Winter is coming!!!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Mvan42, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. Mvan42

    Mvan42 Songster

    Mar 15, 2019
    Garrett County, Maryland
    How do you keep your chickens water from freezing in the winter? Last year we used a hated dog bowl it worked great but my son (they are his chickens) didn’t keep it clean and of course the girls pooped in it which made the eggs taste bad.

    We have a bucket with the cup style nipples, I was thinking of putting a small fish tank heater in it this year, it will be inside the coop, instead of outside also.

    We often have days in the negatives here. Not all winter but sometimes a week or so at a time.
  2. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Free Ranging

    Jul 24, 2016
    Washington State
    You can get a stock water heater, or a heated chicken waterer. I can't get my chickens to drink out of a nipple, so I go out and change their water several times a day. It's a chore, but I want them to have fresh clean water all the time that's not frozen. If it were my son's chickens and he wasn't keeping the water clean, I'm afraid I'd be out there doing it myself. :barnie Chickens are so much easier to raise than kids.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  4. Mvan42

    Mvan42 Songster

    Mar 15, 2019
    Garrett County, Maryland
    They sure are. I always checked n things but not every day. When I noticed what was going on I was doing it. And he got in trouble because he told me he was changing it. Lol.
  5. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

    Jul 23, 2018
    Apalachin, NY
    My Coop
    If you switch out the cup style nipples with horizontal nipples, they will be less likely to freeze.
    I use a thermostatically controlled bird bath heater that is rated safe for contact with plastic.
    You can also use a good quality, small aquarium heater inside a wire cage so the heater cannot touch the plastic. The aquarium heater can then be plugged into a thermocube that will control when the heater comes on.
    I only place the lid loosely over the top of the bucket to keep debris from falling in the bucket but my birds do not hang out in the coop where they might perch and poop on top of the bucket.
    horizontal nipple waterer.jpg
  6. Mvan42

    Mvan42 Songster

    Mar 15, 2019
    Garrett County, Maryland
    Thanks, I do have some nipples, the heater I have wasn’t a cheep. I actually have two of them one has a temp adjustment on it. The watered I have is the bucket one from tractor supply. I will switch things out. Thanks
  7. Mvan42

    Mvan42 Songster

    Mar 15, 2019
    Garrett County, Maryland

    This is the one I have.
  8. Wee Farmer Sarah

    Wee Farmer Sarah Free Ranging

    Last winter was pretty cold at times. There were quite a few mornings when the temps were below zero. I did not leave the waterer inside the coop and left them in the run. I would change the waterers several times a day. I wrapped their run in heavy plastic shower curtains and this kept the daytime temperatures inside that area much warmer so the water wasn't freezing as often. This worked for me as I am retired and have the luxury of time to spare. It also gave me a reason to get up and take a walk every hour or two.
  9. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    Aquarium heaters are designed for indoor use so how effective they would be outside is a guess at best.

    A stock tank or bucket deicer is a better choice in my opinion.

    They come in many sizes for different sized buckets and tanks.

    He sure to look for "de-icer" not "heater" or at least be sure to read if the HEAT the water as I have seen several that heat the water to HOT not just thawed.
  10. hispoptart

    hispoptart Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    NW Colorado
    I love your design and plan to build one soon, hopefully today if my small farm and feed store has the nipples, if not I will order them today. Just wondering how long it will take to train my girls to drink from them and also should I leave their normal waterer out at the same time until they learn?
    Wee Farmer Sarah and ValerieJ like this.

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