freezing water in winter?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by campdirector, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. campdirector

    campdirector Out Of The Brooder

    25
    0
    24
    Apr 7, 2011
    Michigan City, IN
    Hey all,

    I am sure this question has been asked before but I am pretty new to BYC so here goes. I live in NW Indiana and just built a nice large coup for my critters. The past few years when the weather turned and it got reeeaaalllll cold, its coming next week, I had to trek out to the coop with a bucket of hot water to thaw out the waterers. I did this everyday...last winter in several feet of Lake effect snow. : ) A little background: The coop is about 300 feet from the house and has no access to electricity so heat tape or space heater is not an option. Any ideas on how to prevent the water from freezing or am I pretty much stuck burning calories walking out to the coop everyday? We have 2 pygmy goats as well in the barn next door so would like to apply ideas to them as well. Thanks for the help guys and gals!

    scott
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    9,279
    729
    321
    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    Boy, I hope you get some answers. I live in Va, so it doesn't get THAT cold here, but we get some wonky weather sometimes. And there's always a couple months of thawing waterers for me too. I've always assumed that was my only option. My coop is also a good ways away from our house, with no hope of electricity. I guess all I'm trying to say is I feel your pain, and you aren't alone. Those folks with electricity in their coops are very lucky. Maybe someone can offer some advice for both of us!
     
  3. oberhaslikid

    oberhaslikid Chillin' With My Peeps

    724
    4
    141
    Nov 5, 2008
    Ohio
    Well i am in the same boat, I have carried water to my gaots and chickens for years. I leave the cat litter jugs filled with hot water in a cooler at my barn.
    The cooler helps keep the water from freezing over nite. I then top the water off each morning.
    I use for my goats a couple old tires filled with straw in the bend of the tire.I place a 5 gallon bucket in the center of the tire and fill with water. It helps
    to keep the water from freezing.You may have to break the top but it helps.
    Now you could also do the same for the chickens with an old lawnmower tireor a 4 wheeler tire and smaller bucket or container.
    I may try filling the tire with thespray foam placing a 2 gallon bucket in the center for the chickens.
     
  4. riverpie

    riverpie Out Of The Brooder

    49
    1
    34
    Nov 6, 2010
    I would probably get 300 feet worth of good outdoor extension cord and if you have to buy several, then use electrical tape where the connections meet and somehow prop the areas where the connections are up where they won't be under water or snow during the winter. Hook one of those heated watering dispensers up and there ya go. We use one for our dogs and it supposedly only cuts on when the bucket is at freezing. It works great and has been a life saver dealing with the frozen water for our dogs. We wouldn't ever deal with breaking up the water anymore after using one of those for the dogs. We got ours for the dog at TSC. We only needed the one 50 foot extension cord but we do hang the connection part of it on the fence so it's not submersed on the ground. They are made for outdoor so you probably won't need the electrical tape but we just feel it's safer keeping the connections off the wet ground for extra safety.
    I'm probably going to get one on the heated watering dispensers for my chicken this winter. I've seen them online but I haven't decided which one to buy yet.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  5. Me & Jack

    Me & Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

    395
    8
    123
    May 31, 2009
    NC
    I leave the cat litter jugs filled with hot water in a cooler at my barn.

    Wow! Did I write that??? There are four white cat litter jugs beside my paddock gate right now!! [​IMG]
     
  6. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Chillin' With My Peeps

    519
    17
    131
    Mar 2, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    My first winter with chickens, and although I have electricity and heated dog bowl as backup, here's a solution for no electricity I have used to water other livestock. Use a thick Fortex rubber bucket filled to brim with warm water to start. Tuck into warm corner and further insulate using imagination. I have a $25 SnuggleSafe microwaveable dog heater for my dog, who no longer needs it, which you heat for 6.5 mins in microwave and it stays 55 degrees many hours. That goes under stabilized bucket. Top off with warm water as needed. Since chickens shut down at dusk, take bucket to house warm up for next a.m. If water ever freezes up, easy to kick out of the rubber buckets. Fresh produce can also help keep birds hydrated.
     
  7. campdirector

    campdirector Out Of The Brooder

    25
    0
    24
    Apr 7, 2011
    Michigan City, IN
    thanks for the ideas all. The idea of running the elctrical cord out to the barn did occur to me but forgot to mention we have really screwy electricity and if I tried to do that it would pop my circuits. It is several thousand dollars to fix so prob. won't being doing that any time soon. I really like the tire idea! I also have many cat buckets just lying around so may try that as well. Thanks again everyone!
     
  8. blueseal

    blueseal Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,218
    42
    231
    Jul 3, 2008
    WALDOBORO MAINE
    i just carry water down twice a day on the real cold days. no electric in the coop here either.
     
  9. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    5,493
    60
    268
    Mar 28, 2011
    MN
    Quote:This sounds good. They don't drink at night. Maybe filling up with warmer water would help too, takes longer to freeze. Good luck.

    They do make heated animal dishes, I can't imagine it would use a lot of watts to run.
     
  10. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,788
    29
    188
    Sep 27, 2010
    Colorado
    Quote:This sounds good. They don't drink at night. Maybe filling up with warmer water would help too, takes longer to freeze. Good luck.

    They do make heated animal dishes, I can't imagine it would use a lot of watts to run.

    Actually warm water freezes faster...there is a link, not sure where though, its a chemistry thing!

    I have a heated dog bowl in my coop, NO added heat, -29* so far this winter in southern Colorado...we carry out water in the AM for the rabbits and refill the dog bowl if it is dirty...
    really no way around it unless you want to run an extension cord all that way....
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by