Chickens Freezing?

Geckolady

Songster
Sep 12, 2020
160
618
136
east central Arizona
Thanks!

It got really cold last night (around 12 degrees F) and this morning, Big Ben did not crow. By about 6:30 I ran out to check on them, and they were perfectly fine. They will be getting some warm oatmeal for breakfast, in addition to their feed.

OK, cold climate people, I have a question for you. :D I have been changing out their water several times a day because it turns into to ice. Is there some trick to keeping it warm that doesn't involve running electrical cords to the coop?
 

Geckolady

Songster
Sep 12, 2020
160
618
136
east central Arizona
Start in the video at 3:27 for some good info on "winterizing" your chickens...
(from Justin Rhodes YT channel) He has a lot of farm systems including chicken systems that could help you, I get a lot of ideas there. He has more current videos too.
I just subscribed to his channel, thanks!
 

21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
Premium Feather Member
Mar 9, 2014
21,559
88,894
1,542
Northern Colorado
Thanks!

It got really cold last night (around 12 degrees F) and this morning, Big Ben did not crow. By about 6:30 I ran out to check on them, and they were perfectly fine. They will be getting some warm oatmeal for breakfast, in addition to their feed.

OK, cold climate people, I have a question for you. :D I have been changing out their water several times a day because it turns into to ice. Is there some trick to keeping it warm that doesn't involve running electrical cords to the coop?
I use one gallon open water dishes. In the morning I fill partially. It ices over every 3-4 hours so I bring a gallon jug of straight hot out and add enough to thaw it. Lather rinse repeat. At coop closing I dump any remaining water in prep for tomorrow.

This morning (because I was busy last night and did not change the duck water that is 5 gallons and has a heater) I carried 10 gallons out. Yeah that was not fun. I won't put THAT off again.
 

M Brennen

Chirping
Jun 15, 2020
437
406
90
Northern Vermont
Thanks!

It got really cold last night (around 12 degrees F) and this morning, Big Ben did not crow. By about 6:30 I ran out to check on them, and they were perfectly fine. They will be getting some warm oatmeal for breakfast, in addition to their feed.

OK, cold climate people, I have a question for you. :D I have been changing out their water several times a day because it turns into to ice. Is there some trick to keeping it warm that doesn't involve running electrical cords to the coop?
This is a great question. I would also love to hear others thoughts. I currently use an electric cord to my coop in the winter and plug in a metal heated base. I do think it is pretty safe, uses low wattage, and shuts off when it gets above freezing. I would like to convert to non electric, but I am not home during the day to change out water containers.
 

21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
Premium Feather Member
Mar 9, 2014
21,559
88,894
1,542
Northern Colorado
I did see a post years ago where the poster was experimenting with basically a tiny green house sort of surround for the water station.

I presume it was to optimize any sun that was shining. Thing is....no sun=no heat to capture.

When I was working full time I did the water in the morning and 9-10 hours later as well soon as I got home I did the water again. No one died or acted super thirsty.
 

M Brennen

Chirping
Jun 15, 2020
437
406
90
Northern Vermont
I did see a post years ago where the poster was experimenting with basically a tiny green house sort of surround for the water station.

I presume it was to optimize any sun that was shining. Thing is....no sun=no heat to capture.

When I was working full time I did the water in the morning and 9-10 hours later as well soon as I got home I did the water again. No one died or acted super thirsty.
We have been lucky here in that our temperatures so far have stayed above 30 degrees F, but the cold is coming and yes, there has been no sun.
 

21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
Premium Feather Member
Mar 9, 2014
21,559
88,894
1,542
Northern Colorado
OK, I was keeping water in front of them 24/7. I'll stop having it in there when they're bedded down for the night. It would be nice if someone could invent a way to keep the water from freezing sans electricity.
In your coop I would recommend only having water in the run. Even in my big 8'x14' structure all water is OUTSIDE. I do not want any extra moisture in the coop.
 

Geckolady

Songster
Sep 12, 2020
160
618
136
east central Arizona
In your coop I would recommend only having water in the run. Even in my big 8'x14' structure all water is OUTSIDE. I do not want any extra moisture in the coop.
Thanks. They were scratching bedding into the water, and that corner was getting damp. If the weather gets really bad and they have to stay in for the day, I'll just use the tall thin waterer.
 

21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
Premium Feather Member
Mar 9, 2014
21,559
88,894
1,542
Northern Colorado
Thanks. They were scratching bedding into the water, and that corner was getting damp. If the weather gets really bad and they have to stay in for the day, I'll just use the tall thin waterer.
Mine go out even at zero degrees. Wind and cold they spend a lot more time inside.
How big is the run on your coop? Maybe an extension you can cover would be nice.

I built this tiny broody house and that run (roughly 4x6x2) held a tarp on top and snow/rain did not sag the wire.

IMG_20190830_124342.jpg

To open the run that lid is hinged.
 

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