Waterer Advice for Our Chickens' First Winter (in Wisconsin)?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jenblain123, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. jenblain123

    jenblain123 New Egg

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    Aug 13, 2011
    Hello. We have six 10-week old chickens and have been having trouble with the galvanized steel waterers -- they spill over too easily, so we're having to fill ours several times a day. We want to buy a new waterer a.s.a.p., but we also have to think about the harsh sub-zero Wisconsin winters ahead of us, so as long as we're buying a new waterer, we want to deal with the water-heating issue at the same time. I keep reading about trouble with the self-heated waterers -- being difficult to fill up -- and it looks like the only other real option is a heated base with a galvanized steel waterer atop. Then we run into the spillover issue. I don't think we just have a faulty steel waterer. It's our second one, and our friends who keep a larger flock say their steel waterers do the same thing. Any advice? Thanks.
     
  2. True Grit

    True Grit Chillin' With My Peeps

    I wrap a heat tape around the outside and sit it on a birdbath heater mat. I don't have the problem with spillover, I can't tell you what's up with that. Possibly just sitting the waterer on the birdbath heater would be sufficient but the waterer is outside all the time so I don't think it would be enough to keep it thawed plus I like them to have relatively warm water in the winter.
     
  3. mk4lh

    mk4lh Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2009
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    I tried the all in one waterer with the heated base, and yes it was very difficult to fill. I have the steel galvanized waterer (3Gal) and haven't had an issue with the hens tipping it over. I have mine set up on a couple of blocks to help keep the shavings outa the water and then in the winter time I put the heater unit on top the blocks then the waterer.
    Have you tried putting the waterer on top of some blocks just high enough that they can still reach the water without being able to get their feet on the rim? Hope this is of some help.
     
  4. dragonlair

    dragonlair Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in Maine. In the winter I use the rubbermaid livestock bowls filled with water. When they freeze, it's easy to knock the ice out of them. I feed/water several times a day in the winter months, so I just knock out the ice and fill with warm water. Electricity in the barns scare me.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    I have bought 1 of every waterer on the market this year, both plastic and metal. The metal ones from TSC are made in China and leak bad if not level. The Little Giant brand from Southern States and other feed stores are made better (in USA) and work well. I like the 2 gallon ones best. Any waterer needs to be set on a level block to work well. I found the plastic ones were hard to clean or they come loose and leak. If you look online and at Walmart in winter, the electric corded dog bowls are low to the ground and hold 2-3 gallons for about $20.
     
  6. suki'smom

    suki'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello fellow Wisconsinite! [​IMG] In the winter I have red heat lamp in my coop and set the waterer underneath it. Keeps to coop warmer and keeps the water thawed. I use a 2 gallon plastic Little Giant one with no problems. Its far enough below the heat lamp to keep from melting but close enough to keep it warm.
     
  7. 1Rooster

    1Rooster Out Of The Brooder

    suki'smom :

    Hello fellow Wisconsinite! [​IMG] In the winter I have red heat lamp in my coop and set the waterer underneath it. Keeps to coop warmer and keeps the water thawed. I use a 2 gallon plastic Little Giant one with no problems. Its far enough below the heat lamp to keep from melting but close enough to keep it warm.

    We found in the winter heated dog water dishes work great.. We set them on bricks so helps with keeping the shavings out when they scratch they love the waterer and they cant stand on it as can't get a grip.. they also turn off if water gets to 40 well worth it was going to buy the regular chicken heated waterers but these were much less in price got ours for $20 and thought would try them had them 2 years now​
     
  8. Rustywreck

    Rustywreck Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had a heated, plastic waterer that worked well until yesterday when I dropped it and broke it. It filled from the bottom, which wasn't the most convienent, but that was my only issue with it. I expect that I'll be buying another soon.
     
  9. cjatthefarm

    cjatthefarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 26, 2010
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    Hi! I came over here to post a topic about how much I love my new waterers from Beaktime.com!! And here you are looking for an easier way to water!!!

    I know the conditions you'll have for weather will be different from what I have in the desert; I will have to deal w/some freezing in the winter as well......but I love these cup waterers from Beaktime---they are under $30! Two cups come wrapped in insulation.

    Sorry, I don't mean to sound like a commercial, but I have had 2 hip surgeries in 2 years---on the same hip--plus I just dislocated it 3 weeks ago. SO! The fact that these waterers are on a pvc pipe being fed by a rain barrel, means I HAVE A LOT LESS WORK!! [​IMG]

    Good luck with whatever you choose!
     
  10. jenblain123

    jenblain123 New Egg

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    Aug 13, 2011
    Oh, my goodness! Thank you all so much for the answers and guidance! 1Rooster, I'm particularly happy to hear back from a fellow Wisconsin-ite, knowing that you experience the same bitter winters and have found a solution for the water. I can't believe I agonized over this little problem for a month before thinking to post a question here. I hope I get chicken-smart enough to pass on the favor to some other chicken newbie in the future. Thanks again, everyone.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011

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