water outside in the cold/nasty duck water

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Alaskan, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake


    I have spent a large amount of time reading back posts.....but I need more info

    two separate questions:

    1) Is there any way to have the water outside in the winter?

    My average minimum temp is in the teens. It does sometimes go below zero, but usually doesn't stay there for very long. (MAYBE for one week every winter).

    If I built a three sided shelter just for the water? Anyone have experience doing something like that? (I am NOT good at building anything, so building something that I then wouldn't use would be pretty painful)

    Even a 3 sided shelter with a roof, is that too risky since I would have to have a water heater in there? (So electrical stuff in an outside area)

    2)duck water. ARG! BLACH! NASTY! HELP!

    HOW oh HOW could I keep it so that the water stayed inside the waterer?

    The ducks seem to splash inches of water all over the floor in 10 minutes flat.

    I have the water *inside* the coop right now (some of the ducks are too small to walk in and out without help) and they make the floor a swamp.

    The floor is exterior grade plywood. It just puddles in there. *shudder* I tried raising the water to reduce splashing. Haha.

    I was thinking of cutting a large hole into the floor (larger than the waterer) and putting heavy wire over the hole, and the waterer on the wire. But then wouldn't it be too cold in the winter? Even if we were very careful about a tight skirting around the building, wouldn't that make an impressive draft? (And I do get a fair amount of wind)

    HELP!!!! (beg beg grovel grovel)
  2. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    We don't get freezing much here in Oregon where I am, but when it does freeze, I take out buckets of warm water for the ducks as needed so they get fresh water. I also have a heat lamp over the poultry waterer at night. I figure they don't need to play at night in a bucket and all they get is a drink if needed.

    The Number One Duck Equation
    Ducks + Water=Mess
    No way around it! [​IMG]
  3. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    no one has tried having the water outside in a cold winter?
  4. goatkeepers

    goatkeepers Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    Mooresville, NC
    I don't know exactly how your situation is, but we have a bucket water heater in the winter. We actually bought a bucket with a built-in heating coil and it just plugs in. Works great!!
  5. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    Hey Alaskan, were just up the road in Sterling. Right now our ducks are swimming in a 55 gallon barrel I cut in half. I took the bung out and screwed a valve into its place. It makes cleaning the pool much easier.

    For water inside their coup I would take a 1 gallon jug and cut a half circle out of it, with the flat side parallel to the ground then place the jug in a small rubbermade bin (like the ones for sinks).

    This will be our first over-wintering of ducks so its going to be a bit of trial and error, but here is my plan.

    Plan A- 55 gallon drum (on its side, at a slight angle) instead of cutting it in half I will only cut a portion of 1 end off. Then get a heating element for hot water heaters to thread into the bung.

    Plan B- smaller water er, not big enough to swim in. Heated dog water dish. Its a dog dish that's insulated with a heating element built in.

    Plan C- sneak them in with my wife's chickens! she keeps their coup up around 50 all winter so the eggs don't freeze.
  6. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    my ducks are with the chickens right now....but the mess! *boggle*

    I need to either figure out

    1)how to keep the water outside in the winter


    2) a better way to keep it inside (like my grate idea)

    I would be worried that your drum idea would be problematic because metal gets so cold. We moved the horse water into an open barn, and used a horse trough (rubbermaid type) with the screw in heater. But we also insulated the trough on all sides as well as one half of the open surface area.
  7. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    Quote:I'm using 55 gallon poly drums (plastic) I should have specified [​IMG]
    I also plan on insulating it on all sides except the opening.
  8. poltroon

    poltroon Songster

    Feb 28, 2008
    California (North Coast)
    People with horse troughs have many strategies for keeping them liquid in winter. You can use heaters, but also more passive strategies, like insulating the tub by burying it or wrapping it in sand or another insulator or thermal mass option. Using a black cover might help melt it once the sun does come up. Your shed most likely would help, as long as you made it south facing so that the sun can get in in the day. Since you're so far north, you might want to build it more like a greenhouse, with clear panels for the roof.

    I have a large rubbermaid tub for my ducks, uninsulated, and most of the year, our lows will be high 20's and I can just break the ice in the morning. When it's that cold at night, it is usually warm enough to melt in the daytime here. Occasionally we have gotten very cold and I've gotten ice in it for weeks. In that case, they're stuck with the smaller water sources.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2008
  9. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Don't know how to address the duck pool, but for drinking water I keep a sheltered galvanized waterer outside in the winter on top of a galvanized, temp-activated water heater pan from Little Giant. You do have to plug it in to electric, though, so it would have to be near a hookup of some kind. You're welcome to check out the full article of my winter chicken stuff here ~


    Hope that helps somewhat. Good luck!

    Jen in Sweltering-hot TN
  10. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Quote:how sheltered? And how cold do you get?


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