Water in cold weather

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by swift4me, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. swift4me

    swift4me Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2010
    in the Pyrenees
    I finished the coop, but we've still got two months with potential freeing weather. Not like Michigan or Alaska, but it might be a low of 24 or 25 degrees with a high of 35 for a few days. The water I keep in a bathtub for the horse and donkeys has frozen before, so my concern is for the chicken waterer.

    I have no power to the coop, and the waterer is 15 liters. I leave the farm on weekends for up to three days, and want to know how long a chicken can go without water, or if anyone has any other ideas.

    I have a neighbor who can stop by and check if the weather is cold, but would rather not bother him with my chickens.

    Thanks for any ideas.

    Pete
     
  2. chuckzoo

    chuckzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2009
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    I short answer is; Chickens can not go without water.

    You need to try and insulate the waterer or have someone check on them early every morning to ensure the can drink.
     
  3. swift4me

    swift4me Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the answer. Now can anyone tell me if insulating the top portion of a waterer wil keep the bottom part from freezing up?

    The shame is that I have a year round spring that feeds our house and the overflow pipe that runs to a bathtub in the prairie for the horse is only about ten feet from the coop. Running a pipe and getting it through two feet of stone walls would be the problem, but I wouldn't be worrying about freezing.

    Thanks,

    Pete
     
  4. AnnainMD

    AnnainMD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We ran on outdoor extension cord about 100' from the house to the coop to a submergible de-icer and it works beautifully.
     
  5. swift4me

    swift4me Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the tip,

    Pete
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd be thinking seriously about moving the coop, I suspect.
     
  7. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

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    My house hen drinks often. I think I read chickens drink often. If you don't want the neighbor giving water then I think a heated water is an option. I am always home so I take out warm water 2 times a day.
     
  8. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    We insulated the waterer with that shiny bubble insulation. It extended the "freeze time" out a few hours. Not a lot. Plus the chickens found it incredibly fascinating to peck at and then they discovered that it was edible (everything is edible to a chicken). Here's a picture of it, we also did the bottom of the tray, too.

    [​IMG]

    We have also run an extension cord out to the coop to a heated water base. Now that works! I have a big enough waterer that 32 chickens can drink for 2 days on it, but that's it.

    So if you're going to be gone 3 days, I'd suggest the heated water base with an extension cord and a big enough waterer to last that length of time. Or have someone come to your house to change the water daily.
     
  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Is the coop close enough to the house to run a long outdoor rated extension cord for the waterer just on weekends??? That or have the neighbor stop by once a day to put out warm water. Going days without access to water would be torturous...
     
  10. swift4me

    swift4me Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Heres the coop, so moving it isn't really an option....
    [​IMG]

    but I think you've answered the question. I had chickens last year, until a beech marten killed most of them, and my waterer worked great. Re-roofing the stone building and building a more marten-proof run, among other projects has taken a long time. I only had 9 birds and it doesn't get super hot here, so even after 3 days, their water was fine. I'm putting off getting my new birds until after the threat of freezes.

    But you all got me thinking about a heater. Since I have a neverending supply of springwater, I'm also thinking of routing a hose into the coop and having a circulating supply. I'm trying to figure out the part about keeping it clean.

    Thanks for all the help.

    Pete
     

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