Watering chickens in the winter

Keys2Hades

In the Brooder
Nov 18, 2020
19
12
23
I’ve tackled the problem of my water freezing, but I can’t seem to find a watered that actually works. Until the weather turned freezing cold, I used a metal pan to water my chickens outside. The problem with using that now is that they walk through the pan and get their feet wet. I thought they would be smart enough to stay dry, but it doesn’t seem so, unless it’s okay for them to do that? I’ve also tried one of those buckets with the metal nipples on it, but that’s just dripping and made the coop wet (yay now I get to shovel out wet chips) I also had a five gallon waterer that I had to stop using because that little hole where the water comes out freezes. So how do you keep the coop dry and have water for the chickens?
 

Annalyse

Songster
Mar 24, 2020
1,213
986
231
New Jersey
Personally for my freezing problem I've just been bringing the water in every morning and replace it with hot water only if it's freezing or needs more. I have the bucket that drips water with the nipples as well, I kinda gave up on it but they do have horizontal nipples that can go on the side of a water system that I don't think rips. My flock LOVESthis giant water I have that is a pain to wash and refill but my Rooster gets mad if I take it away so It has to stay in the run. lol, We're making and platform for our water and food so they can't tip it anymore. I'm using plastic water. metal I suggest would freeze but idk. My chickens tipped their big waterer and when I came back out to give them their other water there was a muddy puddle and all were playing in it. During cold seasons wet chickens equal cold chickens. depending really. I covered it with hay as I had no time to do a proper clean. I suggest try and make a platform like I am and you can place the water on a flat surface. You could put something underneath that catches any left over water if you want.
 

Aapomp831

Crowing
Oct 4, 2017
3,670
6,222
471
Lincolnton, NC
I have rubber bowls that don’t tip over. Every morning I fill gallon milk containers with warm water and take them out to the run. I dump the frozen water and replace it with the warm water. I’m in NC so rarely does the water freeze during the day, but when it does I just fill that same gallon milk jug with warm water and go outside and pour it on top.
They also sell hanging plastic waterers that the chickens wouldn’t be able to step in and won’t leak.
 

Keys2Hades

In the Brooder
Nov 18, 2020
19
12
23
Personally for my freezing problem I've just been bringing the water in every morning and replace it with hot water only if it's freezing or needs more. I have the bucket that drips water with the nipples as well, I kinda gave up on it but they do have horizontal nipples that can go on the side of a water system that I don't think rips. My flock LOVESthis giant water I have that is a pain to wash and refill but my Rooster gets mad if I take it away so It has to stay in the run. lol, We're making and platform for our water and food so they can't tip it anymore. I'm using plastic water. metal I suggest would freeze but idk. My chickens tipped their big waterer and when I came back out to give them their other water there was a muddy puddle and all were playing in it. During cold seasons wet chickens equal cold chickens. depending really. I covered it with hay as I had no time to do a proper clean. I suggest try and make a platform like I am and you can place the water on a flat surface. You could put something underneath that catches any left over water if you want.
Thanks for the reply! I may just try and do that. Figuring out how to do water in the winter must be the hardest thing about chickens lol.
 

Keys2Hades

In the Brooder
Nov 18, 2020
19
12
23
I have rubber bowls that don’t tip over. Every morning I fill gallon milk containers with warm water and take them out to the run. I dump the frozen water and replace it with the warm water. I’m in NC so rarely does the water freeze during the day, but when it does I just fill that same gallon milk jug with warm water and go outside and pour it on top.
They also sell hanging plastic waterers that the chickens wouldn’t be able to step in and won’t leak.
I may switch to rubber bowls. I have a hanging waterer, but the hole freezes up even if I empty the water at night. I’m thinking I definitely won’t be able to have water in the coop, but they prefer it outside anyways.
 

Annalyse

Songster
Mar 24, 2020
1,213
986
231
New Jersey
I may switch to rubber bowls. I have a hanging waterer, but the hole freezes up even if I empty the water at night. I’m thinking I definitely won’t be able to have water in the coop, but they prefer it outside anyways.
If you have the time I always bring my handing water in and put it in hot water and then refill it with hot water. the frozen nipples quickly return naturally and then the hot water during the day doesn't freeze.
 

Aapomp831

Crowing
Oct 4, 2017
3,670
6,222
471
Lincolnton, NC
Thanks for the reply! I may just try and do that. Figuring out how to do water in the winter must be the hardest thing about chickens lol.
It is, that’s why I’ve decided to take the complication out of it and just top off frozen water with warm water to melt it instead of investing in a fancy water heater. Of course, I recognize that most people don’t have the luxury of doing this if they work a typical 9-5, which I don’t. I work nights and when I leave my husband is just getting home.
 

Aapomp831

Crowing
Oct 4, 2017
3,670
6,222
471
Lincolnton, NC
I may switch to rubber bowls. I have a hanging waterer, but the hole freezes up even if I empty the water at night. I’m thinking I definitely won’t be able to have water in the coop, but they prefer it outside anyways.
Also, chickens don’t need water at night. I would empty it at night, bring it inside a garage or porch and just refill in the morning.... my wateters are outside of the coop at night, I’m just too lazy to bring them in when I have perfectly good hot water to take care of it lol.
 
Last edited:

Keys2Hades

In the Brooder
Nov 18, 2020
19
12
23
If you have the time I always bring my handing water in and put it in hot water and then refill it with hot water. the frozen nipples quickly return naturally and then the hot water during the day doesn't freeze.
That’s a good idea!
 

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