Winter waterer dilemma...

vantain

Songster
Sep 2, 2018
566
1,033
173
Southern Minnesota
I'm in Minnesota. Our winters get down to -20 to -30, usually for a few days in a row in January. Every other time between December and February, it's very common to be below zero both day and night. So I must have a heated water.

Over the past few years, I have used the Farm Innovators heated nipple waterer: http://www.farminnovators.com/HB-60P Sell Sheet.pdf
It has worked great, though last year some water got down into the heated base, and shorted out the element. It still works, but I had to remove the base, dry it up, and then it was good to go again, at least till it happened again. In any case, I do plan to put that back into operation this winter.

But, here's the dilemma. I have one particular pullet who is blind. She cannot see the nipples, and is unable to drink from that waterer. The other 9 chickens do fine with it. Due to her issues, I purchased a fount waterer. I got the Little Giant galvanized 3 gallon waterer. I do plan to heat it with a heater base. She does fine with that one. However, I have noticed that she tends climb up on the waterer if spooked from behind, trying to get away from what spooked her. So she has stepped into the waterer. It is up on cinder blocks, so it's not on the ground. So the concern is winter, and if that happened in our very cold weather, she would be losing feet to severe frostbite.

I'd really prefer to have her learn to use the nipple waterer, and I have spent some time with her on it, but I have made no progress with her. With winter coming quickly, I'm desperate for a solution. Anyone have any ideas?
 

cavemanrich

Enabler
Apr 6, 2014
14,720
45,565
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Melrose Park Illinois
I have taken care of a blind hen for 2 years. I kept her separated from most of my flock, to prevent pecking. When I had her together, it was with some bantams, that did not bother her. She found her water and feed OK.
I see your situation and problem faced. A solution I see, is to place the water, with an overhead barrier,so chicken is unable to climb on, or into water.
Would placing the water inside a milk crate laying on side work for you.
crate.PNG


WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,:highfive:,
 

vantain

Songster
Sep 2, 2018
566
1,033
173
Southern Minnesota
Just an update...I spend some time with my blind chicken Precious, trying to get her to figure out the nipple waterer. It was a no go. She just can't figure it out, so a fount waterer is what I will have to stick with this winter. So I'm back to figuring out exactly what I will do. I currently have the Little Giant 2 gallon galvanized metal waterer. It's good quality, but I don't like how it gushes water when the outer cover is put on. That is going to be awful for those below zero days, when changing out the water.
 

cavemanrich

Enabler
Apr 6, 2014
14,720
45,565
1,187
Melrose Park Illinois
I solved my winter water from freezing problem with this self made solution. The pix is of a same setup I use to make cultured cheese , and yogurt, inside kitchen. I use multiple Mini-crockpots inside my loft. (loft is winter housing inside my garage) Water stays only warm and not boiling hot because I have electricity supplied thru a dimmer switch controlled outlet. Inner crock pot liner is removable for easy washing. I adjust the current output to crockpot with the dimmer, until I get desired temperature of content inside crockpot.
IMG_20201008_164917461.jpg
lazer.PNG
 

vantain

Songster
Sep 2, 2018
566
1,033
173
Southern Minnesota
So, I have decided to go with the Little Giant fount waterer and heated base for this winter, due to issues with one chicken who cannot use the nipple waterer. Here it is all hooked up, just in time, since the water was frozen yesterday, and I really needed to get this in place ASAP. I hate winter.....
IMG_1586.jpeg
 

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