 4:25 am

    Bleach and chlorine are chemicals that should be used for disinfecting the loft.Chlorine only should be used to disinfect drinkers because once it has dried it won’t harm the birds if tiny drops remain on the surfaces.The old saying,would you drink your birds water is a good way of determining if you are doing right by your birds.I am no rocket scientist but you won’t catch me drinking bleach any time soon.I have heard of fanciers using bleach in the drinkers,but come on guy’s,haven’t we evolved a bit since those days.If you have to depend on such a backward approach then I think you are grasping at straws.I can only say to those fanciers “GOOD LUCK” because you obviously need it.

  10. #10 by Robert Keiper on November 12, 2010 - 5:44 pm

    I retired from running a municipal water system after 29 yrs. We used chlorine as a disinfectant for the municipal water supply which came from ground water wells. Chlorine works well as a disinfectant for bacteria as long as you have the correct proportions. As long as I was a water operator there was never a fatality or sickness in our town from drinking chlorinated water. When I retired I got back into pigeons several years ago, I did not add any bleach to the water in the water feeders since I felt the city water had enough chlorine in it already for disinfection but I did notice that my water feeders always smelled a bit when I opened them up for daily cleaning.It was at this point when I decided to add 6-8 drops of chlorine bleach to my 2 liter water feeders. It worked! No more stinky water feeders and my birds are doing just fine. Remember 6-8 drops /2 liters. It works. If you decide to use apple cider vinegar in the water as a treat for your birds, don’t use the bleach that day. Keep it simple but make it routine. Birds like a routine. Keep ’em healthy and fly’em! Later, Robert

  11. #11 by West Winds Loft on October 22, 2010 - 4:28 pm

    I’m licensed as a nurse and I have to agree with Chris here. To put chlorine or clorox in the drinkers as a matter of general course is not a good practice. If you have animals that are sick, they should be separated out and treated. To constantly dump clorox or chlorine into your birds system makes about as much sense as you or I taking it on a regular basis. The biggest reason birds get sick is because their lofts aren’t being kept clean. I’ve owned birds for many years and the single line item to healthy birds is clean living conditions and clean drinking water. Just imagine your home and no waste management. How long would it be until you got sick. As far as I am concerned, clorox and chlorine is closing the barn door after the horse has gone. The FIRST thing to be looking at is how clean is your loft and how clean are your drinkers? I read one woman’s blog and she said she washes her loft down regularly with some product they use to clean operating rooms in her hospital. She reports good results. I think this is the better way to go. Remember, chlorine and clorox are POISONS and you are putting these poisons into your otherwise healthy birds’ systems. Drugs/poisons always do two things: (1) one thing that they are supposed to do, and (2) something that they are not supposed to do. At a glance, I’d say that regularly poisoning your birds is going to shorten their life span. My suggestion is to back up the process and try to head off the bacteria in the loft before you have to address it in your birds. If you want to bleach something, bleach your drinkers. I put sheets of contractor’s plastic down. When it’s time to clean, I just lift up the edges and all of the droppings and bacteria get sent out with the trash; less work, cleaner results, no poisons, happy birds.

  12. #12 by wayne hicks on October 21, 2010 - 7:51 am

    I don,t see anything wrong with using chlorine.Its like anything,only a problem when you misuse it.I only give it during racing season at a dosage of 5ml to 5 lt.I give it only on one day per week. I then follow up with probiotics,applecider vinegar or yoghurt.APPLE CIDER VINEGAR is about the only thing i give during off season.I don,t even clean my waterbowls during off season ,so that the birds can build up immunity.I

  13. #13 by Jaco Venter on October 20, 2010 - 10:55 pm

    It doesnt work believe me, I tried it a year ago and lost half my young birds within the first two races and didnt even flew one position in the top 20. I stoped using it and 5 weeks later I started winning again. I won 4 out of 6 races in our union. So it is a load of crap.

  14. #14 by Christopher Adam Trella on October 10, 2010 - 10:19 am

    I had cellulitis in my leg about 5 yrs. ago due to a spider bite. They gave me “Cipro” to knock it out of my system. “Remember” Cipro?, the anthrax scare? same stuff they give our troops ’cause it kills everything!Afterwards I had to eat yogurt to put the “good bugs” back into my system so my digestive track would work right. I,d say your “right on the money” with the “birds with weak immune systems” idea!!Besides, that’s for the pro’s at water treatment plants. Not,for backyard pigeon racers! Use it to clean,rinse it out, period.

  15. #15 by robert whalen on October 6, 2010 - 9:22 pm

    Hi if chlorine is so bad how come 75% percent of the industrial states use it in there water supplies and it is required by U.S law on any water supply that is not from an underground aquafer
    also antibiotics kill good and bad bacteria, I clorinate my pool with 2gallons a day for 14000gallons

  16. #16 by Squeak on October 6, 2010 - 6:28 pm

    I wouldnt be to quick to undermine Dr. Marx’s remarks as regards to bleach as a Miracles cure for pigeons I think there could be alot of truth in his suggestions.
    more findings is whats needed. I do sincerely believe he is onto something.

    I would like to express and share my own experiences with you now however I think it would be a little premature on my part therefore i will return to this post in the near future and share with you my opinions on the use of bleach.

  17. #17 by pij lover on October 5, 2010 - 3:54 am

    well dont worry about the taste because we cant eat uncooked millet/barley/wheat etc etc but they do!!
    the reason is that they have very few taste buds as compared to us, so humans and pigeons…no comparsion no match!!

    I agree with the logical explanantion given by chris

  18. #18 by lesgilbert on August 26, 2010 - 11:26 am

    i agree with michael spiegelberg do not use chlorine in the drinking water . use apple vinegar its much more benifical to the pigeon as it does not harm the good bacteria .

  19. #19 by Michael Spiegelberg on August 15, 2010 - 5:39 pm

    I Think anyone using household cleaners in thier birds water – should drink some themselves and tell me how you feel after time — Yuck ! I personally use Apple Vinegar – 2 teaspoons per 2 gallons — Its acidic and does the job with NO harm ! Better alternatives then putting Bleach or Chlorine in their drinking water thats for sure !! Peace !

  20. #20 by berni on July 25, 2010 - 10:21 am

    In Philippines, the water that comes out from the faucet is potable. This water I believed undergone the process of chlorination to make the water clear, like the white clothes with a stain, a chlorox/bleach is apply to make it white again because water alone can not clean it. But to add more chlorine to a potable water and let it drink by pigeons is logically not good. The proponent of chlorinated water must give scientific and laboratory good result He should prove his claim since there are no scientific studies and good laboratory test that was conducted to the pigeons. A doctor who just believed in his observation but without explanation is not reliable. Does the doctor meant it to be that the chlorinated water is the same as that of “structured water”, or oxyginated water or mineral water? I dont think so.

  21. #21 by Warren Smith on July 13, 2010 - 12:17 pm

    My comment is in regards to Chris’s view that Chlorinated water is bad for the birds in that it hurts the bird’s immune system. I have been drinking Chlorinated water for over fifty years, and as far as I can tell, I have never suffered from any ill effects. I suspect the good doctor went to medical school and has some experience to base his opinion concerning chlorinated water. If Chlorinated water destroyed all bacteria inside me, then one has to wonder how I survived these last fifty plus years ?

  22. #22 by andrew olegario on June 28, 2010 - 10:37 pm

    I’ve been reading some information in magazine adding bleach to the drinking water to their pigeon. But I have a doubt if it is applicable in my birds because I gave water to my birds from a deepwell. Should I mix bleach to the drinking water coming from deepwell to my birds? Hope to hear from you about this matter. Thanks and more power.

  23. #23 by sakkie on June 11, 2010 - 10:00 am

    regular use of disinfectants in water requires regular use of pro biotics as well but definitely not in the same water.

  24. #24 by john on June 7, 2010 - 2:00 pm

    P.S. KEEP bleach where it belongs IN YOUR WASH 🙂

  25. #25 by john on June 7, 2010 - 1:58 pm

    I never use chlorine bleach in the waters NEVER it has no need to be in there waters. IF YOU PROVIDE THEM WITH CLEAN DRINKING WATER DAILY..
    There should be no reason to put it in there drinkers.

  26. #26 by Gus on May 15, 2010 - 3:41 pm

    Hi all,

    I only use chlorine on any new bird that i bring into the loft for 3 to 5 days and never again, after that making the water acidic would be prefer ,i do need a good idea on what to mix in a spray bottle for lice what are you all doing.

  27. #27 by Geork on April 19, 2010 - 11:57 am

    David :“Miracle” may be a bit of an overstatement.

    There are facts no miracles

  28. #28 by Geork on April 19, 2010 - 11:50 am

    Hi guys,

    I think there is only one easy way to see if chlorine is good or bad: better racing performance?
    If it harms the kidneys liver etc. it could depends on dosage and how often it’s used..
    Too much of the best medicine can kill the birds, less will fail to cure exact dosage will do the job. It’s just my opinion.

  29. #29 by RAY BROWER on April 15, 2010 - 9:38 am


  30. #30 by Fred on April 14, 2010 - 11:58 am

    Returning from a race it is important to make sure your birds gets rid of all the bad bacteria etc they have or might have picked up in the baskets. What better way of doing that a Saturday evening – second drink after returning from the race. Even their dropping look good the next morning. I have been doing this on a “vets”, dr Wim Peters, suggestion and never looked back!

    • #31 by Geork on April 19, 2010 - 11:40 am

      Hi Fred,

      Have you seen any racing improvement after using chlorine, what dosage do you use and how often?


    • #32 by terry downs on January 4, 2011 - 6:42 pm

      Applecider vinegar works just as well.Just get them used to it before the season and you won’t have any problems with them drinking it.2 TBS per Gal.

  31. #33 by Jim on April 5, 2010 - 6:01 pm

    The reason that you want to use clorine is just as you say Chris, kill all the bacteria, good and bad. Immediately follow up with probiotics of some type to replace the good bacteria that you killed. Sending them off to a loft or a race is POOR management not the clorine. If there is not a health regiment in a one loft race, they will kill birds with health issues. Only send your birds to a loft managed for health as you would your own.

  32. #34 by juan on April 3, 2010 - 12:50 am


  33. #35 by ARTEM on March 23, 2010 - 3:39 am

    I am not agree to use chlorine in water because it will destroy all good bacteria.

    Apple cider viniger or whey is good.


  34. #36 by Melvin Knight on March 22, 2010 - 1:18 pm

    In my opinion the only use for chlorine in the loft is to clean (disinfect) your water containers or feeders. I also use bleach as a spray once yearly as a disinfectant after I clean my nest boxes and perches in early spring before breeding. Chlorine will destroy all good gut floral bacteria as well as pathogenic (harmful) bacteria. Thus upsetting the proper balance and function of the digestive tract. Further compromises the birds immune system which leaves them open to numerous disease causing Bacterial organisms. Tjher are many alternative means to promote the population of friendly useful bacteria that promote good health to your birds ie. Acid pac 4- Way , viniger, probotics and prebiotics, whey, and a host of other natural occuring comodities on the market. All the best to you in the Sport.
    Brite – Knight Lofts
    Carvel, Alberta

  35. #37 by Karl on March 20, 2010 - 10:07 pm

    Hi all,
    I would expect the bleach in the drinking water, perhaps the biggest highway by which microbes of all sorts travel from pigeon to pigeon through “backwashing”, tends to keep this water relatively clean of microbes. I would further expect that the bit of chlorine in these 30 ml of water will be neutralized quite quickly by the feed in the crop and very little if any reach the digestive system.
    I don’t use it because I prefer to make the drinking water of my birds acidic. This allows the acidophilic bacteria like lactobacilli to enter the digestive tract while discouraging others such as salmonella from swimming along.

  36. #38 by Gwilym on March 16, 2010 - 11:46 am

    Gwilym :I know of old timers using bleach in the birds water , but in my opinion why distroy the good bac.and then try to build it up again dosent make sense to me.I have a collection of 16 different spesies of wild doves from all over the world which are kept in open averies with soil at the bottom which has to be cleaned and disinfeced regulary.I disinfect useing 5ml bleach to 5 litres water once a month . But every day the the poep is being cleand up in all 20 averies .I beleive sucsses is a good mixture of seeds clean water, apple cider vinegar,fresh garlic,grape seed oil, peanut oil as supplements is enough.Salt and condies crystals in the bath water with sulpher of flowers and charcoal with sea shell as grit and the old broken clay brick does the trick .For the protein they have meal worms and live ants which is dug out of the ground during the winter months.Medicacine is Medizole for wet canker ,7 parts terramycin to 1 part tylason and ivomecin for worms.I sell lots of birds to other collectors in different provinces and I have never had any comebacks.Simple but true just get to know the birds and clean them cagesGwilym Norman

  37. #39 by Gwilym on March 13, 2010 - 6:19 pm

    I know of old timers using bleach in the birds water , but in my opinion why distroy the good bac.and then try to build it up again dosent make sense to me.
    I have a collection of 16 different spesies of wild doves from all over the world which are kept in open averies with soil at the bottom which has to be cleaned and disinfeced regulary.I disinfect useing 5ml bleach to 5 litres water once a month . But every day the the poep is being cleand up in all 20 averies .
    I beleive sucsses is a good mixture of seeds clean water, apple cider vinegar,fresh garlic,grape seed oil, peanut oil as supplements is enough.Salt and condies crystals in the bath water with sulpher of flowers and charcoal with sea shell as grit and the old broken clay brick does the trick .For the protein they have meal worms and live ants which is dug out of the ground during the winter months.
    Medicacine is Medizole for wet canker ,7 parts terramycin to 1 part tylason and ivomecin for worms.
    I sell lots of birds to other collectors in different provinces and I have never had any comebacks.
    Simple but true just get to know the birds and clean them cages
    Gwilym Norman

  38. #40 by Scotty on March 11, 2010 - 3:51 pm

    I have been using bleach in the bird’s water ever since I came back into the Sport in 1996 and I believe that, as Anthony says, it KILLS any germs that are in your water. The bleach strength weakens after 20 minutes and if you give your birds their water a half hour after you prepare it? It should be fine.
    1 Tspoon to a gallon.
    I also give Hydrogen Peroxide in the water for the same reason, to kill any germs that may come from my Well.
    I use a little ‘dropper’ from the Pharmacy for this task as I used to spill more Bleach/Peroxide on my clothes and then you’d hear the wife yelling, LoL!
    Medical Personnel recommend using a ‘cap’ of Peroxide as a ‘mouthwash’ and to ‘whiten your teeth’ my teeth live in a glass of it at night, ha! ha! and I have the loveliest smile.
    I use the same formula with Iodine (Lugol’s) and I also add Lemon Juice and Apple Cider Vinegar at the rate of a ‘half shot glass’ per gallon, on alternate days.
    I NEVER have plain water in my drinker’s as, being on my own well? I wouldn’t drink it straight, why should my birds.
    What I do use twice a week and the Sunday after a Race, is Probiotic Yoghurt and I can’t remember the last time my birds were sick for any period of time.
    Young bird Sickness? had it once and used “Total Cure” $30+ and birds recovered quickly.
    I heard that YB sickness accelerates if you innoculate for ParaMixo’ too late??
    Any thoughts on that guys?

  39. #41 by Anthony L on March 10, 2010 - 9:59 am

    He’s simply disinfecting the water to eliminate transmission of the disease potential organisms. He’s not dosing his birds with high levels of chlorine/bleach – theres a big difference. Disinfection of public water supplies is recognised as one of the greatest public health benefits to mankind, by helping to eliminate disease causing organisms from water for human consumption (disinfection of water doesn’t kill the good or bad bugs in our stomachs, it kills most bugs in the water thats being disinfected). Some people add small amounts of iodine as a disinfectant to the birds water (eg sanichick – a comercially available iodine product widely used in the poultry industry) or condies crystals.

    • #42 by john on June 7, 2010 - 2:07 pm


  40. #43 by Jason Gelder on March 9, 2010 - 6:50 pm

    I am fairly new to the sport and was under the impression that Dr. Marx was one of the most knowledgeable authorities on pigeons. Since, reading this article, I can only think less of him. I will compare chlorine to chemotherapy, in humans. Obviously, there have been many survivors of cancer, treated with chemo, but it destroys all cells not just cancer cells. Chlorine, kills everything too. I use organic apple cider in my drinking water, which gives an acidic environment. It must be organic, the commercially processed cider doesn’t have the “mother” in it. This is a proven SAFE method that works!! I also scrape my loft daily, provide minerals, vitamins and occasional probiotics.

    • #44 by john on June 7, 2010 - 2:03 pm


    • #45 by terry downs on January 4, 2011 - 6:46 pm

      Doing the job right ATTBOY, your birds will be the better for it.CONGRATS for using you head and not following the crowd.

  41. #46 by Craig poido on March 7, 2010 - 11:10 pm

    i think bleach is a cheap way of keeping your birds healthy i personally swear by it and old flyer put me on to it years ago but once again each to there own its not only what you stick it there water you have to have a happy enviramont for them to live in the birds have to love home to me thats the big secret poido

    • #47 by terry downs on January 4, 2011 - 6:52 pm

      Back in the day the concentration was only around 1.5 I believe. If you look at the newer bottles it’s at 3.5 I think, a HUGE difference. What with all the other natural things you can use, why risk it? As far as cheap….. you then should give them a probotic, etc.Where does the additives end. Study a bit, Apple Cider Vinegar does the trick, and it won’t hurt your flying friends.Add a bit of garlic and good things happen.

  42. #48 by mike on March 3, 2010 - 5:20 am

    All you fanciers out there giving your birds chlorine/bleach I think you do your birds a birds a great diservice, just think all that work to build up a healthy gut flora then you destroy it all in onr foul sweep by giving your birds bleach…
    I use bleach & chlorine at home,bleach to mop the floor & chlorine in the swimming pool,that’s what their purpose is for. what I suggest is have a glass full yourself everyday and see what you think.on a final note i think quack doctors who write for the fancy recomending products with no clincal proof, with a risk of putting your birds health at risk are a danger and should not be published..
    enjoy your birds mike.

  43. #49 by joe kelly. on March 1, 2010 - 5:27 pm

    ive been around pigeons 50 years plus. ive also been away from pigeons for 15 now im
    back 3 years this season i would certanly use chlorine for cleaning around the loft
    floors perches boxes but never in the drinking water .every evening when my last feed
    is fed to my birds-itake 3 ltr containers fill them with tap water with no caps on them -this meens for me that the chlorine can avaparrate over night. when i came back
    to this sport 3 years ago i bought 3 differant familys of pigeons to start my breeding program my local fanciers lofts were havin a bad time with young bird disease i had no disease and i put it down to first using garden lime with some loft white on floors -boxes etc in the drinking water i use Bee-Propiliss this with cider vinager- some garlic honey 4 days a week -the 1day cleer water 2 days with herb plus honey and no sick birds so far–when i wash the fountains i then put them in microwave about 5 seconds then fill them with water there are crazy adds out there to buy there products forget them -please give theese remeds a try.

    • #50 by terry downs on January 4, 2011 - 6:54 pm

      Sounds like a good plan to me as well.

  44. #51 by Hugh on February 4, 2010 - 11:26 pm

    you have the formular wrong . it’s 2 talbe spoons of clorox to 1 gal. of water then take 2 table spoons of that mixture and put it into 1 gal. of water and give that to the birds .
    I have been doing this for 40 years. No sick birds.

  45. #52 by Jvn on February 3, 2010 - 2:09 pm

    I am quite new to pigeon racing, upon asking my avio dr yesterday on adding clorine to my pigeon’s drinking water he bluntly asked me: “do you drink half a cap of detol (human disinfectant for skin use only) a day to keep you healthy?” I felt it said it all!

  46. #53 by tenmon on February 2, 2010 - 12:46 pm

    I tried chlorine in the water for years, until I wised up. The ill effects of using chlorine in the water far outways the small benefits we get from its continuous use on our birds. Research, and there are many, is available on the net as to the adverse effects chlorine does to the body. Please do your homework.
    The use of chlorine sterilizes the bird’s system so that neither good or bad bacteria can flourish or exist. There is a reason why God, or nature, puts them there! Eliminating them both can never be good for humans or animals There is a balance that is needed in the system and when this is disturbed, the birds get sick. That is what you as a fancier need to find and fix so this balance comes back into play, be it the environment the birds are living in or stress that is placed on the birds. This illness that the birds reflect is like our indicator or barometer that something is not right. But we first reach for the quick fix, the bottle, without trying to find the problem.

    Chris is right. Hands down.

    Chlorine in the water also affects the digestive system, and all the other systems, such as the kidney, liver, etc. which can give rise to cancer, affect the aging process, etc. It also can bond with various vegetable nutrients such as B2, Vitamin E, CoQ10, etc. that can form carcinogens.

    Just to point out a few, ill effects from the use of this substance, should be eye opening enough for you to stop giving additional amounts to the birds and when using tap water, collect the water and let the chlorine clears from the collected water. Use chlorine as a disinfectant. If you need something that is natural and will not affect the birds good bacteria, use grapefruit seed extract in the water-GSE. Use Dr. Gordon’s recommendation, the acid pak, which acidifies the intestines and put good bacterial in the body.

    Appreciate the many feedback on the article.

  47. #54 by TARIQ MALIK on February 1, 2010 - 7:51 pm


  48. #55 by Morne on January 30, 2010 - 2:08 am

    If you dont have the money to buy expensive medicines and all sorts of disinfectants you have to look into your wifes kitchen cupboards and look whaqt you can use. I personally do not like to use it. I like to use it when i clean my watering and feeding trays.

  49. #56 by Gary on January 29, 2010 - 9:24 am

    I read and listened to both sides of the story on CHLORINE I am a second year flyer and had pigeons of all breeds since I was a boy I live in Windsor Ontario Canada I fly in a tough club as well as a hard course sick birds don;t make it home ! I have try-ed many things in my 15 years pigeon raising flying breeding and what have you in my opinion (1 Tea-sp) of Bleech every other day in 4 litters of water or 1 gallon of water will keep the flock healthy now if u use other preventitive systems for health I wouldn`t use the bleech
    bleech is just a cheap mans way of keeping a flock healthy !

    • #57 by arnold colastica dloneba loft on October 11, 2010 - 10:21 pm

      its better to research first if its good to the pigeon, for my own opinion take the place as a pigeon, if it not good to you then why you gave it to your pigeon. you drink first before your pigeon there is some not expensive product for pigeon for preventing sickness! tnx and more power..

  50. #58 by Old Timer on January 28, 2010 - 5:27 pm

    I built up a small flock of 40 – 45 birds fron two foundation pairs I bought to get started with many years ago. One of those origional birds showed up with canker after a few days in my loft. I did some research and decided to try a remedy I heard about from other breeders. Clorinating their drinking water! the information I came up with was somewhat varied in dilution strengths, but I setteled on this ratio for my own amature experiementation { 4 – 6 DROPs” per gallon of water! } Everything I could learn led me to believe that going beyond that solution strength was asking for trouble concerning the birds health, just as suggested in the article above – but chris is talking about “teaspoons” of chlorine, not drops! The end of my story is; in five years there in that loft, that was the only case of a sick bird I ever had. I’m not emplying that chlorine is the answer to all your bird health problems, but I am saying it is a worth wile remedy for some issues at least, but I can’t endorse that solution strength at all. I’m fairly confident that strength would kill pretty much any one, let alone a little bird.

    • #59 by terry on February 12, 2010 - 6:14 pm

      you have it right ol timer.a friend of mine called clorex about our consern and they told him 6-8 drops per gallon is all you would need.If you would look at an older bottle (2 yrs or more) you would see the strength of clorex has risen quite a bit.I believe it went from 1.5 to 3.2 % .


    • #60 by terry on February 12, 2010 - 6:26 pm

      My wife (the nurse) also said the Clorox comes in regular & concentrated form,Something to look closely at my friends.This stuff can kill don’t forget.


  51. #61 by Ismail Salie on January 26, 2010 - 3:29 pm

    Hi guys,i’m new to the sport. First of all i’d just like to thank everyone for all their valuable input its a great help especially to Chris which oneday i would love to meet in person. I’m from Cape Town and it’s very tough down here because a person struggles a bit recieving truthfull information from most fanciers esp. if you learning.Thats why i’m doing research on the net and in books to start my future in this sport.I think i might be a threat to them,lol.Dont have any pigeons yet,still busy with my loft which is almost done.I’m not that keen on the chlorine myself ,still need a bit of facts before i’ll try it.

    Yours in sport

  52. #62 by PigeonRacingFan on January 20, 2010 - 9:35 pm

    Kenneth Borg :

    Ive been reading all these comments of people giving bleach to their pigeons.I am not sure if it is good to use during the racing season so I would like to know if I can use it now.Here in Malta pigeon racing is exploding with new fanciers since the hunting season was closed in spring.Please I would like to receive an answer.Keep up the good work you are doing.

    Hey Kenneth,

    Honestly I do not recommend or agree with giving chlorine, bleach etc to your birds I posted my views on chlorinating pigeons drinking water at the top of the article.

    Hope it helps Ken and thanks for the questions all 🙂
    Yours in the sport,

  53. #63 by Kenneth Borg on January 16, 2010 - 1:36 pm

    Ive been reading all these comments of people giving bleach to their pigeons.I am not sure if it is good to use during the racing season so I would like to know if I can use it now.Here in Malta pigeon racing is exploding with new fanciers since the hunting season was closed in spring.Please I would like to receive an answer.Keep up the good work you are doing.

  54. #64 by Erinn on January 16, 2010 - 3:27 am

    Hi cris,at last i got time reading and post a comment..For me I’am using this chlorine/bleach as a cleaning agent in my loft.One day after I cleaned my loft some of my birds got to drink on a pail of water with the bleach.I worried alot what would happen to them,I monitored their conditions for several days.Luckily nothing happens…But i will still stick to clean water…I will conduct an experiment to other set of birds which are costless,I wont take chance doing it to my flocks…I love this hobby,game and the passion in it,eventhough I’am just a newby in this sport.Pigeon racing here in the Philippines is getting strong…

  55. #65 by Jack dillon on January 11, 2010 - 5:35 am

    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.
    Youtube jackdillon888

  56. #66 by David on January 9, 2010 - 6:39 pm

    “Miracle” may be a bit of an overstatement.

  57. #67 by Don Campbell on January 9, 2010 - 9:01 am

    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

  58. #68 by David on January 7, 2010 - 7:29 pm

    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.

  59. #69 by Derrall Avery on January 7, 2010 - 5:34 pm


  60. #70 by david rushforth on January 7, 2010 - 5:16 pm

    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.

  61. #71 by terry , area13loft on January 7, 2010 - 10:34 am

    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 ..

  62. #72 by John on January 1, 2010 - 2:09 pm

    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…

  63. #73 by carlos on January 1, 2010 - 11:25 am

    I have already tried that for a long time and I think your apsalutly right. Thank You.

  64. #74 by RYAN TOMILLOSO on December 3, 2009 - 8:13 am


  1. The Miracles of Chlorine « Pigeon Racing Pigeons - Dhiren Shah’s Blog
  2. Dr. David E. Marx D.V.M « Pigeon Racing Pigeons

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