Methods for keeping water from freezing

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by maysorum, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    Look into a pond water circulator (like a koi pond) that is solar powered or runs off of 12V batteries (you would have to bring those in and recharge them on a trickle charger). A fish tank bubbler might move enough (in the 55 gal barrel) but I'd still cut the water off at the barrel at night.
  2. Rich386

    Rich386 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 21, 2011
    Live Oak, FL
    I use a small fountain pump to circulate the water from my tank through the nipple run and back to the tank. I also use horizontal nipples they are less prone to freezing. The picture on the far right showes the back end of the nipple the only part exposed to the water.


    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  3. rngrbill

    rngrbill Chillin' With My Peeps

    I buried my extension cord and used an aquarium heater. Here in western new England it worked fine.
  4. Mountain Man 60

    Mountain Man 60 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 19, 2013
    have you looked into a solar cooking unit?

    I also saw a person use the lense from a old style big screen TV to focus light at 2000 degrees that boiled water. The trick would be controlling the intense heat. Look up the doomsday prepper episode. If you can harness it you should be set if you get enough sun in the winter. He bought the old TV for 50 dollars and built a follow the sun set up very cheaply.
  5. Dimetrex

    Dimetrex Out Of The Brooder

    May 12, 2013
    I do not suggest that. Fish require an aerator, water pH neutralizers, nitrate control, and many other things other than food. The fish's waste would be detrimental to the chickens' health, and the fish would die when the water is low. Lastly, crappies do not release antifreeze into their enviroment. So as the surrounding water freezes, the water in the fish's body would prevent it dying due to cold a little while longer.
  6. WLL74

    WLL74 New Egg

    Jan 23, 2014
    Southeast MO
    I have kept my chickens water from freezing this winter without electricity by using a cooler and thermos. I normally just top them off, but on a few days this year where it got close to 0 at night and did not get above 25 during the day I filled the coolers with room temperature water in the morning before I left for work and when I returned 15 hours later they were still not frozen. I know for some who have to deal with a lot colder temperatures than these this may not work, but I was surprise at how well they have kept the water from freezing!


    1 person likes this.
  7. nguyenkinhphuc2

    nguyenkinhphuc2 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 8, 2012
    perfect solution.
  8. BobDBirdDog

    BobDBirdDog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 8, 2014
    As a thought for consideration.

    Though I don't experience the colds that some of our Northern Friends do, here in Tennessee when the days and night temps drop below 32 degrees, pipes, water bowl, ponds, etc... are subjected to freeze on any given day. In such the best preventive medicine is to prevent the water from standing as moving water is less likely to freeze .My idea still requires electricity but this method may be cheaper than the electric heated water bowls or move the electricity further from the Hen House as water could be piped two ways.
    Circulation is the key!

    I emphasize again, even moving water will eventually freeze if it gets cold enough! Consider the north's low temps where I have heard of water freezing in mid air, in such I doubt this solution would apply.

    A small aquarium, submersible or external circulating pump will keep most water from freezing down to around 20 degrees maybe lower temps depending on the amount of circulation and water. If modified, an indoor or heated reservoir, or one that is heated by room temps might be configured, this would also help to keep water at a constant level as to avoid having endure the cold to refill containers as water is spilled or drank. By rule you will never pump more water than is being poured/pushed through a pipe unless a bladder tank is used. In such and pardon the suggestive use of words, sucking and pumping water from the drinking container to the reservoir and then piping it back would insure a constant flow on those cold days.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  9. dthompson

    dthompson Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 2, 2014
    I just moved to VA, east side and new to raising chickens. I get my 3 day old chicks next week. I will set my brooder up in the garage until they get their feathers, then move it to the screened deck so they can acclimate to the weather. I do not have electricity where my coop will be. I suppose I could run a cord out if it gets too cold, but hoping to have a solution to keep their water from freezing. When you say you keep their water on a shelf - do they climb up to that shelf to get the water? I have not read up enough - but I did read they only drink in their 'waking' hours - so do they need water at night, or taking it out in the morning to drink sufficient? I also ready someone used hot/warm water to start with - do they drink warm water?
  10. misfitmorgan

    misfitmorgan Ordure Heir

    Nov 20, 2014
    Mikado, Mi
    I was looking into a low wattage use heater myself and upon doing the math if i did it correctly.

    A 25watt Aquarium heater should keep 1 gallon of water from freezing down to -13 beyond that it might keep the area closest to the heater free of ice but ive not tested this out. i know they are cheap though and most have an automatic shut off when they go dry so they dont burn up. 25watt is quite feasible to run 24/hr a day during cold months on a solar powered system depending what else you have running.

    If you want more heating powert you could try a 50watt heater of less water. Pay attention to the heater length though, because if your going to use less then a gallon depending on the height of your container you would want to be able to lay it down in the bottom of the waterer, the shortest ive seen is 6"

    Since we are on grid power and i dont need a heater quite that low wattage im going to do the lightbulb in the cookie tin method simply for start up cost

    25 watt heater $15-35
    Cookie tin heater roughly $5

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