Getting ready for cold weather

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by clwhite1012, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. clwhite1012

    clwhite1012 New Egg

    Aug 20, 2011
    Anyone have advice about how to keep water from freezing in the winter? My brother raises chickens and he mentioned having a heating pan or coils to put in a metal bucket. I would like to avoid running the extension cord out to the coop, does anyone know of anything that would help? Is there a battery operated device to put in the water bucket? or any other idea (wrapping insulation, breaking up the ice daily, etc...) I know it is still summer but I am readying the coop now while I have the time.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I don't know where you are located or what your set-up is, but I keep a black rubber dog bowl outside in the sun. With it being rubber, you can turn it over and stomp the ice out without it breaking. With it being black, it will take advantage of any sunlight for solar heating. Obviously that does not help much on cloudy days or if you water inside the coop, but on a sunny day, it keeps water thawed even down in the lower 20's.
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Depending on how cold your winter is, most folks in the mid-south just carry water daily. Their temps are consistently around 35+ during the day, with only the nights falling below the freezing point.

    For us, we have 3 months of below freezing temps, night and day, so carrying is OK, but it get wearisome. I simply use the heated dog dishes, the super large size and a small bucket sits in it nicely. It is quite a simple, straight forward approach. I may look into using a heated water font this winter, but most of the plastic kind of heated water fonts require tipping them over and filling from a plug on the bottom. No way in zero weather!!!!

    Apart from electricity, I think you'd have real issues drawing enough amps from anything other than regular current. Solar requires battery backup and still, the amps provided just isn't enough. Nights are very, very long in the dead of winter.
  4. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010
    not sure where you live, but I live at 8,000 ft in Colorado with sub zero, (-25*) winters, we have electricity in our coop (part of our barn), we use a heater base under the metal cold just carry water out every day, that can be a pain I guess its up to you, how far would you have to run the extension cord if you chose to do so? Is this a big issue for a few months?
  5. Kountreefok

    Kountreefok Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2011
    Graceton, MN
    We use big black, rubber feed pans--knock the ice out of them as neccessary and make sure they are full of clean, liquid water 2x a day. They don't freeze up as much in the coop as outside.
    For in between watering times we also provide dishes of snow for edible, solid liquid.
  6. top of the hill

    top of the hill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 20, 2011
    would something like a fountain bubbler work to keep the water from freezing... although then I suppose it defeats the "don't want to run an extension cord out to the coop" idea.
  7. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    I'm hoping to have my poultry barn built and finished before winter sets in. I plan havingi it electicity in it. That way I can keep it cool in summer, and warm in winter. [​IMG]

    ~ Aspen [​IMG]
  8. Weiden Farm

    Weiden Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2011
    we use running water. running water don't freeze.

    We have a 60 gallon barel underground with a pond pump that feeds the water up through a hose and than runs it through PVC pipes that go through the coop, then the rabbit hutch underneath the coop and then back into the barrel.

    During the summer, rainwater goes into the barrel and keeps it full - the last time i gave my ladies water was sometime in early February.
  9. leonphelps

    leonphelps Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2011
    Bucks County PA
    a bubbler would not work. it would make the water freeze faster. bubblers work on the principle that water from the bottom of the lake or ocean is above 32 and thus brings the heat to the top so the water does not freeze. in a bowl, you are surrounded by below 32 air.

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