Keeping water from freezing in Winter....

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by fasschicks, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. fasschicks

    fasschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know there are a lot of threads on this, but I want to get your opinion specifically on heating waterers with nipples. Being a newbie to raising chickens, I want to get it right the first time (if that is even possible). I live in Wisconsin and winters can be mild or bitterly cold for days/weeks on end. My coop is going to be approximately 6x6 or 6x7 for 4-6 birds. I think through this winter we will only have 4 birds but hope to increase to 6 next year. Will their body warmth keep the coop warm enough to keep my water from freezing throughout the winter? My gut says, no. Especially when I open the coop to the run during the day.

    So, I am looking at either buying or making a nipple waterer for our new birds - something like the EZ Miser. My husband is extremely handy, so making one would be pretty easy. It would be a plastic 2 gallon bucket. I would prefer to use the same waterer year-round, but don't know if that is possible. I don't have electricity at our coop, but I plan to run an extension cord during the winter to have a light in there and for heating water if necessary. I want to stay away from having a light on all the time and do not want to actually heat the coop.

    Do you think that using a submersible fish tank heater is the way to go? Has anyone had any bad experiences with this? Do you have any issues with the nipples freezing?

    If you have any ideas/suggestions for me, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

    Fass
     
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  2. fasschicks

    fasschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1 person likes this.
  3. jmagill

    jmagill Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. fasschicks

    fasschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And your nipples do not freeze up? Is 50w the lowest you would go or could I go with something with lower wattage?
     
  5. jmagill

    jmagill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    50 watt works for me down to about 16 degrees inside the coop where there is no wind. I however need a 75 watt when it is colder than that. The nipples do not freeze.
     
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  6. fasschicks

    fasschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    jmagill - do you keep the heater on 24/7 and how warm is your water?

    Can't wait to try this.
     
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  7. AK Baha

    AK Baha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Me too.
     
  8. jmagill

    jmagill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine is on 24 hours a day. I am rarely above freezing after the 15 of Nov. so I can not shut it off. The water will get up into the 50's or 60's when it is not too cold but my chickens seem to like the warmer water in the winter. They seem to drink more when it is warmer.
     
  9. lovechickenswis

    lovechickenswis Out Of The Brooder

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    Is there anyway to keep water from freezing without electricity in your coop?
     
  10. leahmeit

    leahmeit Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm with Lovechickenswis! I'm looking for heaters that run on solar, or anything except electricity. Suggestions?
     

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