Looking for ideas on an automatic waterer that won't freeze in the winter for a chicken tractor

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by cladano, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. cladano

    cladano Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2012
    Iowa
    I don't own any chickens yet but am hoping to build a chicken tractor this spring for about 4-6 hens. One of my concerns is water during the winter months. I live in Iowa so freezing water can be common. I would like to be able to store enough water in it to last a few days to a week and be hooked up to some heating device to keep the water thawed.

    Any ideas would be much appreciated!
    Thanks!
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Well they sell those heated bases for galvanized poultry founts, the plastic heated waterers, and the dog bowls with the metal-protected cords.

    But you will not want those connections out in the rain. That's about all I know about it. I use the black rubber fortex bowls and turn them upside down, step on them, and the ice pops out.
     
  3. SmokinChick

    SmokinChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2011
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    Without electric, you are severly limited. Best bet, carry water. With power, unlimited options. I use a submersable birdbath heater in a 5 gal bucket with 3 nipples in the bottom. so far so good.
    Good luck
     
  4. cladano

    cladano Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2012
    Iowa
  5. cladano

    cladano Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2012
    Iowa
    If all goes well my chicken tractor will have a solar panel and a battery to power the fount heater.
    I haven't started designing that part yet. Figure I better get the basics straight in my head first.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Oh if you are going solar you might want to search for cookie tin waterer heater...on the net and on byc. But do be careful to prevent fire.
     
  7. cladano

    cladano Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2012
    Iowa
    I just looked at some cookie tin heaters. I think you're right about that might be a better choice for solar. The other fount heater was I think 250 watts where the cookie tin one might only be 60 watts.
    The ones made inside a cinder block looked nice too.
    Definitely will have to consider the fire risk too.
     
  8. swift4me

    swift4me Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2010
    in the Pyrenees
    I just posted about the one I built out of wood. Only a 40 watt bulb, but no problem with more, and there are no exposed electrical connections outside the box. You can buy an outdoor rated light fixture as well if you want. If you get some outdoor rated wire, or a good grounded extension cord that is long enough, you just have to make the connections correctly inside the box. I'd think the solar thing would be a bit of overkill if you are going to only have 4 or 6 chickens, and what about cloudy or snowy days.

    Just a thought.


    Pete
     
  9. cladano

    cladano Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 6, 2012
    Iowa
    Well I'm pretty lazy. But also my chicken tractor might be anywhere from 100' to 200' behind my house. I don't plan on running an extension cord that far all winter.
    I know that during the winter time we don't get much sun but hopefully a bigger panel and battery will do the job. I know the initial cost will be high.
     
  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

     

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