Freezing Water Heated Waterers not an option.... HELP

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Tripp16, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. Tripp16

    Tripp16 Songster

    May 26, 2011
    North Carolina
    Ok so by the time I get out to the chickens all of the pens are out of water! Because of the fact that its freezing and not thawing....

    I wanted to invest in heated waterers but there is no possible way of running electricity down to them. To far for a drop chord.

    They are all fine other than the water freezing and my poor silkies are pecking at the frozen water in the container every morning!

    Any help is appreciated!

  2. AlienChick

    AlienChick Songster

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    I'm in the same boat as you.

    I get up in the morning and fill up a water jug with HOT water to take down to the coop.

    They have several waterers and some I can pour the hot water in to and it will thaw; others are rock solid.

    So I am always filling up pots with water for them. I just make several trips a day to make sure they have water (and not ice).

    For one of my coops in the pole barn I can run an extension cord, so I have a small appliance light bulb on the end of a lamp cord. The bulb sits inside the hole in the cement block and the waterer sits on top. It keeps the water from freezing.

  3. Tripp16

    Tripp16 Songster

    May 26, 2011
    North Carolina
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging 8 Years

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Three options.

    Use dark colored waterers and make sure they are exposed to sunlight yet out of wind. Does not guarantee liquid water all of time but increased availability.

    Supplement diet with fresh green plant material which can include items like pumpkin. Even though frozen it is easier for birds to meet water needs than by chipping at pure ice.

    Chickens can meet water needs by drinking fill once daily.

  5. It's a bit hard to answer with any degree of accuracy since the weather varies so much across your location, (United States isn't much of a hint.) but here it goes:

    Southern states: For the most part you'll just need to break the ice off in the morning. Chickens sleep all night anyway so...

    Central states: Same story except you may have to break the ice two or three times a day.

    Northern states: Get a small, inexpensive battery charger, two or more deep cycle batteries or a single battery with a solar charger and a small bilge pump to keep the water circulating. Moving water is a lot harder to freeze.
  6. csummer8882

    csummer8882 Songster

    Apr 20, 2011
    Rockingham County, NH
    I have a 5 gallon metal one that freezes everyday and a small plastic chick waterer inside the coop the usually freezes as well. I lug the small plastic one back up to the house and put it inside the tub. I run hot water on it for a few minutes till it thaws then open it and get all the ice out from the inside of it then fill it with nice warm water and bring that down. Now that I thawed it, it seems to last longer so I just refill an old soda bottle with warm water a few times a day and bring that down to refill their water during the day. Good luck! [​IMG]
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member 7 Years

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I made a cookie tin waterer, and it freezes some even with a 60 watt bulb. However, my $25 heated dog water bowls haven't frozen yet. They could be run off a 100 ft. or longer electric cord from your house. Only drawback is they only hold 1 1/2 gallons, so they must be filled twice a day. I like to have 2 in use in case they kick shavings into them.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012

  8. Stacykins

    Stacykins Crowing

    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    I provide my chickens water in a big black rubber pan once a day (twice if it is especially bitter and the water freezes quickly) of room temperature water. Hot water is more likely to freeze solid, look up the Mpemba Effect. All I do is kick the ice block out of the rubber dish from the previous day, refill, and the chickens all know to drink up right then! Usually they keep a water hole open if a thin crust of ice forms on the surface of the water, they continually drink from one spot and it is like their little ice fishing hole.
  9. csummer8882

    csummer8882 Songster

    Apr 20, 2011
    Rockingham County, NH
    I know but somehow, it makes me feel better if they have something warm in their bellies on the bitter cold days. [​IMG]

  10. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Songster

    Sep 2, 2011
    New Hampshire
    I sort of do the same as stacykins and I am in the Northeast. I have 2 of the hanging waterers and was alternating during the day, but realized they freeze quickly. I bought a large black bowl from the feed store and it does not freeze up nearly as quick as the chicken waterers. My water is in the run, so when I shut the coop door for the night the water comes in with me, I clean and get ready for the morning. When they are in the coop, they go to roost and dont seem to eat or drink, so I figured this works and they seem fine.

    We have had a mild winter thankfully, but next winter I will probably consider a heated dog bowl set up.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by