Afrodigh

Chirping
Oct 12, 2017
45
47
69
Tennessee
I was so proud of the waterer I built from a bucket, PVC, and chicken nipples this summer (similar to this: http://americanpreppersnetwork.com/2012/06/how-to-diy-chicken-nipple-waterers.html)- and then winter weather came:hit. The chicken nipples are downward facing ones and they are freezing almost daily.

I live in Nashville which is fairly temperate, but this year it's gotten cold FAST! Tonight we are dropping to 19 (and it's still November):( so who knows what the rest of the winter holds.

I have been filling their old waterer each morning, dumping it out each night, and repeating. The whole reasoning behind making the big waterer was to decrease trips to the coop and make it easier for people to watch them while we are gone. We will be gone for 6 days over Christmas so I'm trying to trouble shoot a new waterer to use during the winter for them - something that a house sitter wouldn't need to empty/fill twice a day. :th

Electricity is not any option - the coop is on the back of our property and an extension cord would need to be massively long and would have to stretch from our upper level porch down to the back corner of our yard which seems impractical and dangerous.

My plan currently is to take a new bucket and install side-mount chicken nipples (https://www.amazon.com/Horizontal-Side-Mount-Poultry-Nipples/dp/B00JXUAD0K) directly to the bucket without using pvc. I've heard the lateral nipples don't freeze as easy. I'm also considering putting a solar powered pump inside the bucket (something like this: https://www.amazon.com/LATITOP-Subm...5400&sr=1-4&keywords=solar+powered+water+pump) to keep the water from freezing. Also, maybe I'll spray paint the bucket black for heat absorption or wrap it in something insulating? Or maybe use an old igloo cooler instead of a bucket?

What are ya'll's thoughts? Anyone tried something similar? :idunno

Any advise is much appreciated, this is my first winter with chickens (in case that wasn't obvious :lol:).

(Context: this is for 3 hens that are contained to their 4x10 run all day. I am considering getting 2-3 more birds next spring. Both their feed and water is in their run and they have an elevated coop that they sleep in at night).
 

cavemanrich

Addict
7 Years
Apr 6, 2014
16,525
55,504
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Melrose Park Illinois
Without electricity, your options for success get slimmer. The horizontal nipples are great, but most peeps that have then on their water supplies, also have a stock tank heater inside water container.
You may have to re-evaluate the possibility of biting the bullet and get a few long extension cords for temporary use/installation. (especially your Christmas vacation getaway)
Read this thread on suggestions for keeping water from freezing.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/how-do-you-keep-your-water-from-freezing.1211388/
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, :highfive:
 

CanadaEh

Songster
May 31, 2018
370
647
176
Canada
I currently have a jug with a bottom mount nipple sitting in the window facing south (so it warms up from the cold night on sunny days). It would still freeze solid when we had 10 below freezing a few days in a row.

I am not sure how much solar powered circulation pump without heat would help in your situation - the supercooled circulating water might still freeze at the nipple.
 

blackdog043

Crowing
Feb 19, 2017
2,334
3,855
396
SE PA
How far is your coop from the outlet, is it a GFCI outlet?
I use horizontal nipples in a bucket, but like caveman said, I use a 250 watt stock tank deicer inside my bucket and don't have any problems with freezing. I run this extension cord from a GFCI outlet to my coop.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,203
126,253
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SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Has anyone used
pipe heating cable? I’m wondering if that would keep the PVC warm and the nipples from freezing?
Your first link did not work for me...so I don't know what your PVC waterer looks like.
If you have power (to run pipe heating cable) there are better options....
...and horizontal nipples are the way to go in all temps, IMO.

This is what I use all year round, adding heater and insulation in winter:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/aarts-heated-waterer-with-horizontal-nipples.67256/
 

Afrodigh

Chirping
Oct 12, 2017
45
47
69
Tennessee
Your first link did not work for me...so I don't know what your PVC waterer looks like.
If you have power (to run pipe heating cable) there are better options....
...and horizontal nipples are the way to go in all temps, IMO.

This is what I use all year round, adding heater and insulation in winter:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/aarts-heated-waterer-with-horizontal-nipples.67256/
Thanks! I wish I had done more winter research before building my first waterer...

I don’t have power in the coop and it’s at the back of my yard, but at this point I don’t think I can avoid having to run an extension cord out there.

I’m in Nashville which isn’t too cold, but we had a solid week in the single-digits last year and it’s been unseasonably cold this November so I want to be safe rather than sorry!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,203
126,253
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Thanks! I wish I had done more winter research before building my first waterer...

I don’t have power in the coop and it’s at the back of my yard, but at this point I don’t think I can avoid having to run an extension cord out there.

I’m in Nashville which isn’t too cold, but we had a solid week in the single-digits last year and it’s been unseasonably cold this November so I want to be safe rather than sorry!
What I did, before I had the heated waterer is to have two 1-gallon open gravity waterers, and I'd just swap them out every morning.
Got snow down there? A bowl of snow in the coop can work for 'emergency' back up water. Mine still love to eat snow despite the heated water in the coop.
 

Afrodigh

Chirping
Oct 12, 2017
45
47
69
Tennessee
Your first link did not work for me...so I don't know what your PVC waterer looks like.
If you have power (to run pipe heating cable) there are better options....
...and horizontal nipples are the way to go in all temps, IMO.

This is what I use all year round, adding heater and insulation in winter:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/aarts-heated-waterer-with-horizontal-nipples.67256/
Is there a reason in your winter waterer design you opted for an aquarium heater over a de-icer? I’m trying to figure out what would work best. What are the pros and cons of each for safety/energy-efficiency/etc?
 

MANNA-PRO

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