Building a New Home and New Coop. What is the best setup for a water supply?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CVAN732000, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. CVAN732000

    CVAN732000 Out Of The Brooder

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    The owners of the company I work for are building a new home. We live in Northern Indiana where the Winter temperatures can drop pretty low to freezing.

    My question is, what is the best way to get water out to the coop? The coop will be located on the South side of the house, and about 20-30 feet away from it. It will have dual paddocks for rotation, so there will need to be a central water supply, or one in each paddock. My main concern is freezing pipes. We can run water lines from the basement of the new home out to the coop area, but how do you keep the pipes from freezing? How do other people do it? The owners are over 80 and it need to be the most maintenance free watering system possible as she wont be able to haul water out every day.

    We will be installing Chicken Fountains for automatic/continual watering, but could really use some tips and advice on how to accomplish this.

    Thanks for your input!
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Frost free hydrants, from the farm supply store. You bury water lines below the frost line and have hydrants in convenient locations outside. Go deeper rather than minimum depth; remember last winter! Mary
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You should be able to find out what your frost depth is for your area. That’s how deep the ground can freeze in your worst weather, not just a yearly average. Your county or city building codes should tell you what that depth is so maybe check with whoever approves building permits where they are. Your county extension agent should be able to find that out for you too. Like Mary said, go just a bit deeper when you bury your lines and set the frost free hydrant.

    I’ve got one of those frost free hydrants and it works well, but I find I have to pull the handle up all the way open or that valve underground will leak. That hydrant will get you water flowing into a bucket. I haven’t tried hooking it up to an automatic watering system. You’d have to be careful with that to make sure the suction doesn’t keep the hydrant form draining.

    Are you going to have electricity out here? If so, you can work up a heated automatic watering system that won’t freeze unless the electricity goes out. I haven’t done that, my winter watering system is to use black rubber tubs, set them in the sun, and stomp the ice out and refill them. There are all kinds of ways to heat a water system, cake pan heaters, electric dog bowls, heat tracing tape, various immersion heaters in tanks of water, and I’m sure many more. I don’t have any experience with those so I can’t give any advice based on experience. Just don’t start a fire and make sure all parts of the system are heated.

    Good luck!
     
  4. DaveOmak

    DaveOmak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    1 person likes this.
  5. CVAN732000

    CVAN732000 Out Of The Brooder

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    Definitely going to have electricity installed in the coop! I don't have any at mine, and I regret it. Thank you for the advice!
     
  6. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How many birds will she keep? Is the owner going to feed and tend to the chicken?

    If the flock size is small, the need for water should also be small, 1/2 to one gallon? Not much more than bringing feed to the coop. Dealing with frozen (or worst - burst) pipe and waterer are even more work. So keep it simple with waterer and warmer (homemade or store-bought) if the flock is small.

    Consider running electricity to the coop. 20 to 30 feet is pretty close. It will allow usage of water warmer and lights for production. I run electricity to the coop only in the winter with outdoor extension cord on GFI outlet. Keeping the consumption low (<1 amp), it has been effective.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  7. CVAN732000

    CVAN732000 Out Of The Brooder

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    South Central Michigan
    She only plans on 6, but she's a chicken lover, so I would say after the first year she would double that! She'll tend and feed to them, but she can't lift anything heavy. For that, the company groundskeeper and family will help where she cannot.

    Electric is definitely going in. More concerned with the water lines.
     
  8. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I made one of these and used it all last winter, worked great for me. I have 8 birds and could go three weeks without having to worry about water for the birds.

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/home...icken-waterer-zm0z13fmzhun.aspx#axzz3ANloUXGh

    I went a little further and placed a 1/2" piece of rigid foam on the bottom with holes cut out for the nipples then attached the bottom of the second bucket that was cut out, over the foam to keep the girls from pecking at it. I also wrapped the outside in more of the foil bubble wrap insulation. And on the inside I cut a 1" piece of foam that fits into the top of the water bucket itself to add insulation to the top. When the water is low and I go out to fill it the water is almost steamy warm.

    the fire hydrant spigot that others mentioned has been used on farms for many many years so as long as the pipe is deep enough you should have no problems with freezing
     
  9. DaveOmak

    DaveOmak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ONE MORE THING....... with the hydrant, you turn it on when you need water and then turn it off.... it will automatically drain to keep the water from freezing in the riser...... VERY important thing to do....
     

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