Watering Tips for the Non-Electrictrified Coop??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by 4theloveofhens, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. 4theloveofhens

    4theloveofhens Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2010
    Hey Everyone, it's been a while, but I am back with a couple questions. It's getting to that time of year when the water freezes. I don't/can't have electricity (even an extension cord) to my coop. I live in a Duplex and I also just can't have the risk of fires. Not to mention, I don't even have an outside outlet... HAH. [​IMG]

    For those of you that know or who do it yourself, how do you water your small flock (I have 4 girls) in the winter without electricity? What are the best containers to use?

    Additionally, I've been feeding my girls a little dinner (usually I just give them a big breakfast because I read on here that feeding them before they got to bed isn't healthy?). But they are so hungry!! Do you guys feed once a day or twice? Also, I think I read that scratch is often used in Winter to keep chickens warm?? Do I mix this with their regular layer feed? If so, how much?

    I am really disappointed that the two waterers I bought from Jax months ago leak now, so I can't use them in the coop because as I found out today, yes, they slowly drip...drip...drip...drip. And ruin all the clean shavings. [​IMG] Stupid cheap plastic waterers.

    Anyway, thank you for your help, I really appreciate it!
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I use black plastic/rubber feed pans for all my pens water. You can flip them over and step on the bottom and the ice pops out. I don't have water at my pens either and too many pens to run extension cords to all of them for water heaters. I carry the water from my utility room out to the pens when it gets too cold out to use a garden hose.
  3. artsyrobin

    artsyrobin Artful Wings

    Mar 1, 2009
    Muskogee OK
    if you can get glycerine, like they sell in the baking section, add a bit of that to the water and it lowers the temp the water will freeze
  4. parisplus3

    parisplus3 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 6, 2010
    Missoula Montana
    Hi there, I only have four little girls also and I have been having been using the quart size waterer from when they were little. I have it raised up on a couple bricks. I have a couple jars and change it (with warm water) twice a day. Works good for me (in montana). As far as feeding, they have access to their food always and treats once or twice a day.
  5. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Most people put out free choice feed.
    Some limit the amount to approximately what they will eat in one day if their hens waste food, but some use "whole bag" feeders so they don't have to refill them as often. Hens won't overeat to the point of hurting themselves --- and eating before bed gives them calories to keep warm through the night. [​IMG]
  6. jessica117

    jessica117 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2008
    SE Tennessee
    I have done the same thing Katy said. Another thing I have done is I usually keep two 1 gallon waterers in each of my coops in the summer (each houses 8-10 chickens) During the winter I will only leave one in each coop, and take the others inside to thaw. I change them out twice a day when it's really cold.

    As for scratch, since you are already feeding them twice a day, I would substitute your evening "snack" for scratch. That way when it's the coldest (at night) they will be getting the added warmth of digesting it.

    Hope this helps! [​IMG]
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Scratch is chicken candy, does NOT help keep them warm any more than any other grain. It is a snack or treat only. What they need is access to regular feed any time they are awake.

    You could try putting water in a small cooler, like the ones that hold 6 soda cans. If it's not too cold where you are, this might keep it liquid.
  8. slightlyscrambled

    slightlyscrambled Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    I use the small coolers for my ducks and geese in the winter they are deep enough for them to stick their entire head in and the insulation helps to keep from freezing, I just add warm water every morning and evening and it melts the ice that has formed around the sides. Worked great last winter. We do get below 0* here.
  9. Tia Maria

    Tia Maria Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 10, 2010
    Wiltshire - UK
    This doesn't answer the 'stop it freezing' part of your post but

    to get 'free' water to my coop I have run guttering all around which feeds into a waterbutt that then has a connection to a water trough with a ball valve in it to stop it overflowing

    I am looking at a 'SolarSipper' (you'll need to google it) animal bowl with a solar rim to keep water from freezing - only holds a quart of water though
  10. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    I only have a small flock so my solution is pretty easy. I use the metal double walled waterers. They do freeze at night but I have two so I keep one in the house and fill it up with warm water in the morning and just switch it out for the frozen one. They have plenty of water during the day. I do not keep it in the coop but if it gets extremely cold, I am going to put it in the coop so I can keep them locked in on the coldest of days. I leave their feed out free choice all the time. I have three PVC feeders and they don't over eat. I do give them my own mix of scratch every evening plus usually a treat of some apple. So far they seem to be fine and they never want for water.

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