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Frozen water

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Icechick, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. Icechick

    Icechick New Egg

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    Aug 26, 2016
    Hi I bought a house this summer that included 6 icelandic chickens and the water has frozen solid 2 times this winter.The coop is insulated and has a heat lamp.What can i do? I am a nature freak and know alot about animals but i have never owned chickens before.
     
  2. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2013
    Kalispell MT
    For water I use a plastic tote, horizontal nipples, and a stock tank deicer that is okay to use in plastic. It's gotten down to -22 and hasn't frozen yet. The water is kept outside in the run.

    A dry chicken is a warm chicken. Rather than trying to heat your coop, it's best to figure out how to get all the moisture from their breathing and pooping out of the coop. That means ventilation. I have two 1 by 3 foot vents under the eaves. I have a 2 by 2 foot in the back of the coop where there is no wind. Their pop door is open to the run year round. The sides of the run are covered in clear vinyl shower curtains to stop any breeze blowing on the birds.

    When you insulate a coop, seal it up, and then provide heat you are not doing your birds any great favors. The poop will stay moist and make ammonia. Your birds will have to breathe in that ammonia. That's not good for them.

    Also, heat lamps are just not safe. Already this year I have read about 4 people on these forums who have lost all or most of their birds to a coop fire. They were all caused by a heat lamp.

    Please read about what other members here do for their birds in winter. A member that come to mind is Blooie. It's even colder where she lives than where I live in NW Montana. She does not heat her coop. She also raises winter chicks outside using a Momma's heating pad.
    My grandmother raised canaries. She gave me all her canary books as I have raised them also. The books all talked about breaking the ice off their water first thing in the morning so they could get a drink. Chickens are much more hardier than canaries. Thank about it. If canaries and thrive in below freezing temperatures when provided a draft free but ventilated area, why can't a chicken?
     
    2 people like this.
  3. Icechick

    Icechick New Egg

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    Aug 26, 2016
    Eavry two weeks i change their bedding with wood chippings. They do not lay for two days after from the shock of brightness [​IMG] I thought that was enough to eliminate damp.
     
  4. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2013
    Kalispell MT
    How cold does it get where you are? It goes down to -22 F or -30 C here. The chickens do fine without heat. They do have a lot of ventilation because a dry chicken is a warm chicken. I really don't think opening the coop up once every two weeks is enough to keep the humidity down inside, especially since you are insulated and heated and probably have no vents. My chickens are outside every day. So far they haven't found it too cold to be outside. In fact, they hate being in the coop.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Dealing with frozen water is one of the biggest challenges chicken keepers in cold climates face. I've tried most everything to keep my chickens in fresh water in winter.

    At first, I tried stock tanks. Too expensive. Those tank heaters draw a lot of amps.

    Then I simply hauled the water jugs indoors every night and lugged them all back out each morning. But there were days when the water froze within a hour, and I had to replace it. Waaaay too much effort.

    The next thing I did was to assemble some cookie tin light bulb heaters. They worked fine, but they weren't up to the job of keeping water liquid all night long.

    Finally, I found the nearly perfect solution, and they also work splendidly year round. I bought some Bright Tap nipple watering systems that screw right into the spigot holes of 5 gallon Igloo water coolers. These keep water cool in summer and help keep it from freezing in winter. If your winters are as cold as mine, you will want to further insulate the tanks by wrapping a blanket of insulation around it. I slip a wool blanket bag over the insulation to keep the chickens from tearing up the fiberglass insulation. This has served me well, keeping the water from freezing even down to ten below zero F.

    The nipples will freeze when it gets extremely cold, so I bought a tiny nine inch by nine inch heating pad and secured it over the reservoir of the Bright Tap to keep the water there from freezing. But even still, occasionally I need to thaw out the nipples by dipping them into a small bowl of hot water. Once the chicken begin to drink, they remain unfrozen all day.

    So, select the method that fits your needs. You will come up with something with a little imagination.
     

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