Waterer too far - extreme winter

Gammond

Songster
Aug 31, 2016
253
113
131
Central BC, Canada
We are installing an automatic/heated waterer, as I am sick of packing 4-6 milk jugs/day in the winter!

We have approx 74 chickens. They will have to go about 20 feet to get to the water setup.

We get as cold as -40 here... do you think I will have issues with them not getting enough water? Last winter, we had all the water in the coop in big heated dog dishes... they NEVER left the coop!

Need advice ;)
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Dreaming of Spring
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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I read chickens won't walk farther to get water, and that 10 feet away was the most distance they were willing to travel until absolutely necessary. You may have problems especially on bitter days as many birds will remain inside the coop. Where's the feeder kept? Water should be close to it. You won't know until you try. Each flock will have different quirks and ways of moving and doing stuff. You will get decreased egg production from them not a consuming enough water.

We have a heated water stock tank we get water out of. It's outside the shed, so daily I fill up rubber bowls and dishes. My chickens would never walk out there daily for their water.
 

Gammond

Songster
Aug 31, 2016
253
113
131
Central BC, Canada
I'll have to see how it goes! Would hate to have done this for nothing.
 

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Gammond

Songster
Aug 31, 2016
253
113
131
Central BC, Canada

oldhenlikesdogs

Dreaming of Spring
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
47,211
86,375
1,522
Wisconsin
We have a frost-free hydrant next to the coop, so carrying water from it to inside the coop is only a few feet. Wonderful!
I think that your birds won't get enough water, unless you have water inside with them.
Mary
That's what we have too. We fill a stock tank with a tank heater. My birds wouldn't go out to get their water either. They would just eat snow first.
 

Gammond

Songster
Aug 31, 2016
253
113
131
Central BC, Canada
We'll see how it goes - we are willing to shovel a path or even build a covered walkway next year.. but for now, we'll just see.. I'll keep everyone posted.
FYI: The coop now has an overhang that will keep them sheltered when they initially leave the bus.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Dreaming of Spring
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
47,211
86,375
1,522
Wisconsin
We'll see how it goes - we are willing to shovel a path or even build a covered walkway next year.. but for now, we'll just see.. I'll keep everyone posted.
FYI: The coop now has an overhang that will keep them sheltered when they initially leave the bus.
You don't know until you try. It may all work out fine. I will look forward to updates for sure.
 

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