Non-electric chicken waterer for winter similar to Bar Bar A?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by vanillachai, May 6, 2017.

  1. vanillachai

    vanillachai Out Of The Brooder

    25
    0
    39
    Apr 17, 2015
    We're getting our horses a Bar Bar A waterer to get ready for next winter, so I started looking for some kind of similar set up for my chickens to no avail. Is there anything out there like it that a chicken can use?

    We get to -20°F and below at times, so I can't really rely on set-ups like ping pong balls and salt water bottles while I'm away at work. We managed last winter because I wasn't as busy and could just go out and break ice/refill. That won't fly this coming winter. While I have looked into heating, our breaker is at capacity and popped a couple of times last winter. If the chickens are hooked up to it when I'm gone and it does it again, things won't go well.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    16,574
    4,216
    456
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    What is a Bar Bar A?
     
  3. mechanic57

    mechanic57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    209
    50
    101
    Aug 23, 2014

    You'll have to google it. It looks like an auto filling water fountain with the water supply line and valve under ground to keep it below the frost line. The fountain drains after each use. There is a paddle that the animal hits to open the valve and make water fill the bowl.

    The unit is insulated and doesn't seem to need to be heated. I've never seen one specifically for chickens.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  4. vanillachai

    vanillachai Out Of The Brooder

    25
    0
    39
    Apr 17, 2015
    Quote:Sorry! I probably should have explained it a little. Mechanic57 explained it really well. I wonder if there's a way to design a chicken version or if one hasn't already been made for good reason...
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    16,574
    4,216
    456
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Ah, we have a yard hydrant, so similar in design.
     
  6. R2elk

    R2elk Overrun With Chickens

    3,548
    1,607
    291
    Feb 24, 2013
    Natrona County, Wyoming
    The system that I use will only work if you have a dirt floor or it could be used in a run. I dig a hole that is at least 12" wider than the bucket that I am going to use. I also make the hole at least 6" deeper than the bucket. I fill the hole with fresh manure (horse manure is my preference but I use poultry manure now.) to a depth that the top rim of the bucket is approximately 4" above ground level. Next step is to set the bucket in the center of the hole and fill the rest of the hole with fresh manure up to ground level.

    I overflow the bucket a little when I fill it to give moisture to the manure in order to get it composting. The act of composting creates heat which keeps the water in the bucket from freezing. You have to replace the manure every year with fresh manure because when the manure is finished composting, it stops giving off heat. I have done this outside in the past when I had fresh horse manure and had about an 1/8" layer of ice on a five gallon bucket in temperatures that were below -30°F.

    I recommend using one of the tapered buckets as it makes it easier to remove the bucket from the hole when needing to rinse the bucket from all the garbage the poultry knock into it. I have been doing this for nearly 30 years and it works for me. Currently my set up is inside a building and it takes at least a week of sub -20°F temperatures before it gets cold enough to form a 1/4" layer of ice on the bucket. I easily break that off and the poultry keep the bucket open until it freezes over again the next morning. Experienced poultry will easily break open the ice covering if I am late getting around in the morning.

    Good luck.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. vanillachai

    vanillachai Out Of The Brooder

    25
    0
    39
    Apr 17, 2015
    Quote:Wow, I've never heard of that method. Thank you very much for the info! If I can't find anything like what I'm looking for I'll give this a try. :)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by