Prepping For Winter?


5 Years
Feb 22, 2014
Owosso, MI

I've decided that this year I will keep my egg-laying flock over the winter. From my experience, I've only raised chickens during the winter a few I don't have a lot of experience in this area of backyard chickens. Due to the EXTREME winter we had in Michigan last year I want to be as prepared as possible.

What are some typical ways you prepare for winter (e.g., heated waterer, etc.)?
I use the heated water dishes.

The first year I didn't use the heated bowls and I had to go down my hill in ice and snow, carrying water, to change the frozen water multiple times a day. Last year I filled up the bowls in the morning and they stayed ice free on normal days. We did have a few days where it was -35 degrees and I had a thin ice coating on the waterers that was easy to crack and get the ice off.
I really want to get those for this winter. Usually I keep those rubber buckets filled. They're great because I just step on the side and the ice on top breaks. I keep two, so I just exchange them each morning and evening.

The heated water bowl would seem like a luxury! :)
I do not have electricity at the coop, so heated water is out for me. However, this year, I am going to add nipples to one of the those black rubber buckets. Last winter in very cold weather, I used two small black rubber bowls that would freeze solid, if I flipped one upside down, the suns heat would melt the ice enough to slip out, and the next morning, I would fill that one and flip the other. It worked, but it got me to thinking.

Ice forms on top of the water and works down. A large black rubber bucket, would take much longer to freeze solid, and what did freeze would be at the top, and the black coloring would absorb the sun's heat, so start thawing almost immediately at dawn. I am thinking that if I added warm water to it each day, most of the days the water would remain liquid and available to the birds. Anyway I am going to try it and see.

Will report back in the spring.

Mrs K
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Yes, I have them on a black rubber bucket. As long as the daytime temperature is about 20 degrees, they work pretty well. However, you need to dump the water each night, as in the dark they will freeze solid. Below 20 degrees, and mine freeze up.

If you have a heater, it might work better, but remember that the nipple is away from the heat.

Mrs K

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