More talk about water freezing

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chattykathy306, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. chattykathy306

    chattykathy306 Out Of The Brooder

    May 6, 2012
    So, I tried putting a red heat lamp out there at night, in addition to the white one I have for encouraging laying. It just seemed so bright in there, that I thought it would be annoying to the hens to never have darkness. My daughter told me that chickens can't see the red light. Is this true? Also, is there a probe-type water heater that can keep the water just about 32 degrees? If so, can I put it into a plastic container. I have a hanging plastic bucket with 3 nipples in the bottom. Other than freezing, this has worked great. I crave any advice! Have a great day.
  2. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    If you have the light in there to help with egg laying, it does not need to be a heatlamp. I would think that would be annoying to the chickens to have a light as bright as the sun in there. A 40W bulb will work fine. And the light should be on a timer. You are looking for 14hrs of daylight for egg laying. You don't want perpetual daylight in there. I don't add any light myself, I'm not running an egg farm here, and they give me plenty of eggs anyway. As far as the water bucket goes, get a aquarium heater, and set it to the lowest setting, that ought to work.
  3. chattykathy306

    chattykathy306 Out Of The Brooder

    May 6, 2012
    Thanks for responding. I actually did try a couple of lower watt bulbs to supplement for laying. I worked my way up to the heat lamp in order to see if I could accomplish keeping the water liquid while encouraging egg-laying. I guess I will go back to a lower watt bulb and try the aquarium heater. If the heat can be set very low, maybe I can use it in my plastic bucket. Is it true that chickens can't see the light from a red heat lamp bulb? So many little details to learn and things to work out as I go. I had done a lot of reading before ordering chicks and having my husband build the coop. However, things come up that I didn't anticipate. We are loving having chickens though! Friends and relatives are laughing and thinking I may be a bit wacky! Oh well. So be it. I am having fun.
  4. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote: Most aquariun heaters won't go below about 70 degrees
  5. chattykathy306

    chattykathy306 Out Of The Brooder

    May 6, 2012
    Dang! I guess I need to sleep on this until I come up with the best option. Thanks for the info.
  6. AKnewbie

    AKnewbie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2012
    But if you plug in the heater to a thermocube, would that work?
  7. chattykathy306

    chattykathy306 Out Of The Brooder

    May 6, 2012
    I was using a thermocube when I tried the red heat lamp. I just talked to a guy at the local Tractor Supply re. the submersible heater they have there. It is thermostatically controlled. Reviews of similar ones online look pretty good, so I will plan to head over there tomorrow and get one. $33. These chickens keep costing me more for this, that and the other thing. Those eggs better be darned good! I was just out to the coop before dark and had some nice petting time with Magda, my one and only laying hen at the present time. I suppose the position she assumes whenever I approach is intended for mating, if she was lucky enough to find a rooster. Not around here. How long does that behavior continue? Looks like it might not go below freezing tonight, at least not for long, so maybe our water bucket will be OK until I get that de-icer.
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    They just can't see as well under red light as white light.

    As for heated water.... I'm lazy and it only freezes for a few weeks tops. I fill a 4 quart rubber hog pan with warm water in the morning. They are thirsty and drink. Then if it freezes by evening, I throw the pan on the floor, out pops the ice, re-fill. Eventually you'll have a pile of water dish sized ice cubes.
  9. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2011
    Upstate NY
    How many chickens do you have? I use a heated dog bowl from petsmart for about $20.00. It used 25 watts I think. I have the 1 gallon size. I put a layer of bricks down to set it on so it is raised a little bit. In the summer I use a big shallow black rubber dish from tractor supply. Good luck.
  10. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    I'm using one of the submersible deicers in my bucket w/nipples. I bought mine from Blain's and it's an Allied Precision utility deicer that's 250W and safe for plastic containers. It's working like a champ! Last year, I got by with a bucket of warm water delivered first thing in the morning and then later as needed. But, since I added morning light, I was worried about them being awake and eating for hours without any water. Now I don't have to worry and I don't have to haul water several times per day. Win-win.

    FYI, if yours has the "chew proof" coil around the cord, push it up until the coil is above the water line. Mine has a little stopper device on it so it stays where you move it. Otherwise, it will rust. I read a lot of negative reviews complaining about the rust and resolved to remove the coil. But, I discovered it wasn't necessary once I realized it could be adjusted with minimal effort.

    ETA: they see just fine in red light. I had my brooder out on my back porch and those chicks were catching flying insects by the red light (and I wasn't using any more than 175 watts!) The red is supposed to wind them up less but it was a party every night in that brooder.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012

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