How do you water your chickens in the winter?!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by PineBurrowPeeps, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. This thought occured to me today:
    That if I leave my set up like it is now that the water in the buckets is bound to freeze and then I'm bound to run into the same problem I used to run into when I was working at horse farms; needing to bring a hammer with you every day to break the ice up in the buckets.
    OK, so I HATE that job!

    How do you guys water your girls in the winter?
    I have a coop house with an attached run right now. They only get food and water out in the run and only go into the coop at night to sleep so this has worked really well.
    I didn't want to put the waterer in the coop because we're using deep litter method and my birds make a mess with their water, but I'm guessing if I moved it inside their body heat would keep it from freezing right?
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I use the hard black plastic feed pans...probably 14" in diameter. All I have to do is flip them over and step on the bottom and the ice pops out. No, their body heat doesn't keep it from least not here where I live.
  3. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    This last winter, I just had twice as many waterers as I needed - and when I went out in the morning, I would take a clean one to fill, and bring the frozen one inside to thaw. Then later in the day I would take it out to fill, and bring in the frozen one to thaw.

    I am wondering if this year I ought to get some heated waterers. Having cold wet hands in winter outside is not fun.

    I like the idea of the black feeder pans - I have rubber ones for the donkeys, and I could get more of those for the chickens for water. If it's gonna freeze anyway - why bother with the big reservoir? I may as well just use a smaller "easier to get the ice out" pan. (the rubber won't break like plastic, either, another bonus).

    I also plan to run heat lamps in the coops this winter, to see if that will help with the freezing water at all.

    Peace -
  4. You can order the bucket heaters from a poultry supply company, or pick them up from your feed store. They are basically a platform that you set the waterer on top of. The platform heats up enough to keep the water from freezing, but not enough to burn your birds.
  5. je

    je In the Brooder

    Aug 23, 2008
    Bend, OR
    I run a heat lamp in my coop when it is below freezing. I keep the water underneath it.
  6. We have the heat lamp in case, and we've ordered a galvanized metal waterer with an electric heating base under it, keeps water at approx 50 F all winter.
  7. chickenlady

    chickenlady Songster

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    I bought the heated pet bowls from walmart. I think they were $20 for the large ones. They work great. I have about 10 altogether including some smaller ones. They never ever freeze. I just have to dump old water and refill each day. I place them on a cinder block or piece of 6X6 just to keep them off the ground so they stay cleaner longer.
  8. eggzettera

    eggzettera Songster

  9. mcfarmer

    mcfarmer Hatching

    Aug 22, 2008
    Leechburg, PA
    Thanks for the tips on waterers for the winter. My hubby & I are new to raising chickens. We are getting our first peeps in a few weeks. Coop is almost finished, multiple yards will be fenced in this week and just about all of the supplies have arrived. This may seems like a silly question, but can/do chickens go outside of the coop in the winter? Will they walk around in snow?
  10. njchicks

    njchicks In the Brooder

    Sep 20, 2007
    Central New Jersey
    My birds don't like snow much and usually stay in the coop when it snows. I use a heated galvanized base outdoors in winter, and in the hen house there is also a plastic waterer too, that is set up on a few cinder blocks, so the birds don't usually mess it up. That one is not usually frozen as we have heat lamp on the coldest days. ROb

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