1st winter with electric - Water solutions?

Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
6,004
17,129
817
Western Ohio
This is our first winter with chickens. We have an elevated (2.5' above ground) coop, behind a taller/ wider barn that shields the coop from the winter winds from the west. All eaves are open for ventilation (covered in HWC), as well as both sides of the upper part of the coop (which can be covered), and a window that can be opened or closed. So, ventilation on all sides of the coop. We are getting electric installed inside the coop soon. Since I've lived in this region, it has gotten as low as -17F at night before....with some stretches of time never getting above 4F as daytime highs. Of course, it could get colder than that, but would not be the norm.

So, my winter plan is to have the water inside the coop for extra winter protection and to ensure that the chickens keep drinking water. Should I also provide water outside of the coop? What is the best way to keep a quantity of water in the coop - open container or nipples (I have horizontal nipples I can put on a 5 gallon bucket, for example). Currently, they drink out of open container outside of the coop, that sits on the ground, but they used nipple waterers as chicks until they were about 16 weeks old. Product types (of heaters or water set-ups) you can recommend? thx.

Feed: Dry layer feed is what they get, with the occasional treat of wet layer feed. They also get some scratch occasionally. They normally are fed outside, but do I need to move feed to inside the coop for the winter? Our run is getting a partial metal roof soon (structure is going up over the next couple of weeks), but they always have cover under the coop and access deck - and I normally place their feed under the coop and deck due to the shade and rain protection.
 
Sep 24, 2018
217
500
101
Northern Illinois
This is our first winter with chickens. We have an elevated (2.5' above ground) coop, behind a taller/ wider barn that shields the coop from the winter winds from the west. All eaves are open for ventilation (covered in HWC), as well as both sides of the upper part of the coop (which can be covered), and a window that can be opened or closed. So, ventilation on all sides of the coop. We are getting electric installed inside the coop soon. Since I've lived in this region, it has gotten as low as -17F at night before....with some stretches of time never getting above 4F as daytime highs. Of course, it could get colder than that, but would not be the norm.

So, my winter plan is to have the water inside the coop for extra winter protection and to ensure that the chickens keep drinking water. Should I also provide water outside of the coop? What is the best way to keep a quantity of water in the coop - open container or nipples (I have horizontal nipples I can put on a 5 gallon bucket, for example). Currently, they drink out of open container outside of the coop, that sits on the ground, but they used nipple waterers as chicks until they were about 16 weeks old. Product types (of heaters or water set-ups) you can recommend? thx.

Feed: Dry layer feed is what they get, with the occasional treat of wet layer feed. They also get some scratch occasionally. They normally are fed outside, but do I need to move feed to inside the coop for the winter? Our run is getting a partial metal roof soon (structure is going up over the next couple of weeks), but they always have cover under the coop and access deck - and I normally place their feed under the coop and deck due to the shade and rain protection.
I would recommend keeping food and water inside for the winter. My chickens never want to leave the coup when it's in the negative degrees. As for waterers, I know TSC (Tractor Supply Co.) has some heated waterers that you can use. I would recommend open waterers for the winter, because the nipples might freeze. I don't know of any heated nippled waterers, but I could be wrong. The ones from TSC are designed for animals and I've never had a problem with them. They plug in and heat up the bowl, but they weren't hot to the touch. Aside from that, I have a heated metal pad to go under a water bowl, but that is a bigger fire risk.
 

Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
6,004
17,129
817
Western Ohio
I would recommend keeping food and water inside for the winter. My chickens never want to leave the coup when it's in the negative degrees. As for waterers, I know TSC (Tractor Supply Co.) has some heated waterers that you can use. I would recommend open waterers for the winter, because the nipples might freeze. I don't know of any heated nippled waterers, but I could be wrong. The ones from TSC are designed for animals and I've never had a problem with them. They plug in and heat up the bowl, but they weren't hot to the touch. Aside from that, I have a heated metal pad to go under a water bowl, but that is a bigger fire risk.

Thanks! I think the only heated nipple waters that I have seen are the ones that people have made themselves. We can elevate a bucket/tub of water if needed, with large paver blocks.
 
Sep 24, 2018
217
500
101
Northern Illinois
My nipples froze but all need done is push each one that frees them I use tank heaters like for a aquarium mine are horizontal also buy them off Amazon
Thanks! I think the only heated nipple waters that I have seen are the ones that people have made themselves. We can elevate a bucket/tub of water if needed, with large paver blocks.
That would be a good idea. The chickens can dirty up water really quick.

Another thing with nippled waterers is that, mine at least, have leaked and made a huge mess in my coup.
 

Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
6,004
17,129
817
Western Ohio
That would be a good idea. The chickens can dirty up water really quick.

Another thing with nippled waterers is that, mine at least, have leaked and made a huge mess in my coup.

This is one concern I have - water leaking in the coop. However, I would put some kid of tray under the waterer if I went with the horizontal nipples. Probably even with a bucket, and I should probably anchor anything I use to avoid it getting knocked over if there was some kind of a chicken disagreement!
 
Sep 24, 2018
217
500
101
Northern Illinois
This is one concern I have - water leaking in the coop. However, I would put some kid of tray under the waterer if I went with the horizontal nipples. Probably even with a bucket, and I should probably anchor anything I use to avoid it getting knocked over if there was some kind of a chicken disagreement!
I had a tray under my inside nipple waterer. It got straw and poop in it every day and I would have to empty a rancid smelling disgusting tray of chicken mess. If you did that, a bucket would be more ideal, b or something so that the chickens can't kick stuff in it.
 

MANNA-PRO

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