Watering the birds in winter? Water Freezing........

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Scotty16, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. Scotty16

    Scotty16 New Egg

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    We purchased 6 chickens at Easter at the request of the kids. We have had a great time with them and have started getting EGGS!!!! We live in a neighborhood that does not allow poultry but I have a small farm in the country where we keep the girls. Well now I am wondering what to do this winter............

    I live in central Virginia where it does get below freezing in winter. I do not have electricity where I have the chickens. What are my options for keeping them watered throughout the winter. Will the water freeze in a well insulated coop? I cannot always get to the farm everyday. I have been burning up Google for a solution but have not found one yet. Any suggestions would be helpful!

    Thanks,
    Scotty
     
  2. kerroppi76

    kerroppi76 Out Of The Brooder

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    I was gonna ask the same question as I am in south east PA. IT gets cold up here and this will be the first year with the girls. ANy help would be very appreciated! Thanks
     
  3. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    Its a good thing you don't live in Michigan. It may stay warm enough in the coop with average Virginia temps in winter with some insulation and chicken body heat. Using the deep litter method also insulates and provides some actual heat as deeper litter composts.

    The only other thing I can think of is getting a small solar panel and putting a little heat bulb in the coop. My coop has a long extension cord hooked up to a heated waterer.

    WELCOME TO THE FORUM! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  4. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    scratch'n'peck :

    Its a good thing you don't live in Michigan. It may stay warm enough in the coop with average Virginia temps in winter with some insulation and chicken body heat. Using the deep litter method also insulates and provides some actual heat as deeper litter composts.

    The only other thing I can think of is getting a small solar panel and putting a little heat bulb in the coop. My coop has a long extension cord hooked up to a heated waterer.

    WELCOME TO THE FORUM! [​IMG]

    The size solar panel required to even power a bulb or heat emitter as small as 40 watts is ridiculously expensive. Solar technology isn't cheap yet. Solar light fixtures that reasonably priced are all LED (which needs only a tiny amount of wattage and thus a tiny and inexpensive square of a solar panel), and those produce almost no heat. Not enough to be of any use, or be measurable by conventional means.​
     
  5. geoff40

    geoff40 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes. What they said.
    Now, if you are at all a bit skillful with tools, you might consider building your own solar panel. You can build panels for about 1/10 the cost. You'll need roughly 40 individual cells, which get layer down on a backing of your choosing. The toughest part is that they have to be soldered in phase (I guess that's the right term) where they are all connected in line together, so all of the wattage is delivered at the end of the line. It's not impossibly difficult, but you'll want some basic soldering skills.
    You can look right on eBay for solar cells, and you will see several sellers who package 30 to 50 of them in a deal, specific for building your own. The actual materials you use for the rest of your cell are up to you. Do a google "how to build solar panels" and you will find all you need to know.

    But you will still have only a part of the time solution. My dream chicken coop/barn would be built near a small brook or stream, where I could build and install a small generator shed using a paddle wheel to turn it.
     
  6. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you'd still need a battery and an invertor
    maybe a drip system off the roof into a trough, during the day enough might melt to provide some water, when you go out to check the chickens and they are standing there waitig for the next drop to fall you'll know it isn't enough
    black hose adsorbs the most solar power (early primitive system)
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    The black rubber bowls, in the run, and the sun will heat them well.
    Inside, without electricity, you'll just have to carry water. Virginia winters are reasonably mild compared to other parts of the country. It's a pain to carry everyday, when it's freezing (below 32F) in the daytime but thankfully, those days are somewhat limited for you.

    Here? Electricity to the barn (coop) is not optional, but a requirement.
     
  8. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    I ran electricity to all my coops except one, and that one's close enough to use an extension cord. I used heated dog bowls in my coop last winter and they worked great! I don't have water everywhere, so I did have to haul buckets to fill the bowls, but it was doable.
     
  9. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Your going to have to go to the chickens every day it's freezing to ensure they have water. If you can't get power to a heated waterer then you must haul it. Just the way it is. Haul water every freezing day or inhumanly treat your livestock.
     
  10. Scotty16

    Scotty16 New Egg

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    Thanks for the responses! I know there is a solution out there, I just need to keep looking. I am thinking a combination solar/wind mix. It is always windy out there. I would like to have the power not just for the coop but for the barn as well, so I will keep hunting for an answer.

    Thanks Again,
    Scotty
     

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