winter waterer for long periods

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by awaxt2003, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. I need help with a better method of watering in the winter or I may not continue this chicken hobby next winter! I currently have 2 one gallon waterers, one for the roosters and one for the hens, I've broken both getting the ice out and de iced. I also have a large 5 gallon metal one that leaks faster than they can drink it, so the coop gets soaked and then turns into an ice rink. I am a full time med student and I also work, so filling up twice a day usually is not an option. And to be honest, i am so sick of dragging water (hot) out there after doing 16 plus hour days. I caved in again this year and turned on the heated red lights because of the low temps this year. I have 5 roosters and 15 hens. I love them dearly, and don't want to part with them. But I need a better option or my lifestyle may force me to give them up. HELP!!
  2. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    It's hard i get that but unfortunately, it is the downside to owning livestock and having winter. If the metal one is leaking get it out of there, you don't want that, it's can cause chilling by having a wet floor, raise the humidity and so forth.

    If you have a lamp, that means you have a method of hydro? have you considered a heated option? there are heated founts as well as a heated dog bowl(i use the heated dog bowl but i have smaller flocks broken down)

    The last option is i swap waterers not all my animals have hydro so that is the only option, i keep the waterers filled in the house walk out and removed the frozen one, definitely saves time.

    I'm sure others will chime in on their methods, but those are mine. [​IMG] The first winters are usually the hardest, you find out fast what works and what doesn't, you do get a routine down over time but this winter has been hard, even on the seasoned folks, trust me way past wanting it gone lol
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  3. Thanks. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one sick of winter! Last year was nothing like this. I was thinking of getting a very large heated waterer, but I can seem to find one more than a few gallons.
  4. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 30, 2013
    Pottstown, PA
    I agree with the suggestion for a heated dog water bowl. You can get them for Walmart, or TSC, or online. Some people put rubber bowls into the heated dish to make cleaning easier. Either way, they work great anywhere you have electricity.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  5. How big do they come? I need one that can last a couple days.
  6. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 30, 2013
    Pottstown, PA
    The ones I have are about a gallon or 5 quarts. You could always get 2 or 3 of them I guess. Even once a day just adding water beats having to deal with the frozen bowls. Chickens do fine with once a day liquid water, BTW. They are tough.
  7. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 1, 2013
    Smithville, Missouri
  8. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2012
    I made one of these and I love it:

    I used a 6ft heat tape, I'm sure the 3ft would work fine, the 6 was all I could find at the time of the build. I also added a layer of 1/2" foam on the bottom that the nipples protrude through and I took the bottom I cut off the outer bucket and attached it over this layer of foam to keep prying beaks away from the foam layer. I also had some 1" foil backed foam that I cut and sanded till it fit perfectly into the bucket and goes about halfway down to provide insulation on top of the water. Wrapped the outer bucket in foil bubble insulation.

    With it being a 5gal pail I can put water in it and go several weeks between changes. Even in the extreme cold we've had in the NE lately the water is flowing anytime I check it(which I did often after the initial install of the system). I bring it inside to rinse and refill and when I remove the inner foam layer the water is steamy warm in there. So the 6ft cable is for sure overkill but it's only 42W so the power draw is not that bad. Beats messing with frozen waterers any day.

    I have a separate unheated unit I use for summer water. Both units are outside the coop in the run, my girls have 24/7 access to the run except for the really really cold nights we've had lately where we just close the pop door overnight. So I'm not sure if there is any leakage as it's a non-issue for me with them outside all the time.
  9. jmagill

    jmagill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2009
    Western Wyoming
    Bucket, nipples and aquarium heater. Clean water and low watts. easiest most economical solution.
  10. jimmywalt

    jimmywalt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2013
    My first winter as well.

    Check out my "Heated water" link in my signature line for all the details on how to use a 5 gallon bucket, aquarium heater, fountain pump and nipple to water your chickens. My set up cost about $20 bucks and I'm as happy as can be. I'll use it all year long too (minus the heater & pump).

    Let me know if you have any questions (post in my thread with the details of how to build it). You'll love it. I guarantee it!
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by