Water's Frozen!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MamaHen1616, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. MamaHen1616

    MamaHen1616 In the Brooder

    Dec 8, 2016
    Hi everyone,
    Yesterday we had our first snow here and the cold weather is really setting in. Our water froze last night and I was wondering what you guys do to keep it from freezing. Also curious about the lowest temp chickens can stand.


  2. IaBlueGal

    IaBlueGal In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2015
    We use a heated water bowl in their pen, not in the coop; $15 at Thiesen's. Our coop is very well insulated so we don't provide extra heat. We like the deep litter method, too! Good luck!
  3. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chirping

    Jan 24, 2016
    I too just purchased a heated water bowl. As far as temps where do you live? The more common breads of chicken can handle extremely cold temps as long as the coop is well ventilated. Moisture and lack of ventilation will cause more problems then the cold.
    If you do not have electricity near your coop or if you can't run a good outdoor rated extension cord then you will likely have to haul them fresh water a couple times a day.
  4. IaBlueGal

    IaBlueGal In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2015
    Just noticed you're new to the group; welcome! Flyin-Lowe gave you good advice,btw!
  5. JackE

    JackE Crowing

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    I use a cookietin fount warmer, I built 6yrs ago, for less than $5. I use a 40W bulb in mine. If the temp goes below 10, I'll throw a 60W bulb in it. A lot cheaper, and lasts far longer than the near $50 chinese engineered one you'll find at TractorSupply.


  6. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    I put an aquarium heater in their water. Because my waterer has a vertical nipple the nipple part still freezes but it thaws out quickly by just dipping it in a cup of cool/lukewarm water.
  7. ladyearth

    ladyearth Songster

    Nov 23, 2013
    My 2 seasons used pet "heated bowl "stopped working. We just tried it out.gotta buy another one. I think many companies do it on purpose so you will buy more
    there are actual engineers that design packaging etc. They wouldnt want it to last forever Right? less jobs ..
    anone ever take them apart and fix? yeah its molded plastic. I see the tin can heater link.... Might try that too
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  8. Howard E

    Howard E Songster

    Feb 18, 2016
    I recently picked up one of these bucket heaters from my local feed store:


    They are also available on ebay, amazon, etc.

    Dropped it in this plastic water bucket, which has both cup heater and horizontal nipples. It went to +15 last night and while the cup froze (it is outside the bucket), the water nipple didn't. Instructions for the water nipple said to use a bucket heater like this in cold weather.


    Bucket is shown on the far left side, so that is how it looks in operation. Basically, no different with the heater installed than it does any other day.

    Have also used a unit like this for almost 10 years for a dog water, and it never did freeze and it went through some periods of -5 to -10 without issue. My daughter is now using it for her birds.


    As for how much cold can birds stand? The right birds in proper housing with the right feed and water routinely survive to -30 and beyond.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  9. lutherpug

    lutherpug Songster

    Jan 5, 2014
    Kansas City, MO
    I use a bucket de-icer that I purchased on Amazon.


    I have a 5 galloon bucket with the horizontal water nipples and a screw on top. Drilled a hole in the top big enough to run the cord through and hooked it up to an extension cord we had running into the coop.

    Today was the first day it really got put to the test, the temp was in the low teens here this morning. Rushed down to the coop around 6am to check the water and the nipples weren't even frozen. As far as the cold, chickens are pretty hardy in cold temps as long as you've not selected a true hot weather breed. I've got a RIR, Delaware, and Australorp and they're all happily running around out there with snow on the ground and temps not rising above 25 today.

    As flyin-lowe mentioned, you'll run into far more trouble when you combine cold temps, moisture, and lack of ventilation in the coop. Keep the coop clean or *correctly* employ the DLM and make sure there is ventilation above where your chickens roost for the night. That should keep you out of trouble. Chickens create moisture by breathing, etc. Add this to the moisture that already exists in their droppings and lack of ventilation and you have a recipe for frostbite once the cold sets in. This is my first winter with chickens too but I did a ton of reading on this particular subject as we get blasted with very cold temps several times each winter.

    Good luck!

  10. MamaHen1616

    MamaHen1616 In the Brooder

    Dec 8, 2016
    Ok, first of all, wow. I did NOT expect this many people to respond this quickly! Thank you all! I think we will have to run an extension cord out there because my family is almost always away from the house in the daytime.

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