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heating the waterer in the wintertime

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickenrabiteer, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. chickenrabiteer

    chickenrabiteer Hatching

    Jan 21, 2013
    i have an autowater for my chickens and rabbits, however it always is getting frozen!

    anyone know how i can keep the water unfrozen in canadian winters, (up to -20˚C -rarely-)?
    i won't be able to check on the waterer for up to two weeks at a time sometimes, so something that lasts?

    and for the chicken waterer here https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/automatic-watering-system-no-hose-attached does anyone know if i put a heater in the bin and wrapped the tubes with heated pads, would the water stay thawed in the winter?? thanks!![​IMG]

    P.S. they are doing great so far and i have had plenty of babies! :D im so proud of them! :D

  2. kichohana

    kichohana Songster

    Dec 28, 2009
    Johnston County, NC

    I'm concerned about your comment "i won't be able to check on the waterer for up to two weeks at a time sometimes". Does this mean you don't look after your chickens on a daily basis? I can not imagine NOT checking up on the health of my birds at least ONCE a day. How would you know if something has gone wrong? And if you're referring to not checking on your waterer for 2 weeks - is it not near the chickens?

    As far as water staying thawed in winter, I switch to a heated dog water dish in the winter. My girls assimilate to it rather quickly from their regular waterer. I check it daily to make sure there is clean fresh water available. This one:
    The rest of the year I use a 5 gallon bucket with a pvc pipe attachment with cups. I am only watering 5 hens.

    I'm not sure about their safety, but some use aquarium heaters in their auto waterers. I don't think this method would keep the water from freezing in the attached poultry drinkers (cups or nipples).

    I would be concerned that if you "wrapped the tubes with heated pads" this would be something your hens would peck at and eat - as you know how investigative they are about new things. I tried foam insulation ONCE... until I saw all the little holes they pecked in it!

    Don't know if any of this is helpful...
  3. Brewsterhens

    Brewsterhens In the Brooder

    Dec 29, 2011
    I am concerned too! Esp. in the winter. I have heated waterer but check it a few times a day to make sure it hasnt frozen, power outtage or whatever.. the heater I use is one that I think I learned about here...it was a DiY using a metal lunchbox ( cookie tin, etc) and an old lamp assembly, it works great. Just google it, and then you put the waterer on top of the contraption.
  4. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    The weak place is the hose connected to the drum. Being small of mass and with little to no water movement through the hose, the water will freeze in the hose.

    I use a bird bath heater in my water bucket. It is self-contained, bullet-proof. Plug it in and toss it into the bucket. It comes on at 35 degrees F and turns off at 45 degrees F.

    The dog's water bucket is frozen solid, but the chickens have water in theirs.


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