How can I keep my girls water from freezing?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Chicken Bff, Nov 11, 2016.

  1. Chicken Bff

    Chicken Bff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in Missouri and am worried about my chickens water from freezing in the winter. I have a Farm-Tuff top fill waterer. [​IMG]
    It's like this one and I don't want to buy a $40+ waterer for 2 months of a year. I heard that if I put ping pong balls in the water it would keep the water from freezing because the wind would move the balls and keep the water from freezing. I'm not for sure how this idea would work though so I'm asking for your guys imput. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I am in central Missouri and deal with water freezing a lot. Short of adding heat you will not be able to keep it from freezing once temperature drops more than a few degrees below freezing. I use soaked oats as a hydrated feed that is easily chipped at even when frozen. During sustained cold events my birds only get liquid water twice daily and it really ups my labor. This year I will finally be using that dreaded water heating device you do not want to purchase so I can keep a group of hens in lay and really young birds grounds during the coldest part of winter. There is more than one type of water heater. Check out MFA and see what they have seasonally available.

    Also try crushed ice. My birds eat that readily just like they consume snow. Process slow but most of the cold winter day they do not have much to do anyway.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    How cold does it get? IMO, below 32*, the water is going to freeze, even if it is moving. Though movement may slow the freeze just a bit. We have a beautiful brook down the road, with a lovely little waterfall that is about 18" high. Every winter, that waterfall turns into a pretty ice sculpture, and the brook freezes solid. Either you set up an area that provides solar gain to help keep the water as warm as possible, and carry water out several times a day, or you invest in or make an electric waterer or heater to keep it from freezing. I use a 5 qt. heated dog bowl, and create a moat by setting a gallon milk jug full of water in the middle of it. The milk jug helps keep them from walking in the water, pooping in the water, and dragging their wattles through the water. This system serves 25 birds but my birds are on FF. If you use dry feed, they will drink a lot more.
     
  5. Chicken Bff

    Chicken Bff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was also thinking about using one of the dog water bowls but I was wondering how often I would have to refill it.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Depends on number of birds. Daily most likely.
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    It depends entirely on how much water they drink. How long does it take them to go through a gallon of water?
     
  8. Chicken Bff

    Chicken Bff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They go through 2 and a half gallons a every 5 days
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    That's 1/2 gal/day. So if you got the 5 qt, you could top it off every day, or perhaps squeak 2 days out of a single filling. I prefer to keep it topped off, so if there are any storms or emergency situations, I don't have to worry about thirsty birds.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I dump all rather than top off to limit accumulation of organic debris. The debris can promote pathogens.
     

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