Safe way to melt ice?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MEMama3, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. MEMama3

    MEMama3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have thick ice (as in you can't break it up) holding the gate shut. I really want to get the gate functioning again so the birds aren't in the driveway anymore. Is there any way to melt it so I can open it again? No, a blow torch is not a feasible option lol.
     
  2. oldrooster

    oldrooster One Crazy Nut

    try rock salt from the baking aisle of the grocery store. it should be safe if the chickens decide to eat it since it is pure salt. It's the stuff you put in your ice cream bucket to melt the ice when you make homemade ice cream. also alcohol either booze or rubbing alcohol might help. other than a hammer ice pick or whatever other tool might come in handy to beat the (bad word) out of the (another bad word) ice.
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    An other flock owner posted that her hen munched some salt crystals, and was soon dead. Vet confirmation that the salt did her in.
     
  4. MEMama3

    MEMama3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not feeling very hopeful :-/
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I deal with ice all winter long. My favorite ice buster is ordinary boiling water. And a pick ax. But wear safety goggles if you go to hammering away at it.

    The secret is to attack it late in the morning or afternoon on a sunny day. The sun melts the ice underneath, creating a sheet of water. This loosens it. Take something pointy that you can hit with a hammer, like a very skinny-head screw driver. This focuses the energy of your hammer blows and the ice should easily shatter. Treat it as if it was a window pane of glass and be very careful.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    MeMama3: You might want to re-design your gate and doors so you can deal with next winter more easily. I built all of my doors with a threshold that is about 1 foot off the ground. Obviously, it circumvents the ice, but it also helps deter the flow of chickens out any open gate long enough for me to get through and slam the gate/door shut before too many escape.
     
  7. MEMama3

    MEMama3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh trust me, I have many redesigns in mind once we thaw out. Tall thresholds, doors that open out, the whole setup moved so it doesn't get buried when the garage roof lets go of its snow. Big plans lol!
     
  8. MEMama3

    MEMama3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you know what's funny, hot water didn't cross my mind. I'm not sure that would help the gate issue since it will puddle and refreeze, but that might work for uncovering the hoop.
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Is it in a sunny spot? How about covering it with a dark-colored tarp? Then sit back and wait for the sun to do the work.
     
  10. MEMama3

    MEMama3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not really. It managed to get most of the Hoop uncovered with sheer brute force (it's a balmy 42° today), but I still can't figure out the gate. I'm almost considering digging down to the hinges and just taking them off. I can bungee it shut until thaw.
     

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