Giving water twice a day - no heating

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by FoxRiverRat, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. FoxRiverRat

    FoxRiverRat Out Of The Brooder

    37
    2
    41
    Feb 5, 2016
    Hi all,

    I thought I had a great solution to heating water. needless to say the 1st attempt at this battery powered water heater failed, and I need to rework it. in the meantime, If I give them water at 7 a.m. and again at 6 p.m. Will that be ok? I figure the water will take a bit to freeze, so say it freezes by 9 or 10 a.m., they'll at least get a good drink in the morning. then have to wait until I get back from work. Will they be ok with this arrangement? I pretty much have no choice with the complications I ran into. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    20,340
    3,441
    401
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Warm water will take longer to freeze. And placing the waterers in the sun will help keep them from freezing before you get back home. By 6, it's already dark in a lot of regions, so the birds may already be cooped up.
     
  3. FoxRiverRat

    FoxRiverRat Out Of The Brooder

    37
    2
    41
    Feb 5, 2016
    Hi Junebuggena,

    Yes, the chickens will be in the coop for the night at 6 pm, but I have a waterer in there for them too, so I can put drinkable water in there every day when I get home. Just not sure if that stretch of time without water is too long. thanks for the reply
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    20,340
    3,441
    401
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    The thing is, when they go to roost, they don't come back down for a drink. That means that they won't actually drink the water you give them in the evening. A waterer that sits in the sunshine all day long isn't likely to freeze up completely. Another trick is to put a ball in the space where they drink. The motion of the ball floating will help keep the water moving, taking it longer to freeze.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. FoxRiverRat

    FoxRiverRat Out Of The Brooder

    37
    2
    41
    Feb 5, 2016
    ah, gotcha. I didn't know once they roosted that was it for the night lol. good to know. Ok, so then that is rough to basically have water for 3 hours a day... yikes!

    good thought with the ball. I'll have to do everything I can, until I get this battery system working.

    thanks!
     
  6. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,210
    444
    231
    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    I used 200' of extension cord to power up my fount heater (Cookie Tin heater), with no problem at all. Just ran it out over the ground. Through rain, and snow. Did this through two winters, until I ran electric out to the coop.
     
  7. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,207
    404
    151
    Feb 18, 2016
    Missouri
    Here is a concept I've been kicking around for an electricity free, freeze free water deliver system. Basically, bury the water supply under dirt or a big pile of compost like this guy did:



    The modification I'd make is instead of a valve like he shows, just put an end cap on where he shows a valve and insert a horizontal nipple in the end cap. Bury about 4' to 8' of 4" pvc (or larger) water pipe as deep as need be to keep it from freezing. Or you could use a 55 gallon drum or even larger supply tanks like he shows. Just make sure they are buried deep enough the cold won't penetrate to them to freeze them.

    The end cap may be exposed, but may not freeze as the bulk of the water supply is buried and kept warm by either the compost, or simply the latent heat in the ground. This would not need to be "working" compost. Just dirt, compost or some insulating material to keep the water down deep from freezing. To fill the pipe, install a "T" in the system and extend a vertical riser with a cap on it. Put a hose in that and fill it or pour in your water with a funnel.

    We had stock tanks like this years ago. They were concrete and the majority of the tank was buried into the pond dam, leaving only a small hole exposed for cattle to drink from. They never did freeze.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  8. FoxRiverRat

    FoxRiverRat Out Of The Brooder

    37
    2
    41
    Feb 5, 2016
    Hi JackE and Howard,

    Thanks for the replies! I hear to use Romex cord which is more suitable for outdoors, so I may do that. I just didn't want to have to trench it so was hoping for a battery operated system.

    Howard, the compost idea is good too, but let me ask a dumb question... Won't the out side spicket not work? I have mine currently turned off so pipes won't break, but I know one time I had tried to use a spicket in the winter and it was too cold for any water to flow to even make it to a compost pile....

    Thanks!
     
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

    7,281
    1,590
    356
    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Last summer we spent to rent a trencher a bury a water line to a frost-free hydrant at the coop, and this fall we MET CODE by burying an electric line to the coop. With 48 chickens to overwinter, and getting very tired of carrying water 150 ft. to the coop, it was a good investment. Also, not horribly expensive to rent the trenchers and make it happen. Consider actually pricing out the projects and see if it's worth it to you. I do have friends, home all the time, who take fresh water out three times daily all winter, and it's fine. I work and can't make that happen here! Mary
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,207
    404
    151
    Feb 18, 2016
    Missouri
    About how many chickens are you keeping, as in how much water are we talking about? I've got 10 and they won't go through 5 gallons a week. I could carry 5 or 10 gallons several hundred yards if forced into it. As for the buried pipe deal, my idea is to fill it now and then but have a reservoir in there that should last a week or two without needing to be filled. You just scale it up to match the volume you need.

    Hydrants? I have 3 outside freeze proof hydrants. Basically a pipe sticking up out of the ground with a hydrant head on them. The valve is way down deep below the frost line. Once you use the hydrant and shut it off, the pipe drains back down, so it never freezes. Outside hydrants on the house have valves that run inside the house, so when you turn those on, the valve area is inside the heated envelope of the house. They run, you shut them off and they drain. Leaving a hose hooked to them can be a big problem if the water in the hose does not drain away or allow the water in the hydrant to drain away. The water in the hose will freeze and it will work backwards into the house to bust pipes. I assume most modern houses work the same.

    If you don't have either of those two options, then you can always fill a bucket from a faucet inside the house. Kitchen sink? Laundry sink? Bathtub?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by