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Water inside for winter?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MEMama3, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. MEMama3

    MEMama3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2013
    Vacation Land; Maine
    In the warmer/sunnier months I keep the chickens' water out of the coop, but winter is proving a whole new ball game. Not only does it freeze almost instantly (I'm in Maine), but the girls are on artificial lighting meaning their light turns on at 2 and I'm not up until 6. That means zero water for four hours unless I have water in the coop. I've been keeping water in the coop, but it's bringing the humidity up. What do you all do? I don't mind the freezing issue, but I worry about the four hours without water.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I have water in my coop whenever there is a light on.

    In the past I have not had water in the coop, nor lights. Now I have lights and I want them to be able to drink- especially since the food is in there. I worry about them choking down their food (they do get up and walk around when I have the lights on, and eat).

    Having water in the coop does lead to more humidity. Here is some info. on how I deal with it (we are already humid).

    We are constantly moldy here in the Pacific NW. There are things I do to deal with the fog making the inside of the coops moldy (my clothes can get soaked doing chicken chores to give you an idea of the humidity here in winter):
    I bleach the walls lightly with a spray mist periodically (taking great care not to breathe it in) after cleaning all the poo (ammonia) out of the coop. In other words, make sure you don't have ammonia gas in the coop before spraying bleach or it forms a fatal gas.

    Additionally, I use sand on the floor of the coops. This dries out more easily, as the floor of my shed coops is constantly wet around the edges from our blowing rain most of the winter. Shavings turn moldy on me. Wear a mask when sifting sand with kitty litter scoop.

    I make sure the feed doesn't last long in the coop. I bring new feed out every two days at least. No more huge feeders that sit a week or two with feed in them to avoid moldy feed. I have lost chickens to moldy feed and it isn't pretty- aspergillosis- paralysis and gasping then death.

    I hope this helps.
     
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Oh and I forgot to ask if you had heard of the heated base for the galvanized waterers, and also heated dog dishes.

    Since you have electricity in the coop you could heat your water.
     
  4. MEMama3

    MEMama3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Vacation Land; Maine
    Thanks so much! I use sand in the warmer months, but I switched to DO pine for the winter because I feared sand would be too cold. I may keep it sand year round in the future. As far as heated water dishes, it seemed like an unnecessary fire hazard (though I know many people do it safely). I am willing to go out and kick my rubber buckets to have peace of mind. Silly me won't even use light bulbs in the coop. I use cool-touch christmas lights attached along the ceiling.
     
  5. MyPetNugget

    MyPetNugget Enjoying the cold!!!

    I have a foot tall waterer that I have to refill every 1 1\2 days. I keep the water in the coop though, and it still freezes, Even if I put warm (but not too warm!) water in there. So I would like to know too. The coop IS insulated and draft free, but lately it has been cold and windy, and the chickens like to stay IN the coop, and I have to open the vent to prevent too much humidity. I hope I am not stealing anybody else's thread![​IMG] I just saw this and was wondering the same thing.
     
  6. MyPetNugget

    MyPetNugget Enjoying the cold!!!

    Oh and I would not want to use heated systems.
     
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I use the rubber pans when it is freezing too! We just don't freeze enough to make it worth the while to have a heated waterer.

    I like the Christmas light idea! I am using a 25 watt bulb in each coop now and I would suppose yours is cheaper to run. They also have the higher wattage bulbs on thermocubes in each coop...those are just plain expensive to run.

    What is DO pine?
     
  8. MEMama3

    MEMama3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2013
    Vacation Land; Maine
    Sorry, that was an autocorrect issue. I meant deep litter (DL) with pine shavings lol.

    @MyPetNuggetjump on board. You may come up with questions I hadn't thought of.
     
  9. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

     
  10. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    New Brunswick,Canada
    I never heard of a chicken dying of thirst in 4 hours particularly in the winter months..
    I think they will adapt to the new routine.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013

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