Winter water in tractor without electricity?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by lcflwt, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. lcflwt

    lcflwt New Egg

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    Sep 22, 2011
    Please send ideas/feedback:

    I have an unlimited supply of milk jugs/nipples/ free heated water (milk jugs placed next to woodstove) and NO electricity in my plan for my mobile chicken tractor. My theory to get us through the winter is to place a nipple in the CAP of the milk jug and invert it into a holder on the outside of the shelter wall. It will freeze, eventually, and be rep[laced with another heated jug of water, while the frozen one can be recycled in front of the woodstove again. This gives one nipple for 6 birds. I am thinking I can also place a few of these free heat generators into the door of the coop to add a little nighttime radiant heat.

    Will freezing damage my metal nipple? Will partial freezing blow off the cap of the milkjug letting all the water out? Will the nipple allow air to displace water used?

    Has anybody tried a system like this?

    I plan on a backup plan of a heated mat in the garage if temps get below 0 degrees sustained. I have wide roosts to protect the toes. We live in MO which has the extremes but rarely for very long.

    All ideas are welcome....
     
  2. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Will you be moving your tractor in the winter? Don't know how cold it gets there, but nipples will freez pretty darn quick. Assuming you are not moving it due to snow, I would just provide for them a bowl of water, and change it out twice a day.
     
  3. lcflwt

    lcflwt New Egg

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    Sep 22, 2011
    We really don't get that much snow. If we do, it seldom lasts more than a few days. We do have MUD and look forward to cold enough weather that you stop sinking up to your ankles. I am letting my grass grow a bit longer so I have plenty for them to graze on all winter, though it gets pretty limp. These tractors will be smaller than my previous so I will be moving them once a day, or when the chickens tell me to. Previously i kept chickens in a tractor, but overwintered them in a stationary coop. When summered in the tractor, I provided calcium but only gave them laying feed once a week out of guilt, they ate very little. I had a great ant hill that I would set them on and they could free-range the garden after I picked all the red fruits. Yep, seldom had to feed them store-bought feed.

    How long for a metal nipple in contact with a gallon of 80 degree water to freeze?
     

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