Battery operated water heater? Also... protein?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by gracejr, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. gracejr

    gracejr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2012
    My Coop
    Any chance one of these exists?

    This is the waterer I have in the coop.

    I currently do not have electricity hooked up out there. Chipping ice in that thing, especially with that tiny hole that gets blocked with ice... Not fun! Is there a heater I can use to keep the water from freezing without needing an outlet?

    Also, should I be upping the protein content during the winter? They get sunflower seeds as a treat, but otherwise the flock gets layer pellets, plus whatever table scraps. Not usually meat though, the dog usually winds up with the meat scraps. :rolleyes:
  2. hammytammy

    hammytammy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2014
    Windsor NY
    bump on the heater question
    (ps gracejr-is that new princess a terrible 2er now[​IMG])?
  3. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not trying to be funny, but have you thought about a long extension cord for winter use?

    Heat requires a lot of energy.

    Electricity is usually the easiest and cheapest.
  4. hammytammy

    hammytammy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2014
    Windsor NY
    speaking of "funny"
    i Love these stupid little things!

    well, Ron, i may end up with a cord.
    i dont like the idea of running on the ground. ice dogs tripping shorting
    these things go thru my mind, ill have to sort it out.
    ill need 125 feet to the back door or 175 to the cellar door near the box. id prefer that if i use a cord.
    id prefer one cord, but that might run my non-existent budget over the top!
    ive done a lot of learning about what my chickens need and have decided not to heat the coop.
    that reduces my energy needs to water management. i will probably not need additional light.
    about light--do you know if the light needs to be a certain type or spectrum? for the eggs?
    ive read that leds are cheap to run on batteries.

    OMG--i just checked out the posts youve made lately!! your pics are on the cement mixer thread!!
    too funny
    really nice setup Ron!!
    ty tammy
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014
  5. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wal Mart sells 80 foot cords. Tape two together, cheap electric for the winter.

    Be sure to plug into a GFI outlet for outdoor use.

    About lights, I posted this to another query:

    There are a lot of opinions on supplementing light to keep the chickens laying during time period where there is less than 12-14 hours of available daylight.

    My coop gets 16 hours of light 351 days per year.
    I turn lights off for 14 days to have birds go into a controlled moult late September .

    Having had to install electricity for the thermostatically controlled water heater, I took advantage and installed a lighting system.

    My system has two timers. The first is set to turn the lights on at 5am, off at 9pm.
    Power goes on, passes through a photocell, then to a 300 lumen LED bulb, 4.8 watts, in the coop, and 2 4.8 watt LEDs for the outside run.
    I light the run because I found the birds huddled outside the coop door in the dark one 5:30am morning...
    They have access to the run 24/7, as it is as secure as the coop.

    The lights are on only when it is dark enough outside to be necessary.
    The time on very closely mimics my Summer Solstice.

    The second timer is set to go on at 8:30pm, off at 9:30pm, a diffused 200 lumen LED 4 watt bulb.
    This low light allows the birds to settle in before all lights out.

    This system costs less than $5 per year to operate.
  6. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    I don't believe a special light is necessary for lighting the coop for egg-laying purposes. I've been using a 43w halogen bulb (60W equivalent to incandescent). I can't stand fluorescent bulbs and LEDs are still too expensive for my taste. It's on a cheap outlet timer that comes on at 5am and off at 8am currently. I will keep extending the time to earlier in the AM as the days get darker so they get 14-16 hours of daylight.

    Like Ron said, I doubt a battery system would do well for heating water, because heating uses so much electricity. And when the battery does go dead and the water freezes, wouldn't you have to charge the battery again and chip out the ice anyways? Unless you have two batteries, one always charging and the other in use, but that those batteries aren't cheap either. Or if you had a solar charging system for the battery, but solar systems are expensive, too!

    But if you're going to run a cord for heating the water, you might as well use it for the light as well. If you're worried about it getting damaged or shorted out by being tripped on, perhaps you might elevate the cord off the ground somehow.

    I know some breeds lay just as well with or without supplemental light. Our neighbor has a breed that does this, sorry that I don't recall the name right now.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by