need some ideas for watering in winter

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Melissa F, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. Melissa F

    Melissa F Chirping

    Apr 15, 2009
    Central PA
    I am very hesitant about using any type of heating source in my coop. It is a section of a 150 year old bank barn, and as much as enjoy the chickens I just can't risk starting a fire. I'm trying to come up with ideas on keeping the water from freezing this winter- I know I can't prevent it completely without heating it, but I'm hoping someone has some ideas on at least slowing down the process. Does molasses or ACV really work? Or has anyone made a waterer out of a thermos or cooler before- I thought if I start out with warm water that would insulate it for a while at least. Thanks in advance for any advice!
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hi Melissa!

    I bought my first heated waterer this year, and I had the same fears as you do. It cost me $39.00 at the farm store. Anyhow, it does a great job, and it doesn't get hot enough to start a fire. It has a thermostat that goes on when temps go below 35 degrees, and the water doesn't get warm at all. It just keeps it from freezing. What I did was, I placed it on some patio pavers I had. I think they're 18x18 inches. I stacked them three high. So that is a nice concrete platform that keeps it off the wood shavings. It works very well. Even if the waterer was sitting on the shavings, it couldn't get hot enough to start a fire. And of course I use a very heavy duty outdoor extension cord, which I have tacked up along the wall so it's not laying on the ground.

    Other than that, there's no real way of keeping your water from freezing that I know of. Prior to getting the heated waterer, I just used two rubber buckets to put their water in, because you can just step on the side of them (since they flex), and the water will just pop out. I kept one at the house, and one at the coop, and I just exchanged them twice a day.
  3. pdirt

    pdirt Songster

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    One person (on another recent thread) said they put floating balls (like ping pong balls) in their open pan waterer and any slight breeze would move the balls and keep the water moving and therefore stop it freezing. Other folks have installed submersible pumps to keep the water moving. Moving water doesn't freeze as well. I don't know how cold this would work to. If I had lots of money, I'd make several set ups and see what works best.

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