Idea to keep water freezing- will it work??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Hen_House_Rocks!, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. Hen_House_Rocks!

    Hen_House_Rocks! Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Okay, so my first baby chicks are scheduled to ship to me next monday. I've got the brooder built and all supplies and things that I should need for the next 12 weeks or so. But, I can't help but look to the future. We are finishing up the coop and run and are designing a water system that catches rainwater in a barrell behind the coop. But... it gets really cold here in Northeast Missouri in the winter. Weeks or months of freezing temps. I've been looking at products that heat your water to keep it from freezing. This sounds like a great idea, but costs a lot. I'm wondering if anyone has used a submerisble water pump (like you would use in an aquarium) to keep the water circulating to prevent it from freezing. I have a couple laying around that I could disinfect for chicken use. Or I think you can buy them at Wal-mart for around $5. Any thoughts???
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2009
  2. Hen_House_Rocks!

    Hen_House_Rocks! Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Anyone??? I know winter is a ways away. Just wanting to get all my ducks in a row, so to speak! [​IMG]
  3. briteday

    briteday Songster

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    I don't know how the pump would work. Never thought about that. I'm going to try an immersible bird bath heater in my 5 gallon buckets.
  4. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    I use a heated dog water bowl--just put the chicken waterer in that. I can't see how that would cost any more than a submersible pump--electricity-wise. and then the water will be a nicer temp for the chickens to drink.
  5. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Free Ranging

    Oct 16, 2008
    here in wisc on the lakes if they want to keep ice from forming, the dnr runs air pumps into the water..

    like an aquarium aerator..

    it works even in minus 20F..

    If you drew your air from a warmer area and pumped it into your barrel, I will bet it would not freeze.
  6. mayden

    mayden In the Brooder

    Jun 22, 2009
    Tioga, PA
    I'm wondering if you could use those submersible aquarium heaters. I had a 125 gallon aquarium that I used two of them in. I kept the temp at lows 70's. I know this was used indoors but all you need is something to keep it above freezing. I think the ones I had were at least 18 inches long. I bought them on Ebay a while back. Might be worth a try.
  7. Hen_House_Rocks!

    Hen_House_Rocks! Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    I didn't realize they made bird bath heaters! That's another great idea. I have some aquarium heaters laying around also. They have built in thermostats & cost a little bit of nothing to run. I look forward to tinkering on this project once it gets cold!
  8. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    We have two like this:[​IMG], we got them at TSC, but I can't find them on the TSC website. I found a site that sells them for $49.99, but I know we didn't pay anywhere near that for them. I don't think we even paid $20 for them. (each, not both) We also got a couple of the heavy, black rubber pans they sell for horses, we use those for water in the winter, (when we don't have chicks that might fall in and drown) with the de-icers in them.

    The pans are wide enough that if a full grown chicken falls in, they can easily get back out. Not like a regular bucket, those are narrow, and if a chicken fell in head first might get wedged in and drown.

    TSC also carries a thing called a Thermocube, so you can plug devices like this into them and when the air temp in above freezing, it'll shut off power to the device, and come back on when it gets colder again. You plug the cube into the outlet, then plug the device into the cube. the outlet has to be in the same building/room as the device you want to plug in. So you can't run an extension cord from inside the house, with the cube in the house, and expect it to come on when it's cold outside. You'd have to plug it in to the end of the extension cord, outside.
  9. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    I'm just over in Kansas, so our weather is probably similar. In super cold weather, I hang a brooder light in the coop, over the water bucket. It hangs from the ceiling securely, so little chance of it falling and landing in the bucket. It helps keep the coop warm, and keeps the water from freezing (unless it's Ohmydog cold).
  10. Gwen

    Gwen Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    Langley, Washington
    Do those submersible bird bath things need elec cords? Bird baths are often a ways from the house/outlets so it would seem to be a pain to trail cords all over the place!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: