winter watering? how do you all deal with it?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by catsbully, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. catsbully

    catsbully Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 24, 2012
    I thought I'd pick a few chicken brains on this one! lol
    I got my first chickens this spring... we built an awesome insulated coop for our flock and the only thing I can come up with for getting them fresh daily water in the winter is to bucket/watering can it out to them as we shut down our hoses for the winter as the pipes will burst if we don't! gotta say though this thought doesn't enthuse me much!!!
    Sooo...any ideas tricks or just let me know your experiences please!
    thanks so much
  2. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    I shut the outside water off here also. I have two 2.5 gal metal water founts. I fill one in the house and carry it out to the coop, and swap it with the one in the coop, and carry the other back to the house. I keep the water fount in the coop from freezing with the help of a cookie tin heater.
  3. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    We shut the water off here too and just tote buckets out. We have a plug-in dog water bowl that we use for the girls in the winter. We prop it up on a couple bricks so it doesn't get too dirty. On the coldest days I fill the bucket with hot water so by the time I get out there, it will have cooled a bit, but still stays warmer longer.
  4. baldessariclan

    baldessariclan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2010
    Wichita, KS
    If you can run electricity out to the coop (extension cords or dedicated lines), you could try a setup similar to this:



    Make sure to use a ceramic or metal pot if you do this -- no plastics or other meltable / flamable items. Also, make sure there is a suitable air gap between the heating element and the pot sides / top. A 100 watt infrared heating element is shown here, but a regular 60 to 100 watt incandescent bulb will work just as well (depending on how cold it gets in your area). You'll want to keep it out of any wind, and make sure it's all tight enough where no flamable bedding material can work it's way up inside / close to the heating element. You can use a "Thermocube" or similar thermostat-type plug-in to turn off the power to the heat source when temps rise above freezing.

    Alternately, Tractor Supply Company (or similar "feed and seed" outfits) may have a heating pad or waterer available w/ the heating element (and thermostat) already built in to it. Around $40-$50 for the units in links below:


    (Note that you'll need to use a metal or other non-meltable waterer with this one -- no plastic)

    If no electricty is available, only real option is to switch out the water a couple times a day -- replace frozen stuff w/ new warm water. Note that when the water freezes, it will expand, and can crack / break your plastic or metal waterer.
  5. catsbully

    catsbully Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 24, 2012
    well as I assumed its buckets though the heated system that balldessariclan is interesting...unfortunately my hubby (bless him) did the wiring in the coop this spring and well fries the extension cords when we connect to the coop! I should have checked it out before finishing the interior but i didn't so its a no go. I will run a straight extension cord to a light fixture to extend the day light hours to keep production up but I cant run much else. so buckets it is
  6. 3forfree

    3forfree Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2010
    essexville, michigan
    You need to check the size of your extension cord if you're frying it. Maybe too much running in the coop,
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by