Keeping water from freezing in the winter

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Liv's chickens, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. Liv's chickens

    Liv's chickens Chirping

    Nov 6, 2017
    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!
  2. Compost King

    Compost King Crowing

    Apr 19, 2018
    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.
  3. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

    Jul 31, 2018
    Catalonia, Spain
    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.
  4. Compost King

    Compost King Crowing

    Apr 19, 2018
    North Carolina
    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.
    DobieLover, Melky and Shadrach like this.
  5. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

    Jul 31, 2018
    Catalonia, Spain
    My Coop
    Shepherds here in the mountains have been doing this for years. I think they just add sheep droppings and water.
  6. Twoleggedmotherhen

    Twoleggedmotherhen Songster

    May 19, 2018
    Heated dog bowl work ($20.00 @ TSC). I have a heated chicken waterer ($40.00). If I had to do it over, I would do the heated dog bowl. We don't get cold weather for very long.
  7. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    Do you have electricity accessible from the coop/run? A good heated waterer really is the easiest way.
  8. proudmommie31

    proudmommie31 Songster

    Mar 2, 2016
    Northern Lower MI
    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
  9. Relleoms

    Relleoms Songster

    Jan 22, 2018
    DobieLover, imnukensc, aart and 3 others like this.
  10. SueT

    SueT Free Ranging

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    These heated dog bowls are $14.95 at our farm store....I've used this one every winter for 3 years, with temps down to single digits...

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