How to water flock in sub zero temperatures? Need real life advice please!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by GoodwinFarm, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. GoodwinFarm

    GoodwinFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2014
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    I live in northern WI. can you say chilly? Brr!
    We have been using the galvanized 5 -10 gallon founts on a heated base for years, but they rust, develop holes and they seem to break readily. I've replaced three in five years. Looking for a better solution.
    The red plastic founts say not to put them on a heated base so I've never tried. Can you do it?

    I tried a cooler where a placed horizontal nipples, but the dang chickens ate the silicone and the nipples flew out with a woosh of water! The run was sorta wet for a few days after that disaster.

    Can't bring out enough water for them twice a day, my back won't let me. Someone can help with their experiences please?
     
  2. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    5-gal bucket with horizontal nipples. No silicone required. Drill 3/8" hole and the nipples self-tap in the soft plastic of the bucket. 250w K&H stock tank deicer. Has worked down to -9F so far. This year it is wrapped in aluminized bubble wrap, but the -9F was from last year with an unwrapped bucket.
    [​IMG]

    Inside view of the bucket and the stock tank deicer. I paid $35 for the deicer from Amazon. I refill about once a week for 23 birds.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Kikiriki

    Kikiriki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like the problem was not the water cooler, but the nipple attachment. Have you considered screw in nipples attached to a short section of PVC pipe which is itself threaded into the cooler?

    An big enameled stock pot would not rust so fast if you protect the enamel where you drill for the water outlet.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JUS5VEI...e=df0&creative=395109&creativeASIN=B00JUS5VEI
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
  4. GoodwinFarm

    GoodwinFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2014
    Wisconsin
    Thanks pdirt! I thought about just using the bucket, but had heard it would freeze here. We used a cooler, but the nipples wouldn't stay in because it was so thick that we had to use silicone...
    Last year it was -30 for a month straight, but that was a bit unusual.
    I'll try the bucket idea again, like your set up.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    I use my red plastic water jugs on cookie tin water heaters with 40 watt bulbs inside. I place them on top of wood slabs so they are up off the ground. The principle of heating water is that the container the water is in will get no hotter than the water that is inside it. There is no danger of the plastic base melting as long is water remains in the jug.

    Today it was seven below zero (F) here, and the water in the trays remained unfrozen all day, even though in the northern run, the water was beginning to freeze near the top.

    For ten bucks each, I built these cookie tin water heaters, and the electricity to power a 40 watt incandescent bulb is but a fraction of what it costs for a submersible stock tank heater to keep water from freezing.
     
  6. GoodwinFarm

    GoodwinFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2014
    Wisconsin
    Thanks. I wasn't sure why the red plastic waterer said not to use it, seemed like it would work but I didn't want to poison my babies :)
     
  7. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    BYC member @Blooie had trouble with her horizontal nipple bucket setup (very similar to mine) when she had consistent -17F temps, I think, though it might have been colder. Not sure it would work if you have long stretches of -30F.

    I know mine worked at -9F, though it was actually probably a couple degrees colder than that. But that is really no comparison to -30...brr!
     

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