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Snowstorms and freezing temps

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ChickenHawk12, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. ChickenHawk12

    ChickenHawk12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2015
    We are in for a big storm here in the northeast, and this is my first winter with chickens. I've been struggling to keep unfrozen water for them for over a week now, having to go out there at least 3 times during the day to replace the water because it is freezing within 2 hours during the day. We have a blizzard arriving tonight, with 8-12 inches and blizzard conditions all day tomorrow. I got a gallon gravity waterer and a bigger rubber bowl to set it in to keep water in the coop for the storm, and I will put the feed in there too (I have 50 square feet inside the coop for 5 hens). I normally leave the door open all the time (they have a secure, spacious run), but I think I am going to close them in the coop tonight and keep them in there during the storm.

    We have no heat source in the coop, but I was wondering.....do you think it's safe or a good idea to heat a few rocks in the oven, cover them with foil, and lay them inside the coop, maybe in a towel, to keep it a little warmer in there? Or maybe lay them around the waterer to keep it from freezing? We did that once when we went tailgating to keep our food warm, and I'm wondering how it would work during the storm.

    Also, someone suggested I put a few drops of salted water in the waterer to keep it from freezing, but this seems like a bad idea to me.....can't that make them sick?
     
  2. Silo

    Silo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2015
    Going through the same storm! As for heat it wouldn't hurt but they should be fine through the storm. Water issue, I have the same problem. Still trying to find a solution. Need to do more research on salt. Hope this storm moves out QUICKLY!
     
  3. Silo

    Silo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes salt is bad for chickens. Looks like they can only have 25% in their water. This is something also interesting chickens need to avoid nightshades. Never heard that before.
     
  4. Silo

    Silo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2015
    Sorry mis print .25%
     
  5. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would suggest just using the rubber bowel, if your aren't going to use a water heater of some sort. They are all I use in the winter. Just turn upside down and stomp and most of the ice falls out, then refill. If the black bowel in in the sun it will slow down the freezing as well. Yes hot rocks next to the waterer will slow down the freeze. But if they are used to the cold the hot rocks will do little for the chickens. They also become accustom to drinking before the water freezes if you are just waterer them twice a day.
     
  6. Soldier415

    Soldier415 New Egg

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    I live in VT where below zero temps are the norm in winter. I invested in a heated 3 gallon waterer and have had zero issues. Just ran an extension cord out.
     
  7. JacksFarmNGardn

    JacksFarmNGardn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 26, 2015
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    I'm right there with ya in this cold and snow storm! I don't have a heat lamp,and mine are doing just fine. Well,my buff orp roo has some frostbite,but it happens. I have a metal flared dog bowl for their water. It has the flared edge so they cant knock it over. Its easy to just knock out ice if there is any in the morning. Its not usually much,if anything,i just go out and fill it a couple times a day for them. You could get a heated water dish but I don't think i'd put the rocks inside. They could pick the foil off and eat it,or get burnt if the rock is too hot. Here's hoping spring comes soon!
     
  8. Poultrybonkers

    Poultrybonkers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I seen a thing on facebook if you have a deep bowl to add waterbottles filled with salt water that will keep the water from freezing...not sure if it will work but just throwing it out there
     
  9. ChickenHawk12

    ChickenHawk12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2015
    Thanks, everyone! We've been in this blizzard for almost 24 hours now, and so far the water inside the coop is still liquid....I did put heated rocks inside, but wrapped them well in old tee shirts, and the chickens didn't bother with them. The foot of snow on top of the coop roof seems to have insulated it pretty well, and I have kept them locked inside for the duration of the storm. Hopefully the snow and wind will end by morning, and I will be able to shovel out the run and let them out again!
     
  10. yellowchicks

    yellowchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Couldn't get out to the coop today, didn't even try during the blizzard. We have been watching them from the house, the chickens hung out in the shielded run all day, doing their things, then went to inside the coop shortly after 3 PM, probably called it an early night. There is an insulated water bucket with a 50 Watt aquarium heater inside the bucket to keep the water warm and the horizontal nipples from freezing. They have about 3 days worth of food. We will shovel our way to the coop tomorrow after the snow stop.
     

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