Water/Food --> Winters in WI

kschuetz21

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jun 30, 2014
51
1
31
WI
Hi there, I am open to any and all suggestions...

I live near Elkhorn, Wisconsin and have a question about water/food throughout the winter months. I am a newbie....this is my first winter with chickens.

The chickens have a 10x12 run outside of their coop that they have spent many hours in this spring/summer/fall. Their coop is smaller (wooden part inside of the shed) and doesn't leave that much room to place a waterer/food in during the winter...I am afraid they will spill it and make matters worse :)




So, here is/are my question(s):

-What to fellow Wisconsinites/cold-weather inhabitants do in the winter with their chickens food and water? How do you keep their water from freezing?
-Will my chickens come outside in the winter at all?
-If I put my food/water outside in the run, will that be OK?


ANY INFORMATION WILL BE SUPER HELPFUL :)
Thank youuuu!
 

Rachelsmile79

Chirping
5 Years
Jun 2, 2014
42
3
64
So, here is/are my question(s):

-What to fellow Wisconsinites/cold-weather inhabitants do in the winter with their chickens food and water? How do you keep their water from freezing?
-Will my chickens come outside in the winter at all?
-If I put my food/water outside in the run, will that be






First of all what a beautiful coop you have! I'm also from wi (milwaukee). First winter with chickens for me as well and what I have been reading and decided to do is keep the water from freezing is heat it with either using a dog water heater bowl or bird bath deicer. Also, from reading other people post regarding food and water, I am keeping both outside. Water for sure so it doesn t increase the humidity in the coop which causes frostbite. Food outside to, so it makes them get outside. You can put straw over the snow to encourage them to come out more and "enjoy" the wonderful weather:). Good luck to u neighbor as we embark on this winter wonderland!
 

pdirt

Songster
6 Years
May 11, 2013
1,609
212
198
Eastern WA
In addition to the excellent advice given by Rachelsmile79, you might want to check out one of the many "how do I keep my water from freezing" threads. Lots of pics and ideas.

We use a 5 gallon bucket with the horizontal chicken nipples and a 250W stock tank de-icer and have tested it working down to at least -9F last winter. It was probably -15 or -20 with wind chill. We had a problems with the vertical nipples freezing up, plus they leaked water (only when the birds drink), creating an ice pile under the hanging bucket. No leaking issues with the horizontal nipples and thus they don't go through the water nearly as quickly.
 

spies04

Chirping
8 Years
May 28, 2011
171
9
91
Minnesota
Hi - We live in MN and have our share of winters I would rather forget. We use a heated water bowl for dogs to make sure their water does not freeze. It is crtical that they get enough water during these crazy cold days. While we try to get our ladies and boy out as much as possible, you do need to watch for froze bite and be sure that they have enough cover from the wind and snow. Also, the snow cannot get too high where they cannot move. The cold winters that we get put a whole other twist to having chickens. Wouldn't trade it for anything but it does take more work in the winter. Just getting to the coop with the snow drifts can be an obstacle in itself.

Good luck!
big_smile.png
 

blkjak

Songster
5 Years
Apr 18, 2014
734
76
120
Manitoba Canada
Last winter was my first winter with chickens. Only 6 though so it was easy. The amount of snow last winter was crazy. Getting to the coop was the issue. This winter could be a whole other ballgame. After processing our meat chickens we are looking at wintering about 70 chickens, 14 ducks and 4 geese. Anybody with any ideas about how to keep ducks and geese from bathing in the drinking water other than the nipples?
 

ECBW

Songster
8 Years
Apr 12, 2011
812
41
133
NJ
Keeping the waterer out in the element will make the heater's job that much harder. My feeder and waterer are in the coop but apart from each other. The waterer is not a major contributer of the moisture content, and with decent ventilation, my setup always did fine through winter. There is a secondary water dish outside which will freeze, but it is secondary.

No need to worry if they will or not come out. They will decide for themselves. Most of the them do not like stepping on snow. Looks like your run is roofed, so they will be fine.
 

spies04

Chirping
8 Years
May 28, 2011
171
9
91
Minnesota
I would agree - we also kept the food and water inside the coop. It also helped keep clear of the snow and freezing when we were not around to clear it. Mine also were not real thrilled with the winter weather. Stepped out and stepped right back in.
 

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