Winter Water Woes

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by debattikitoo, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. debattikitoo

    debattikitoo In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2016
    Hi. This is my first winter raising chickens and I'm using a light bulb in a metal can to keep their water from freezing. Well, it was 22 degrees this morning and three of my six waterers were frozen. The bulbs had burned out. I find it strange. Also, each light is connected to a Thermo Cube, which is a thermostatically controlled plug. Any comments on this would be appreciated and what do you use to keep the water from freezing? Thanks.

  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Free Ranging

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    Sometimes when the light bulb makes contact with the cold surface of the can, it tends to shorten its life. You can try to suspend it in a way so bulb does not touch the metal. I personally use this water heater. It is 25 watt and keeps water liquid. It is targeted for dogs but works for chickens just the same.
    This is similar to what you are using. Notice that bulb is touching the bottom of can. A slight raising of the fixture would correct situation. Should be possible with some wire brackets/supports.

    1 person likes this.
  3. debattikitoo

    debattikitoo In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2016
    Thank you! So, you use the dog bowls for your chickens? I have those also, but we were worried that they might get in the bowls and get wet.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    How old are your chickens? If they are baby chicks you can put rocks in the water so they can walk on top. If they are much older than babies, it isn’t a problem, at least for me

    I do not use a heater but instead use a black rubber bowl. If it freezes it will not break, I can just beat it on the ground to break the ice out and refill it. If you put it in the sun it will stay thawed into the teens, but the sun doesn’t shine at night or on some days. Still, it works for me.

  5. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Songster

    Jul 18, 2013
    Kalispell MT
    I use a plastic tote, horizontal nipples, and a stock tank deicer that is safe to use in plastic. Kept the chickens' water thawed out even when it was 22 below 0. Only needed filled once every week to week and a half.
  6. dheltzel

    dheltzel Crowing

    Nov 30, 2013
    Pottstown, PA
    X2 on the dog water bowls. Best investment ever! I have over 20 in use and have used them for years. No worries with older chickens getting into the water, they are smarter than that. Now ducks -- the climb in there intentionally. I built a wooden frame around the heated bucket I use for the ducks to keep them from swimming in it. They still get it very muddy, and drink a lot of the muddy water, but they seem happy with it.
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I like the dog bowls and rubber feed tubs with bird bath heaters in them.
    The only thing I don't like about them is that roosters dip their wattles into the water and then get frostbitten.

  8. lutherpug

    lutherpug Songster

    Jan 5, 2014
    Kansas City, MO
    I do the same. I have a 5 gallon buckets with horizontal nipples and use a stock tank deicer in both of them.

  9. 25 chickens

    25 chickens In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2013
    I've been using the bucket with horizontal nipples and a stock tank heater for 3 years now with 100 percent success. The heater I have has a built in thermostat so it only runs when it needs to.
  10. debid

    debid Crowing

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    Bucket, vertical nipples, bucket deicer. 7 years or so in service and working great. No ice, no dirty water.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by