Black rubber bucket and nipples for winter water

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mrs. K, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I have no electricity to my coop, it is too far from the house, so I have always just used black rubber bowls in the winter. I found out my accident, if you have two bowls, and turn the one over, even on VERY cold days if there is sunshine the black will absorb enough heat, that the ice will melt enough to fall out.

    So this year, I took a larger two gallon black rubber bucket. I drilled two holes and inserted the vertical nipples. I put the bucket on the edge of a platform. Removed the water from my set up and checked a couple of times today. I was a little worried if they would catch on, but the third time I went down there, I saw an old red hen get a drink, then my broody mamma got one, and her little 2 week old chicks flew up and got drinks too!

    So the plan is see if the black walls and volume of water will be enough to keep more liquid water available. I will report back, as we are going from 60 degrees to close to zero or below by tomorrow night! I am a little worried about those chicks, but they are so quick they are going to be darn hard to catch.

    Mrs. K
     
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Nov 12, 2009
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    Ok, big temperature drop last night, low 20's by this morning, and dropping. The nipples did freeze up even though there was only a slush of ice at the top of the bucket. I did rather expect this, I dumped the water and set the bucket upside down, Very cloudy today, and blowing snow, so I went back to the black rubber bowl of water.

    I did not expect it to keep water liquid in these conditions. I am hoping that it will on cold SUNNY days. I will report back then.

    As a side note, I have an outdoor shelter that has a large piece of plexiglass facing south, I call it the sun porch. It is open mostly on the East and West sides. On sunny days it is rather amazing how much warmer it is under there. However today, is not sunny. When I went down this morning, my broody hen had her 2 week old chicks out and inside the sun porch. The young pullets she raised over the summer, were cuddled up close to her too. Only the old hen and rooster were in the coop!

    Mrs K
     
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I can keep the water liquid, but I can't keep the vertical nipples thawed. They are frozen tonight, but not sure how long they were frozen.

    What about the horizontal nipples do they freeze if the water in the bucket is still thawed?

    Mrs K
     
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I filled the black bucket with warm water yesterday, about a gallon and a half, got down to 9 degrees last night, and while there was an 1/2 of ice on the top part of the water, the water below it was liquid. I taped it with a large rock and added more hot water this morning.

    I have ordered and received the horizontal nipples and will install them this week-end. With the black rubber bucket, you really don't have to have a heat source.

    Mrs K
     
  5. MJB49

    MJB49 New Egg

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    Feb 24, 2015
    Hi I'm new to having hens. Right now they are chicks and are inside the house. I live in Ohio and I won't have any electric running to my coop. For the winter I thought a rubber bucket would be my best option. Did the horizontal nipples work better then the vertical? thanks.
     
  6. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Eastern WA
    Not sure if you tried them yet, but the horizontal nipples don't freeze as easily. They are just a better design. No water stays inside the nipple that could freeze, unlike the vertical ones. If the water inside the container is thawed, the horizontal nipples will work. The vertical nipples are nearly worthless for winter use, IMO. You can keep them thawed (with 70F water from an aquarium heater, a waste of electricity, IMO), but they dribble in use (they don't leak when not being used), causing the birds to get wet and creating a huge ice pile under the waterer. The horizontal nipples don't have the getting birds wet issue and they create a very tiny pile of ice compared to the vertical.

    For your situation, I would definitely try the horizontal nipples.
     
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    4,700
    1,321
    356
    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I have both vertical and horizontal, and if the night temperature gets below 20 degrees they both freeze. I try and dump it at dark, fill with warm water in the morning, and if it is sunny they will work most of the day, if cloudy, I am back to the black rubber bowl.

    MRs K
     

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