battery operated waterers in freezing temps

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by hammytammy, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. hammytammy

    hammytammy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2014
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    hi
    i do not have electricity to my coop. its about 100 feet upslope. i need to keep the water thawed without electricity.
    any ideas? im thinking a good sized battery setup.
    thanks in advance
    tammy[​IMG]

    (i do not want to run electricity)
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2014
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    There are a couple of things you could do - how many birds are you watering and with how many waterers? That will play into what would or would not be an efficient suggestion. Plenty of folks (myself included) have non-wired coops and have found lots of different ways to cope with winter watering woes.

    First thing to consider is that while having water available at all times is optimal, you can do just fine by providing good, drinkable water a few times per day - most easily accomplished with having two waterers for each station. To do this you keep one inside and one in the coop. 2-3 times a day you fill the one inside, take it out and trade it for the one that is outside - the birds have fresh water (fill it with warm water to give it the longest time before it will freeze up) and you can take the cold/frozen one in to thaw for the next rotation. Some folks take hot water out and pour it into the frozen waterer which melts the ice and provides water - but you have to be careful of the type of waterer you are using to avoid damage. This does require a certain amount of dedication, because you have to be willing to get up and out there in the morning to get water to them to quench the overnight thirst from the hours spent roosting and overnight hours.

    Supposing you want to have constant liquid water available - for small numbers/a waterer or two I would suggest a batter operated "bubbler" (air pump) sold for aquarium use -- the bubbling action will prevent freezing down to some pretty cold temps, buy a couple sets of rechargeable batteries and swap them out as needed. If the bubbler action is not sufficient to keep the water from freezing up, that would be the time to consider a heat element. I've never gone that far, so I'm not sure of what is available/would work best, though, but would start by looking into those items designed for small ponds, bird baths, etc.

    Another option to consider is solar power, but that can become quite involved unless you are fortunate enough to find an easily modified "pre-assembled" all-in-one type product vs. having to start trying to muck around with converters, etc. I've seen some pretty genius modifications where folks have managed to take the solar "collector" part of a pre-fab item and expand the wiring so that the collector can be mounted outside the coop with wiring running in to the light, heater, etc - you just want to be mindful of how you run that wiring to prevent your birds from getting ahold of it and possibly destroying the wire.
     
  3. hammytammy

    hammytammy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hey, thanks!
    no--im not good enough to try my own solar experiments!
    But, i love the bubbler. is it really true about keeping it thawed? and they come battery operated? hooray!
    i currently have 14 birds and expect to expand my flock to about a couple more- a diff breed quad.
    maybe i Would need 2 stations? even if they are both inside-.
    i also read, just last night, an article about turning any lamp into a battery op one.

    how many birds do you have--what kind?
    you mention "stations" and all- does that mean you have a lot?

    i am also considering a long clothes line or aviation cord to help me going -upslope- with small buckets or warm breakfasts[​IMG]
    itd help me keep balance and with a small bucket or bowl hanging on a hook it would easier,you know, ice, mud, sleet etc!
    do you have any experience with that type of contraption?[​IMG] bye for now!
    tammy
     
  4. hammytammy

    hammytammy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    holy crow!!
    i just looked up the bubblers you mentioned! TONS and all in a good price range![​IMG]
     
  5. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    About those bubblers...

    Moving water will not freeze, but also does not add heat the water.

    So.... are you now not giving your birds supercool unfrozen water?

    Seems to me that if it is 15 degrees ambient temperature, so will be the water, if not frozen.

    I'm no expert, but I don't think this will be good for your birds.
     
  6. hammytammy

    hammytammy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    good point Ron.
    so kinda like "super cooled" water. yeah doesnt sound good.
    im pretty picky about water. (i cannot stand nipples for my girls[​IMG]) mine like to gulp sometimes! (i think!)
    i will have to figure out a way to help it stay warmer.
    thanks
     
  7. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Considering they will gladly peck through thin layers of ice on puddles to get to the water below or drink out of the non frozen portions of various dishes, etc that have ice in them, the birds don't seem to have any objection - and these examples are for birds with warmer water readily available.
     
  8. hammytammy

    hammytammy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    another good point[​IMG]
    ty
     

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