watering turkeys in winter

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by bee_wrangler, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. bee_wrangler

    bee_wrangler Songster

    Sep 13, 2009
    The temp is now freezing and another month temps will be -30. I have been using a heat lamp to keep water from freezing for the ducks and turkeys and it is just working, but when it gets -30 I don't think even a heat lamp will keep the water from freezing. I read somewhere (maybe on here) about giving turkeys powder snow rather than water. To see what would happen I took out their water today and put in a bucket of snow.. after a while they started eating the snow. Does anyone else do this? It seems to work but I am worried that they get the amount of water they need since it takes many buckets of snow to make one bucket of water. Its a bad time of year to go out and buy a couple of heated water buckets for the ducks and turkeys, money is tight right now with the holidays.
  2. dani2

    dani2 In the Brooder

    Apr 25, 2008
    Hi for our birds we just take jugs of hot water out in the morning and evening they do eventually freeze up but I find that filling with hot water twice a day works just fine.
  3. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

    I would not, because from what I have heard it takes to much energy to melt it, so they don't get much if any thing from it.
  4. byoung14ever

    byoung14ever Songster

    May 15, 2009
    Brookston In
    You can get a heated dog bowl at rural king or somewhere similar for $20 if you have power close. Its worth it to me versus all the extra trips out to the pen.
  5. bee_wrangler

    bee_wrangler Songster

    Sep 13, 2009
    Thanks for the advice, I will stay away from using snow. I thought of the heated dog dish idea, but 7 turkeys would drink it all in no time, faster than it would take a bucket of water to freeze lol. As for the hot water, My turkeys don't seem too bright at times, they would cook themselves haha, also even hot water will cool and freeze in no time when its -30 weather. I did find a good idea on a thread here for a cookie tin heater... it said to take a large cookie tin and drill a small hole just big enough for a cord to go in, then put in a light fixture and a 20 watt bulb. Put their water ontop and it keeps it warm enough to not freeze. I don't like the idea of water and electrical wires though... if I had a car battery I would rig it up with that.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
  6. card5640

    card5640 Songster

    Mar 27, 2009
    Bangor area, Maine
    A small heated dog bowl with a metal pail set in it works fine too, that way you can get more water in it.
  7. angelwing

    angelwing Hatching

    Feb 21, 2009
    We pulled up on the plastic fount waterer in the turkey pen and it gave way to being frozen in the dirt! It was only 30 today so I cannot imagine -30! We went out and bought a heated small animal dish - which will be large enough for our 4 Jersey Buff turkeys. (It holds 2 gallons) They live in an unheated covered dog kennel, nesting in a very large igloo doghouse when it gets colder. They also have a large yeard to pasture in and have been seen eating snow. Most of the time they choose to roost. on a 2x3 about 18" off the ground. We had two poults hatch this year and a few more eggs; hopefully next year we will have surviving babies.
  8. melody123

    melody123 Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    I bought a 2 gallon heated wather container in August in the clearance bin. I'm so glad that I did, the water in the chicken pen has stayed unfrozen even though it's gotten to 9 degrees at night. But the turkeys live right next to my house (their choice, they moved there.) So I carry them warm water and a warm treat in the morning and at night.

    If I coud time travel back to that sale in August, I would have bought two. When the temperature dipped, I've had to pack water to too many creatures too often. The forecast now calls for 40 degees and rain, and I am thrilled.
  9. wilds of pa

    wilds of pa Songster

    I use 1-1/2 gallon heated dog bowls. we actually have a 250ft cord that runs up to our game bird flight pens to supply electric for there heated bowls(for the pheasants and turkeys).. they work great however sometimes i must top them off about half way through the day esp on the turks bowl....
  10. Plain_View_Farm

    Plain_View_Farm Songster

    Apr 5, 2008
    Central Virginia
    I use 2 gallon heated buckets I bought from Southern States. I have these in the Chicken, Duck, Turkey and Guinea pens.
    For the Coturnix since they could not reach a 2 gallon bucket I took one of the low plastic feed pans that is about 2' in
    diameter and placed a Stock Tank Floating Heat Element in that. Nothing freezes.

    I bought 5 Gallon ones for the Goats and Geese. They work great. 10 Turkeys do not deplete a 2 gallon bucket in Winter.
    They don't drink quite as much over Winter months I've found.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by