What to do for Winter?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Equest94, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. Equest94

    Equest94 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2007
    New York
    We built a coop with a nice size run attached to it. The chickens seem very happy. Anyways, this is out first year having chickens so we're a bit unsure what to do for winter. We lined both the [insulated] coop plus the floor of the run with straw and we close the flock in to the "warm coop area" for the night and open it in the morning....

    The main issue is what to do with the water. So far, every time it freezes, we just pour hot water into their waterer to melt the ice... it's only a temporary solution. Currently we put the waterer into the coup area with them (since it's so much warmer in there), but that's taking up lots of their room...

    Is there anyway to keep the water from freezing without having to run electricity out there? Any suggests/advice/thoughts would be very much appreciated. Thank you all in advance.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2007
  2. helmstead

    helmstead Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    The only thing I can think of is some sort of insulated box on stilts to go over the body of the waterer while still allowing access to the lip for drinking. Probably still would freeze, though.

    IMHO You'll need to run a drop cord or something to hang a heat lamp over the water.

    Our waterer is a large muck bucket - so in all but the coldest weather it stays open. The goats help, too, by busting ice if it's needed LOL!
     
  3. Equest94

    Equest94 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    New York
    Haha - I wish I had a few goats then! Yeah, we were thinking of getting one of those heater pads that you can stick to the bottom of buckets, like for horses and such, but we're not having any luck finding anything like that that would fit the design of our waterer. I guess small heat lamp and extension cord will have to work then. Thank you for your response.

    (by the way very cute horse!)
     
  4. bunch-a-chickens

    bunch-a-chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 23, 2007
    Claiborne County Tn.
  5. greginshasta

    greginshasta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 26, 2007
    Mount Shasta, CA
    There have been a few threads about preventing the waterer from freezing without running power to the coop. These ranged from solar to deep-cycle marine batteries operating some sort of heater. It seems that the general concensus was that it was much easier to simply pull an extention cord to the coop. If the distance requires multiple cords, there are waterproof covers to seal the junction between the cords.

    Is there a particular reason you'd prefer to not pull an extention cord to the coop?

    If you can bring yourself to use a cord, here is an easy way to build a heater to prevent the waterer from freezing https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=19508&p=4


    On
    edit - as I recall, the past threads have been more-specifically about heating the coop in general as opposed to keeping the water from freezing, but I think it still stands that the power needs would exceed convenient solutions such as solar or batteries.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2007
  6. tammyhooper

    tammyhooper New Egg

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    Nov 12, 2007
    I don't know the shape of your waterer. but I was thinking of the battery operated socks that hunters wear. Maybe I'm out of my mind but if you have water bottles then putting one or two socks over it might solve the problem. Of course I don't know how often you would have to replace the batteries. Probably pretty often. But they have rechargable batteries now so maybe it's doable?
     
  7. Equest94

    Equest94 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2007
    New York
    Thank you all very much for your responses and ideas. I will have to look into them.

    greginshasta - we don't really have a major issue is using power and extension cords, we'd just prefer not to. We live on a good size (acreage) plot of land and the coop is kept a bit of a distance away from our actual house... having an extension cord that reaches across the yard like that will just "get in the way." Plus, our electricity bill is high enough, so my father would like to choose an option that necessarily does not require power from our house, but again, if we must then we must...it's not a big deal.

    The actual roost part of our coop is quite warm. It's insulated and we put straw bedding in to keep extra warm. I put the waterer in there with them and because it is much warmer it doesn't freeze. The issue is that it takes up quite a bit of their room and they also tend to get it very messy. This is a decent size waterer... it's suppose to supply for about a week at a time, but due to their messiness...we have to change it everyday, which gets to be a bit of a pain when hiking across the yard in snow holding a big bucket of water...lol. So that is the reason why I'd prefer to keep the waterer out of their coop but then there is the freezing issue again which brings me to my question about what to do for (non power cord) heaters.

    Again, thank you all.
     

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