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DH's plan for winter watering-- with pics

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by NurseNettie, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. NurseNettie

    NurseNettie Songster

    Feb 13, 2008
    Northern Maine
    DH worked on this design in his head until he had it all planned out. After finding that the chickens did best with a "dog waterer" that's raised up (keeps it much cleaner-- and they don't seem to scratch anything into it) he went from there.
    He doesn't want to use a heated base if he can help it, so he built a containment box, insulated, with a lightbulb inside- hoping to keep the water just warm enough that it won't freeze. The "coop" is in the back of the barn, and the watering box is in the barn as well. He's got a thermometer inside to keep a check on the temp, and will be starting with a low wattage bulb, and going up only if needed.. If it doesn't work, we'll go with the heated base-- which will fit -- but only if needed. We'll be monitoring it very often--- to begin with--- when DH is working in the barn, just to be sure there are no overheating issues.

    I'm sure it will be an all winter "test" to see what works and what doesn't. I might put together simple spreadsheet to gather some data- maybe to find out what "extremes" it works under-----
    So-- for all the data junkies out there---- any suggestions on what I should gather? I was thinking just simply keep track of the Outdoor temp, Barn Temp, wattage bulb and how long it needs to stay on, if at all and condition of the water-- basically-- ice present, no ice present ( or solid block of ice [​IMG] Any ideas would be great.

    Here's a few photos. Any questions, and I'll check with DH for specifiics.
    This shows where the fount sticks out of the opening.

    Here's the open side-- or back of box-- insulated with bulb and thermometer.

    Edited to add: This entire unit is outside the actual coop room--- It slides up flush to an opening where the fount comes through into the coop.

    The back==just held on with a bungee


    Inside showing the 2 waterers inside-- 1 will be available to drink from (left side) the other is the reserve bottle for quick changes--will always have a "thawed" bottle available.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2008
  2. tackyrama

    tackyrama Songster

    Aug 14, 2008
    Central Minnesota USA
    FANTASTIC! I have been coming up empty on the same problem. I live in Minnesota so we have extreme winters too. I just completed my coop/barn in Oct. It is the Fort Knox of coops with 6" insulated walls and a loft with hay/straw for insulation in the ceiling. So far it hasn't come close to freezing inside but we have had no 30 below temps yet! The one problem that has not been addressed yet was the frozen water problem and your great idea should take care of that.
    Check out my coop pages.
    Thanks again for the great idea!
  3. NurseNettie

    NurseNettie Songster

    Feb 13, 2008
    Northern Maine
    Quote:Glad you like it! I think DH is very clever-- he's always coming up with super ideas [​IMG]
  4. ridgefire

    ridgefire Songster

    Jan 8, 2008
    Northern Michigan
    Might have to steal that idea. I still have the water turned on out to the barn. But it wont long and I will have to drain the water line.
  5. I see you have protected the cord and allowed to protect from fire hazard. I think you're wise to test to de-bug it. Also it would be helpful if you could see if the light burns out- maybe a peek hole? This plug has 3 prongs, right?
  6. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    Could have used that last night...it got down to 7 here and their water was solid ice. Although we had the heat on in the coop so their coop water was good. It got down to 32 in the coop with one heat lamp running for the night. That is a 25 degree difference...not bad for an 8x8 coop.
  7. vicki2x2

    vicki2x2 Super Chick

    Feb 9, 2008
    Central Michigan
    I looked at heated bases, heated poultry waterers, and other set ups and went with heated dog bowls. Low cost to buy and to run. I did a search and found large ones (1 1/2 gal) for $16 each. I will let you know how they work!
  8. Omran

    Omran Songster

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    Very impressive thank you for sharing.

  9. jubylives

    jubylives Songster

    Mar 23, 2007
    Central Iowa
    Oh yea!! I like that and I know just where to add something like that to my coop. thanks for sharing. I think I have the materials my shed too.

  10. NurseNettie

    NurseNettie Songster

    Feb 13, 2008
    Northern Maine
    Quote:We'll be able to check on the bulb every time we change water-- just a matter of taking off the back. A little hole might be a good idea too if it becomes tedious, but with changing water every day- I think it'll be fine. Unless we're down there checking food, water and eggs-we won't be looking at it anyhow [​IMG]

    Plug is 3 pronged so we should be all set. Can't wait to see how it works in the long run!

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