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

Scotty16

Hatching
8 Years
Aug 27, 2011
9
0
7
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
 

kerroppi76

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 30, 2011
42
0
22
Langhorne, PA
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
 

scratch'n'peck

Crowing
11 Years
Oct 31, 2008
5,916
590
361
West Michigan
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!
 
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Stacykins

Crowing
9 Years
Jan 19, 2011
4,355
223
258
Escanaba, MI
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!


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.​
 

geoff40

Chirping
8 Years
Aug 4, 2011
136
4
94
Boonies, NH
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.
 

Achickenwrangler#1

Songster
8 Years
Aug 7, 2011
2,431
106
183
west virginia
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)
 
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Fred's Hens

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
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.
 

featherz

Veggie Chick
10 Years
Mar 22, 2010
5,371
487
346
Saratoga County, NY
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.
 

Egghead_Jr

Crowing
9 Years
Oct 16, 2010
7,144
2,936
406
NEK, VT
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.
 

Scotty16

Hatching
8 Years
Aug 27, 2011
9
0
7
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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