Let It Snow, Let It Snow??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by shell25, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. shell25

    shell25 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 18, 2010
    On the UK for the past 4 days we have had really heavy snow reaching nearly 1 foot deep so far and still going strong. Needless to say the chickens only put their foot out of the coop for a second, the problem is there water keeps freezing im going out every few hours to defrost and top-up, anyone got any suggestions?

    Also do i need to add anything extra t0 their coop at the moment they have shavings on the floor part of the coop and abit of straw in the nest box, i dont like to think its too cold for them as i know it certainly is for me!!

    Chickens also eating snow, normal behavior??
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    This part of the world only has weather records for the last 100 years, or so. However, the November snow fall (over 24 inches) was the most on record.

    I don't know how you could stop chickens from eating the snow unless it by keeping them cooped up or, just because, they won't come out in the snow [​IMG].

    The sub zero Fahrenheit weather has passed for awhile but the thermometer only rose above 32°F on one day for several weeks now. I like an open container for water and a metal pot or bowl works fairly well even if it freezes after several hours in the coop. I just set it down in a bucket and pour hot water on it. The ice can be pulled out in a few minutes and the bowl refilled.

    If it is only freezing overnight, I will usually bring the waterer indoors in a bucket and keep it on the floor near the backdoor thru the night. Either way, I think that whatever water the hens want to drink during the cold weather is important to their health. They have fresh drinking water 3 times a day, if it is necessary.


    edited to add: Make sure the birds have plenty to eat during the cold weather. Those extra calories are important to them.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  3. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2010
    Didn't somebody post about her chickens only eating snow for water in winter, back in the old days? I know that when I find ice over my chickens' big water dish, I just break it, and they immediately drink the icy water. Hasn't hurt them so far!
  4. BeccaB00

    BeccaB00 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2010
    I know what you mean! [​IMG] My hose-pipe freezes and I have to use butterbowls and fill them up inside....then wait on them to freeze again so I can repeat the process [​IMG]
  5. bokboklady

    bokboklady Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 8, 2010
    Quote:hi there, i live in kent in england, so i know the problem, i put a wooly hat over the water hopper, one of those with the long ear flaps, seems to do the trick, and water hasnt frozen, about bedding, my girls have been dust bathing in the sawdust as the ground outside is too hard, i just top up the sawdust once a fortnight and plenty of straw in the nestboxs, havnt seen my girls eating snow, but each to their own i suppose !![​IMG]
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a lot of friends in the UK and you are certainly being stressed by the severity of the cold. For chickens as you know keeping dry, draft free and having clean water (not ice) is critical. There are many ways to insulate waterers, and you can get electric ones if they are available at your feed and hardware stores. Electric dog bowls are a godsend. Even putting a waterer in a rubber stock bowl insulates to a certain degree. Offer warm water when possible and if you can create something resembling a 'teac cosy' it will also help. Overnight, leave apple or squash in the bedding to give them moisture that will not freeze so quickly, and hens love a supper of porridge. [​IMG]

    Huddle boxes are useful, offer extra bedding and close down vents and openings which are exposed to the wind. Some people stack straw bales or even bales of peat moss around a coop to protect it. My heart goes out to you, I know you are not used to this.

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