waterers, how much do they eat/drink, freezing water

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jadie, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. jadie

    jadie Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 9, 2012
    i live in new york so we get cold winters with snow and my concern is that the water will freeze over and over and i was wondering if a heating plate would be a good idea? and how do you keep your water from freezing, or is it not a big deal? also im planning on getting 5 or 6 chickens...how much will they eat when they are chicks and when they are full grown. i want to be able to get a feeder/waterer that can supply them for a couple of days. thanks so much also what kind of waterers and feeders do you use? what would you recomend?[​IMG]
    thanks so much! stay warm!
  2. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    I use a 5 gallon bucket as a supply to some nipple waterers inside the run. I place a bird bath heater in the supply bucket in the winter to keep the water from freezing. The chickens come out to forage each day, and generally drink from the dog's water bucket or other source when they are out.

    I run an extension cord to the bird bath heater from my shop which is about ten feet away from the coop.

    I make sure that the birds always have food. I don't worry about how much they eat. I supply it because they must have it. They eat everything that is not nailed down out in the yard when they are foraging.

  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You can make your own, or buy inexpensive white and red plastic ones at your feed store. I use the plastic. They also sell a galvanized metal waterer. I have one and don't like it. Many people use heated dog waterers to keep the water above freezing; of course that requires electricity. That is what I would do if I lived in New York. Here, we only have to carry water a few mornings a year, and just pour it on top of the ice; it melts during the day. You can also make a "warming plate" out of a metal cookie tin and lamp socket. You can use a heat lamp and aim it at the water but that runs the power bill up quite a bit, at least in my experience. And yes, they will need unfrozen water at hand, except during the night when they are asleep. There really isn't a good alternative to carrying water if you have no power at your coop, that I've run across. Maybe it can be done with solar. The large round flexible black animal dishes at the feed store are easy to knock the frozen water out of.

    I have 9 chickens and we probably buy a 50# bag once a month or so. I don't keep track, because mine find some forage all year. You might as well buy chick feed in that quantity, too. If you are going to switch to layer when they start laying, it wont hurt a bit to feed the rest of whatever you have before switching.

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