Keeping water from freezing in the winter

Liv's chickens

Chirping
Nov 6, 2017
64
34
81
hello everyone! I have been raising chickens for almost 5 years now and I’ve always struggled with keeping the flock’s water from constantly freezing. And I have a feeling I’m not the only one who struggles with this! I’ve tried different methods like using a ping pong ball, and putting a bottle of salt water inside the water, but both have failed to work for me. I’ve recently moved from Colorado to Vermont and now the winters are even colder then before. Does anyone have any tips or methods that have worked for them? I’d love to hear! Thanks in advence!
 

Compost King

Free Ranging
Apr 19, 2018
2,419
7,955
577
Salisbury, North Carolina
Wish I could give you advice but it doesn't get cold enough here for long enough to have this be a problem. yeah my live stock water bowls that I use will freeze up, but I can just break the top layer of ice with a kick most times it freezes, the rare times it gets cold enough to freeze solid I come out with a bucket of hot water and dump it on top of the ice (bowls are usually only half full) and it melts most of the ice and the remaining ice makes the water cold. I really only posted because I am curious how people deal with this in colder climates. I used to live up North before I had chickens, call me a wimp but as soon as I could I moved south to get away from long cold winters.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
9,909
63,613
1,282
Catalonia, Spain
My Coop
My Coop
There is a very good article here but I can't find the link.
Buy a plastic bucket.
Dig a hole 50% larger than the bucket in both diameter and depth.
Pack 'live' compost in the bottom of the hole.
Place the bucket in the hole making sure the rim of the bucket is proud of ground level.
Pack 'live' compost around the bucket in the hole.
Place a stone or platform in the bucket of sufficient size to prevent a chicken from falling in the bucket.
Fill the bucket with water.

The composting material gives off heat and the heat is enough to prevent the water from freezing.
 

Compost King

Free Ranging
Apr 19, 2018
2,419
7,955
577
Salisbury, North Carolina
There is a very good article here but I can't find the link.
Buy a plastic bucket.
Dig a hole 50% larger than the bucket in both diameter and depth.
Pack 'live' compost in the bottom of the hole.
Place the bucket in the hole making sure the rim of the bucket is proud of ground level.
Pack 'live' compost around the bucket in the hole.
Place a stone or platform in the bucket of sufficient size to prevent a chicken from falling in the bucket.
Fill the bucket with water.

The composting material gives off heat and the heat is enough to prevent the water from freezing.
I thought about using hot compost or such a thing but wasn't sure of how to describe a way to do it and I have never had to do it and wasn't sure of any method that has proven to work. Winters can be long in Vermont so changing out the compost halfway through winter might be needed too.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
9,909
63,613
1,282
Catalonia, Spain
My Coop
My Coop
I thought about using hot compost or such a thing but wasn't sure of how to describe a way to do it and I have never had to do it and wasn't sure of any method that has proven to work. Winters can be long in Vermont so changing out the compost halfway through winter might be needed too.
Shepherds here in the mountains have been doing this for years. I think they just add sheep droppings and water.
 

proudmommie31

Songster
Mar 2, 2016
150
229
152
Northern Lower MI
hello everyone! I have been raising chickens for almost 5 years now and I’ve always struggled with keeping the flock’s water from constantly freezing. And I have a feeling I’m not the only one who struggles with this! I’ve tried different methods like using a ping pong ball, and putting a bottle of salt water inside the water, but both have failed to work for me. I’ve recently moved from Colorado to Vermont and now the winters are even colder then before. Does anyone have any tips or methods that have worked for them? I’d love to hear! Thanks in advence!
We put a light fixture (like from a clamp style work light) in a cinder block, I placed a reptile tank heat bulb in it, put a large metal bowl over it from tractor supply and our waterer sits in it. No more problems with freezing water
 
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