Keeping Water From Freezing In The Winter?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by HomesteadDucks, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. HomesteadDucks

    HomesteadDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We've gone through a few light frosts here recently and I have begun to think about how I will prevent the water from freezing over the winter. Are there any methods that I could use? The duck pen is far from the house so anything involving electricity is not an option for me, unless it's solar. I was thinking about getting a large black stock tank with a ramp leading up to it. Hopefully the large amount of water would hold some heat and the black color would warm it up a bit. The ducks would also be able to swim, which is a bonus for them. Though I don't think that this alone will do the trick. Are there any worthwhile methods of insulating a tank? If anyone has any creative (and preferably cheap) methods on how to keep the water from freezing, please let me know.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015
  2. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    On those really cold days I just replace their water bowls a couple times a day with slightly warm water from the house. Takes warm water alot longer to freeze over than cold water straight from tap. This has worked for me so far. :) I don't have the luxury of heated water bowls, either.
     
  3. HomesteadDucks

    HomesteadDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Orca5094 I was thinking this also. If I can't find a way to heat a tank, then I will just give them a small waterer and pour hot water in a few times a day. It is a bit of repetitive work and the ducks wont be able to swim, but I'm willing to do it... as long as we still have electricity in the house. : ) It is definitely my backup plan.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015
  4. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, they don't need to swim during the winter anyway (they would love to of course, but it's not always possible). What I do for mine is I bring out a big bin a couple times a week during the winter and fill it with water for them to swim in for a little bit and clean off. Other than that, they really can't swim since everything is frozen over.
     
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  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    Although common logic would suggest that to be the truth and it's hard to imagine it doesn't hold true, fact is in reality it's not always the truth and this opposite to logic phenomenon where hot water freezes faster that cold water is a regular not rare occurrence...

    Google 'Mpemba effect' it's an interesting read and phenomenon, and suggest that 77° F (25 °C) water takes the longest to freeze, hotter water actually freezes faster...
     
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  6. User353335

    User353335 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You beat me to the punch!
     
  7. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Me too lol... Many a time failing at pouring hot water on my snowy windshield thinking it would save me work. Nope. After scraping 4" of ice made from the hot water freezing so fast, I used cold water the next time, and ever since.

    The hot water just melted the snow and it refroze so fast it made solid ice, where the cold water pushed it off.. I've just used that occurrence to remember to use cold water to melt ice. I did not know the "science" being it though ;)

    Edit* aha might be this?
    Frost: Has insulating effects. The lower temperature water will tend to freeze from the top, reducing further heat loss by radiation and air convection, while the warmer water will tend to freeze from the bottom and sides because of water convection. This is disputed as there are experiments that account for this factor.[2]

    Oh, I like this better ;)
    Thermal conductivity: The container of hotter liquid may melt through a layer of frost that is acting as an insulator under the container (frost is an insulator, as mentioned above), allowing the container to come into direct contact with a much colder lower layer that the frost formed on (ice, refrigeration coils, etc.) The container now rests on a much colder surface (or one better at removing heat, such as refrigeration coils) than the originally colder water, and so cools far faster from this point on.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
  8. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, don't go all science-y on me, you guys. >.< lol! Really, though?? Warm water freezes faster than cold water? All I know is when I put regular cold water in their bowls before heading to work last winter, it was frozen when I got home. But when I started putting slightly warm water out there it was always still liquid (though sometimes a little slushy) when I got home.
     
  9. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a big black stock tank and a ramp. We've already had one snow and two killing freezes. The freezes were two days in a row. The first day I just had the beginnings of ice crystals on the sides on the first day. The second day I had a light skin of ice on the stock tank that I broke by adding about an inch of water to. (One of my girls really likes to get in there and splash & zoom-swim so i have to fill almost every day).

    I've looked at RV heaters ( for winterizing) that run off car batteries.

    We don't have electricity down by the duck pen.

    We could use solar because the duck site will get sun all winter now that the leaves are all fallen.

    My plan is to carry water for them to drink/swim in. Worst case (below zero) they can swim in the extra bathroom in the tub.
     
  10. User353335

    User353335 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Haha, I love how you call it "zoom swim" and I knew exactly what that meant. I have street power in my duck barn... so I can't offer much input. Trenching 500 feet 2 feet deep in rocky soil was a chore, but I hope it pays off this winter!
     

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