FROZEN WATER - What's the answer?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by del gallinero, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. del gallinero

    del gallinero Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 2, 2011
    What are the options for keeping water from freezing in winter?? I am going nuts with this issue. [​IMG] I bought a metal waterer and a metal base warmer from Tractor supply only to find out that you're not to use it with an extension cord, which was my plan because I do not have electricity to the coop. So my questions are: Is the extension cord definitely out of consideration due to fire hazard ? Just writing that warning on the instructions has made me stop before using it. I certainly don't want to burn down my coop or my house. Hasn't any company made a dependable battery operated water heater for those of us w/o electricity? Why not? If there are battery powered cars, why not a water heater for a coop? I haven't come across any threads that mention this, so I am guessing it does not exist. Does anybody know of one? If someone invented one, they'd solve the problem for a lot of people.
    So how do I deal with keeping water from freezing in winter? I saw a solar powered dish for 39$ but I don't know if it works. It says it has limitations, but has anyone tried it? It has to be outside of course, and on a cloudy winter day, well.... Please, please could someone say what is the way to handle this water issue for a coop without electricity? I am hoping that someone out there has had figured this out and will share the way to do this. Thank you in advance to all who have advice.
  2. fowlsessed

    fowlsessed Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 16, 2011
    east Tennessee
    I'm just thinking out loud here. What if you purchased a battery powered aerator for livewells? You could put it in a two gallon bucket and it would keep the water moving and maybe enough to keep it from freezing. I don't know if I should be posting this idea, it sound a little ironic. But, nevertheless I think I might just try it.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011
  3. un-named

    un-named Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2010
    does it HAVE to be outside? Keeping a bowl of water in the coop would help keep it unfrozen for longer, especially if you cannot run a cord and need to replace water 2 or 3 times a day.
  4. happytraylz

    happytraylz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2011
    Southern Maine
    I too have no power to the coop. I do run an extension cord for a warming lamp and heated waterbowl. Never had any issues with it. As long as the connections are off the ground and up where the chickens cant peck at it, I see no issue. But, if you figure out a non-electric way to do it, I'd love to hear it! My electric bill definitly sees the difference in having unfrozen water.. [​IMG]
  5. del gallinero

    del gallinero Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 2, 2011
    Quote:Well, no it doesn't have to be outside. Since the coop is unheated, I figured it is probably about as cold inside as outside, so I figured it was pointless to put the water in there, except for convenience. There will be a covered run and I was thinking that would be a good place, and it might be less likely to burn down the coop if placed there. I don't know, but that thing about don't use extension cord got me worried, since I don't understand what's wrong with using it. I also thought about using a bird bath de-icer thingy. THose are designed to use outside and I would imagine one would almost have to have an extension cord to use it in a birdbath. I
  6. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    So far I prefer to carry it to the coop hot and fill at the coop. I hang it inside the run. I got tired of the mess inside. Last year I did have nipple waterers inside but the still froze and didn't eliminate the morning trips to the coop with water.

    Not done yet though. I have two 5 gal buckets with nipples and will buy extension cords and hang heaters in them. I was and am considering wrapping waterers with heating pads. The hang in heaters are $30 ea. Heating pads maybe less. I hope anyhow.

  7. jenkassai

    jenkassai Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2011
    Is your coop insulated? We do not have heat in our coop, nor electric, and it seems to me that the chickens' body heat keeps the coop a little bit warmer inside the coop than the outside air temps. Not a lot, but when you are talking about water freezing it seems like that few degrees makes a difference. I have been surprised to find that the water in the coop is not frozen when it is freezing temps outside...granted we haven't gotten bitterly cold yet, but cold enough for water buckets outside to freeze [​IMG]
  8. del gallinero

    del gallinero Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 2, 2011
    Quote:Oh, i just re-read my post and your response and I realized that there might have been some confusion with my phrase about " it has to be outside".That was about the solar water heater. It can't be inside ( out of the sunlight) or it does not work. And in winter, when there is less sunlight, well, who can say how well it will work. I guess I will put a heated one wherever I can while keeping us all safe.
  9. CUDA

    CUDA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2008
    Use a rubber horse dish and bust the ice every day and put fresh water in. The horse dishes won't break even if you hit them with a hammer. The birds will get all the need after you change it every day before it freezes again. You can also implement soaked oats to get moisture in them as well.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011
  10. del gallinero

    del gallinero Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 2, 2011
    Quote:No it is not insulated. I was thinking of adding insulation if that would help. I've heard that their body heat helps. The coop is a pre-made thing 4x6 ft. and I have to do some adjusting to fix a couple of things. First, lack of high up ventilation.I learned from reading this site that that is really necessary even in winter. It's got nice summer ventilation with a window and a door, but I have to do some cutting to maybe put a vent in high up for winter esp. when it is closed up more. I will have four chickens , with however much body heat that number of chickens will generate. So until the winter's really freezing temperatures hit, I don't know which way it will go. I just wanted to have a plan for coping with frozen water before it happened. I will be at work most of the day and can't go out to refill it repeatedly before dark falls, which is around 5 pm. or so. I live in PA and it can get pretty cold for weeks at a time, certainly below freezing, sometimes in the minus range. Does body heat do that much when it's that cold, I wonder...

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by