Winter Water Heated Base Question

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by echase76, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. echase76

    echase76 New Egg

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    Dec 11, 2013
    Hi Folks,

    Been lurking for a while, but am now in need of some advice. We live in Central PA and have been experiencing some nights in the teens with some wind. Our flock has a spot in the unheated barn and we are using an 8 gallon metal waterer with a heated base.

    My question is our water is partially freezing up both on the open surface and in the waterer. For example this morning after a night in the upper teens 1/2 of the open water surface in the waterer base was frozen. Does this seem right? I'm concerned that maybe our heated base is defective and not heating properly. I expected that it should keep the water open in very cold temps like a stock tank heater.

    The base is luke warm to the touch at best.

    Thanks for the advice.

    Eric
     
  2. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could you take a picture of your waterer and post? I'm a male and having a hard time understanding your description. :)

    Is the water still liquid where the chickens drink from?
     
  3. echase76

    echase76 New Egg

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    Dec 11, 2013
    I stole a picture from someone else as I'm not home right now. This is our setup. The problem we have is that as we are getting into the teens at night the open water surface is partially freezing. Concerned for colder temps.

    Just trying to figure out if this is a natural limitation of the product from peoples' experience or if ours is defective.

    If it is the limitation of the product then we will either have to haul more water in cold weather or figure out another alternative. I hear some folks use heated dog bowls.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    I bought my first heated base in 1993 & it kept the water totally unfrozen down below 0 degrees. I had to replace in a few years ago & the new one tends to start to freeze when it gets below 15. They don't make them like they used to! It is a real pain, especially again this year.
     
  5. echase76

    echase76 New Egg

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    Dec 11, 2013
    Thanks for verifying that below about 15 we will need to keep an eye out for freezing. It was into the teens last night and one edge froze, up but there was still open water.

    May look to see if I can find a higher wattage base. Looks like mine is only 100 watts and with an 8 gallon waterer the cold temps are a pain.

    Eric
     
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm thinking that eight gallons in too much for the heater. How many chickens? I would either add another heated waterer and plan on three to four gallons per base, or just underfill that huge waterer and refill more often. I have 36 chickens, so two three gallon waterers work for me. One is on a heater base, the other is a plastic heated unit. I like the heated base better! So far no problems; it was 0F a few nights ago here. Ugh! Mary
     
  7. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    I would think this also, but mine is only a 2 gallon waterer & it still freezes when it gets to 10-15 degrees.
     
  8. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's surprising that it can't keep a 2 gallon waterer from freezing.
     
  9. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Same setup I have. Temperatures in the single digits and I haven’t see any ice. But then I’m in a wooded area which restricts the winter wind considerably.

    You are in the teens with “partially freezing”. Can you block it a bit to keep the wind of off it?
     
  10. echase76

    echase76 New Egg

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    Thanks for all the comments. It seems like the wind was the issue. We have them inside, but the door has a pretty good opening when closed that lets some wind in. last night it was windy and about 15 and the waterer had a bit of ice on the upwind side. We are going to move the waterer to a more sheltered area.

    We have about 70 chickens at the moment and are trying to get the kinks worked out of our watering system so we don't have to haul as much water.
     

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