Watering in Winter - Inside or outside?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jhawley6, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. jhawley6

    jhawley6 New Egg

    Mar 2, 2016
    Thunder Bay, Ontario
    Help! What do I do with the water in the winter?? We get cold cold cold weather and it's dark from 5pm-9am (so depressing). I keep a light on inside the coop so they get ~14 hours of light. I keep the water in the coop because when I leave in the morning, it's still dark outside so I turn the light on in the coop. I tried moving it outside but they won't go out in the dark to get it, so I worry about leaving them without water for a period of time. The same thing happens in the evening when it gets dark and they go back into the coop for a few hours before bedtime. Once the weather is cold, I'm going to have to start heating the water so it doesn't freeze.

    I've read that in the winter you aren't supposed to keep water in the coop because of the moisture, so what should I do? Where should I heat the water? How do your chickens access the water if it's outside in the dark?
  2. Flock Master64

    Flock Master64 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2016
    Surrounded by the Amish
    I keep my waterer right outside the door, they can drink it while they're in the coop.
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I have a light in the coop on a timer, 4 am to 8 am, in the winter, and have food and water in the coop all year. The waterers are on heated bases to prevent freezing, and don't leak. With proper ventilation there shouldn't be a moisture problem. That means LOTS of ventilation! Mary
  4. I run heat all winter in my coop...My water never freezes....As stated with proper vents the water wont be a problem...I also use sand in my Coop...I clean the poop everyday so that also eliminates moisture....

  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    How big is your coop? (L x W x H) How many birds? The big issue with water in the coop IMO is that they are apt to spill it, then it will turn into a sodden or frozen mass, which will create a moisture problem. but the amount of evaporation from a water source in the coop is insignificant. I bet that a single chicken will release more moisture into the coop from her overnight respiration than any evaporation from your water source. Respiration and poop = lots of moisture, which then results in frost bite. Also, any build up of poop will eventually produce ammonia which is a health hazard. Birds have delicate respiratory systems. That's why miners used to keep a canary with them. The bird would get sick and die before the miners were aware that there was a health hazard. So, to keep things healthy: lots of ventilation (without direct draft) and keep the water from spilling. I also keep my winter water set up so they are less likely to step in it or drag their wattles through it.
  6. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    I keep water in the coop year round and on a homemade heated base in winter. I keep at least one to four vents open year round to get rid of moisture and ammonia, depending on temperature. I keep water under my raised coop in a 60 oz pail that I dump at night if it's predicted to go below freezing. When it stays below freezing during the day, I will use a 2 quart rubber bowl under the coop, that I bought at TSC for $4.49.[​IMG]I turn on the lights at 5am inside and outside. No light in the evening except a nightlight so they can see to jump onto the roost, that I shut off a half hour after sunset when I lock up the coop.[​IMG]GC
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Definitely if you use supplemental light they need feed and water when the lights are on.
    Should use a times for lights for consistency.
    I use a heated closed waterer to practically eliminate excess humidity from evaporation.

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