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water is freezing

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by little_giant, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. little_giant

    little_giant In the Brooder

    Apr 26, 2009
    Im sorry if this topic has been put up already
    I have 3 chickens and the temp here is right now 15 degrees F
    i have a light but it doesnt give much heat
    i cant buy a heater for it and i cant move the light nor the waterer.
    what should i do?

  2. txchickie

    txchickie Songster

    Nov 15, 2008
    Dump the ice and add warm water as many times as you can or as needed during the day.
  3. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Songster

    May 15, 2009
    Make sure your coop is draft free. Three chickens won't generate a lot of body heat and in this weather with the wind chill they might not do too well.
  4. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    Technically water takes about the same amount of time to freeze at any temp. The larger the temp difference the faster something loses heat and as it cools it slows down so it only makes a difference if you are trying to melt already frozen water.

    You pretty much get 2 options. Use a container you can dump ice out of or bring inside to thaw then carry out fresh at least twice a day or get something heated. You can buy heated metal poultry waterers and heater bases for all poultry waterers. Some have used heated dog water bowls. I just use 2 gallon heated buckets and stick a brick in them if I have smaller chickens. You want to make sure not to use narrow buckets and water containers and provide something to stand on if it's deep. Otherwise chickens will fall in and drown. Really you don't have much other choice at less than 20F. Electricity or haul water frequently. Solar waterers rarely hold up below 20F especially indoors.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
  5. HEChicken

    HEChicken Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    I bring my waterer in at night. That way it starts the day completely defrosted and at room temp - around 60 degrees. I bought a black, rubber water bowl from TSC and in this, water will stay thawed down to 25 degrees as long as there is a little sun. I help it out by putting it against the brick wall in back of my property. The combination of the brick wall, sun and black rubber means the water will stay thawed when the temps dip to high teens. However I also keep an eye on it regularly and break the surface during the day as needed (if temps are lower than 15, there is no sun, or it is getting to late afternoon when the sun has left the yard). If you are not home to keep a close eye on it during the day, you probably need to find a way to bring an electric heat source to where the water bowl is. You might do a search on the forum for "cookie tin heater" for a cheap water bowl heater you can make from materials you probably already have around the house. I made one and it only took minutes, however I need to insulate it and buy a 25w bulb as with the 13w bulb I currently have in it, it doesn't keep the water thawed on the really cold days.
  6. naked_heels

    naked_heels In the Brooder

    Nov 20, 2008
    Des Moines, IA
    the cheapest way to go is 'cookie tin" water heater, plus you get to eat the cookies. I tried 25w light bulb, it works well for temp around 15 to 0 degree and 40w works great with temp below 0. Last week where I'm at I have to use 40w bulb, Goodluck.
  7. Flowers of Abba

    Flowers of Abba Songster

    Mar 7, 2009
    South lake tahoe
    We always take a fresh supply of water in the morning when we let them into the run. We go out at lunch to check for eggs and take another. We live at 6,500 ft with about 6-10 feet around the coop and run by the end of winter! The plastic containers don't freeze the water as fast as the metal. We keep the water in the run since they only like to coop for sleeping laying eggs and hiding out from the rooster until he finds someone else to harass! Keeping the water in the run also helps to keep the inside of the coop dry. Even when it was -9 the water made it with the early morning and lunch routine.[​IMG]

    Good luck, It's really not that hard once you can get the hang of relaxing![​IMG]

  8. hildymarie

    hildymarie In the Brooder

    May 13, 2009
    da UP of Michigan
    We have a 5 gal metal waterer that we set on a couple of cement blocks. It started freezing so we did the cookie tin thing. The smallest watt bulb we had was a 60 watt. Set it on the blocks and set the waterer on it. Works like a charm. The tin is well above the litter so we dont have to worry about it. You can feel a little bit of warmth on the side of the cookie tin but the water isnt warm. At the most it might be just not cold if the temps out side go up. And to think I almost ordered a $50 heater.
    Havent had any problems with the chickens knocking it over or even close. Thats what I was worried about. Even when they are chasing each other for a piece of penne pasta, they are not too rough, fast but not rough. Talk about hilarious! Its right up there with tossing a lettuce leaf in the middle of 19 hens. They have gotten used to treats so now when we open the people door, we have 38 beady little eyes locked in on us. Freaky, lol. [​IMG]
  9. RocketDad

    RocketDad Songster

    Jul 25, 2008
    Near US 287
    I made a variation of the cookie tin heater, sorta like what hildymarie describes. I screwed a ceramic light bulb socket to a board, and put a square "half-block" over that. I glued a cake pan to the top of the cement block (over the hole) with silicone sealant. I have two water dishes - one is the red "little giant" and the other is the other cake pan and a 2.5 quart yogurt-tub type bucket from Home Depot. The light bulb stays on all the time, and the water hasn't frozen since. I think I've got a 60W in there.
  10. GwenDellAnno

    GwenDellAnno Chirping

    Jul 18, 2009
    Water Valley, AB
    Quote:I've done this and am trying it out for the first time. (I will go out this morning and see how well it made it through the night). Any feedback on the safety of such a thing?? (Am I OK to go away for 24 without worrying about burning down the shed??)

    Do you have directions (or a link) how to do this??

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