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How can I winterize this nipple waterer? - Page 2

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Rain refill is a big deal for me. If I added standard rain gutters and ran one of those flexible down-spouts into the top of the bucket, would that increase the chances of the bucket contents freezing?

 

I guess if there is water flowing through the gutters I don't have to worry about that part freezing - maybe I could run thin, flexible 1/2" vinyl tubing from the gutters into the bucket?

Starting over in a new, more chicken-friendly city
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Starting over in a new, more chicken-friendly city
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post #12 of 14

I installed a DIY system using PVC pipe with nipples several months ago. It has worked well to an extent, though the hens spill a lot of water when drinking. It is still quite worthwhile because at least the water is always clean. Now, to address the point at hand: keeping the water from freezing. I recently purchased a fifteen foot electric pipe heating cable and wrapped the pipe all the way to a five gallon bucket which is on the other side of a partition. The cable has a thermostat and turns on and off when needed. So far it has kept the water from freezing. However, the lowest the temperature has dropped is somewhere near 26F. Colder temps are expected in the coming week so I will post a followup. Here is a pic taken before I added the heat cable.


Today I set up another DIY heater for the younger hens in the second partition. I made it with a concrete block, scrap wood, etc. The light bulb is only a 40W, but it is one of the larger round ones. I tested it the other night on my front porch with temp about 28F. It didn't freeze so I put it together and installed it today. When the temp drops I will find out how well it works also. Now, these two systems are both dependent on having an electrical supply. My problem is my water supply is about 150 foot away. I have hoses running to the coop, but will not be able to use them in freezing weather.

 

 

The light is away from the plastic so I don't believe it creates any hazard. The wiring goes directly into the partition so the chickens can't get to it. The container is secured by the boards in the back and a restraining twine around the front. Makes a pretty neat nightlight also.


And I had to have my lawn tractor tires filled with liquid and add wheel weight and chains to help insure that I can fill my two 6 gallon water containers and make the 100 foot+ trip to the coop, which is down a pretty good grade. I don't know if I have answered any of the questions, but thought I would express my plan of action. Will follow up as the nights get colder.

post #13 of 14

I have a phobia of fire...so light bulbs near pine shavings puts me off.

 

This is my solution  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/aarts-heated-waterer-with-horizontal-nipples

But it's much colder where I live....night and days on end below freezing.

 

@MedChicken what do you do about overflow from your rain water collection?

Ever have any problem with debris affecting nipple function?

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

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Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #14 of 14

I definitely will not argue a safety issue and if you feel it is such, don't even consider it. Personally, I believe the warmer I built is safe for us. The socket is attached to a board, surrounded by a concrete block, and contains only a forty watt bulb. Additionally, it is on a GFCI protected circuit and our coop is over a 100 foot from the house and any other buildings and surrounded by pretty much barren ground. I realize that this doesn't guarantee safety, but I think it is well protected. In addition to these points, we found out last night that it worked. The temp dropped to 15F, but the water never froze in either of the coops. One of the two has the aforementioned setup, the other has the insulated 15 foot electrical cable warmer, controlled by a thermostat. I still have to transport water to the coop, but I am doing that with a six-gallon emergency water container using my lawn tractor with liquid filled tires, wheel weights, and chains. Kind of feel like my planning has worked so far, but we haven't gotten any snow or ice yet, nor experienced extreme low temps or any extended periods of sub-freezing weather. Will follow up.

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