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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by fetchdog, May 14, 2009.
how do you water your chickens in the winter? will they get their water needs from snow?
You can get water warmers that keep your water from freezing, or I just go out each day and check on the water and if it's frozen I'll dump that out and put in new water. You might have do that a couple of times it temps are freezing during the day. I don't think snow is good enough.
hmmm....where i live it's below freezing november through april.....this could be a problem! i would think they could rely on snow, since the grouse and other winter birds do just fine....
I don't have chickens yet, but will have them in 1 month. I have been considering the wintering water problem as well. What I have come up with is first I will see how well the birds the do in my coop ( It will bill insulated and I will be using the deep litter method) and how warm it stays in there, It *probably* won't stay above freezing with just that, so on the cold nights I will put some sort of light bulb or heat lamp in there ( havn't decided exactly the best option for me on that) and if that still is not keeping the water dethawed I will get a small heated waterer, I saw a thread on here a while back about small heated waterers, I havn't priced them out yet, but still got a ways to go before winter.
Now having said this, I have no experience with this and this is just my plan for dealing with my first winter, we will see ow it goes. Hopefully someone who has actually done will post a reply LOL
I would suggest a water warmer that the water container sits on as well. That is what we bought.. hopefully it will help heat the coop as well during those winter months.
I've also heard the hard rubber watering dishes are best (for all year around) because when the water freezes, it is easy to get the block of ice out.
Get a water heater or water a few times a day. As far as snow for water it can be done but the amount of energy and calories that is used to melt it and rewarm the body is not effective. My coop is insulated and warm enough I dont even need a water heater.
You can keep the water liquid pretty easily. Put the waterer on a concrete block and put a light bulb in the hole of the block. Get one of those old fashioned metal cookie tins, mount a light bulb inside with a lamp kit, replace cover, put waterer on tin. And so forth. Those black rubber pans are good too, not because they keep it liquid but they are easy to break ice out of. I'm sure you will come up with something. But no, you should not depend on snow. They may not even be willing to walk out in it, never mind eat/drink it.
thanks everyone! i water my dogs 3-5 times a day in the winter, i'll just have to add the chickens to my chore list.
An electrically heated dog bowl with a wire barrier works nicely and saves labor too!