1st winter with chickens---need help

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ashley12, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. ashley12

    ashley12 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 27, 2009
    When it gets cold this winter, i'm afraid my water will freeze everyday. The coop has no electric, and I don't want to run a chord across the yard for a heat source. I have a 3 gallon waterer that usually lasts for a couple of weeks. Are there any options, other than giving them fresh water everyday. Is there such thing as a battery powered heat source? It is a small coop so their body heat may keep the temp above freezing. I'm just not sure. This will be my first winter with chickens. Please help.
  2. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    How often are you below freezing? I would not recommend leaving the same water out there for weeks, anyway. Would you like to drink it, after it sat in a chicken coop for that long?? They are depending on you to care for them... Fresh water every other day, at least, is crucial. Good luck!
  3. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    Maybe you could get two waterers. One in your house that you fill with warm water to take out and swap with the partially frozen one in the coop. Then you bring the frozen one back inside your house to thaw out. Tomorrow (or later that day) you fill that one with warm water to take out to the coop to swap with the frozen one, which you bring in your house to thaw.
  4. Colored Egg Farmer

    Colored Egg Farmer Chicken overload

    depending on how many chickens you have i would suggest getting 2 smaller waters like quart- gallon. have one in the house and one outside. 3 gallons would make a big chunk of ice if it was frozen and would take a while for water to thaw. my chickens have ate snow before but i still keep fresh unfrozen water for them.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Sorry, it'd take a pretty big battery (deep-cycle, i.e. expensive) and you'd be having to recharge it all the time or wire up some pretty significant solar panels to it.

    Depending where you are in KY and what your coop is like, it is quite possible that you will not have to deal with the waterer freezing *that* much of the winter. I don't know whether your existing waterer is plastic or galvanized, but if it is one of the double-walled galvanized drinkers, DO NOT let it freeze period, as that can irreparably bust it.

    The simplest thing, frankly, is just to put a bucket of water out there during the day (does not have to be huge i.e. you don't have to lug gallons and gallons of water around) and in the morning either remove the frozen skim from it or if it's too frozen for that then upend it to thaw/drain and replace with a fresh bucket of water. As long as you do this -- ensure that they start the morning with liquid water -- it is ok for it to freeze overnight, as chickens do not drink in their sleep <g>.

    Beyond that, remember that a) larger volumes of water freeze more slowly than small containers, and b) you can make an insulated thingamabob to enclose the container or for it to sit on, or both.

    Good luck, have fun,

  6. lauraj2

    lauraj2 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 6, 2009
    Last winter was my first with my chickens and I had frozen water too... what a pain! My waterer is a 3 gallon double wall galvanized and it was really hard to unthaw, specially out in the snow etc. My husband went to the feed store and got me a " heater" for my waterer. It is electric and it's like a big upside down pan with an heating pad on it that the waterer sits on. Works great! Good luck:)

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