WINTER - Watering without electricity in coop (question)

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by joebryant, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    I'm just curious about the following:
    There seems to be a lot of people who have no electricity in their coop or readily accessible water. I wonder if anyone has tried making/expecting the chickens to travel to the owner's house for their water in the winter. Will/can chickens learn to leave their coop area and go to a heated water source close to the owner's back door?

    ETA I can't imagine my carrying buckets of water several times a day during cold winters to water chickens; they can walk as well as I can. I can see it during deep snow when chickens can't walk before I shoveled a path to the house for them, but every day would be out of the question for me.
    ETA #2 Now that I think of it, if my coop(s) were a long distance from my house, during summer and winter, the chickens' ONLY water source would be close to my house. They'd walk there for water or die of thirst.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  2. GAchick

    GAchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2009
    Pembroke GA
    I've been doing that for awhile now. Actually I have a small metal bucket in front, and they drink from the horse's water in the back. I quit putting water in the coop area awhile back (months). I still keep the food there, because I want to keep the food out of the rain. I have one quarantine area that gets water, but everybody else travels.. It's not far though. They free range a much further distance than that...
  3. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2008
    Let's face it, in the wild chickens don't have water accessible in the coop;)
    Ours prefer the running fountain/water bucket at the front of the house or various mud puddles when available. However, since the fox attack we aren't free ranging and so we must provide water. I think coop water is more important for conserving energy to produce winter eggs rather than a life/death situation. Likewise, water warmed slightly allows the chickens to conserve their energy for more important things.
    Now, if you can convince the chickens to actually use that conserved energy to produce eggs, you've done a wondrous thing!
  4. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    they'reHISchickens :

    Let's face it, in the wild chickens don't have water accessible in the coop;)!

    The true wild chicken--jungle fowl, probably don't roost far from a good source of it nor do they have to worry about it freezing. As far as feral chickens are concerned, in area where there is snow they probably make use of that as a water source.

    As far as carrying vs letting them come to it is concerned: I'd rather walk through the snow the 50 yds or so to my coop than shovel a path to my house. Been doing that for 25 years but oh how I'm going to enjoy that hydrant we put in this summer.​
  5. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Maybe you could train them- you know start off with the bucket near the coop in the summer and keep moving it closer to the house as the season goes on. I'll tell you right now, the first winter with my RIR's they would have dehydrated. They only took a few steps onto the snow. By the second year, if I shoveled they would take a little fresh air- but I can't imagine them walking far. For those chickens, if they couldn't see dirt (or even mud) they had little interest in going outside.
  6. johny

    johny Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    "carrying buckets of water several times a day during cold winters to water chickens"

    Just how many birds do you have?
    I only have 13 Buff Orps.
    It is already clear I won't have to bring more than a 3 gallon waterer more than every three days this winter.
    How hard is that?

    It reached -15C (5F) last nite. The water was warm on it's heater base and the inside of the coop the air temp was 6C (43F)
  7. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Quote:The birthday gift that keeps giving. [​IMG]
  8. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    We have electricity for the chickens and ducks, but I haul water every day for the ducks and every 3 days for the chickens. We shovel the path to the coop as well as one to the shed and around the back of the house. I find that a childs sled makes a great means of hauling stuff in the winter. Get free 5 gallon buckets with lids from Sam's Club and you are all set.
  9. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    Johnny and birdbrain, lots of others have to water their chickens several times a day because they have no way to heat it in the coop.
  10. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 19, 2009
    They'll travel just fine. I wouldn't even bother moving it slowly. Just put it where you want it and show one chicken where it is. The rest will follow. Not only have mine found every water source on the property; different birds tend to have different preferences as to which source they like to drink from. And, to boot, they have also figured out that if I move the larger livestock out of any given paddock that water source will no longer be filled and they stop going to it. They're not as dumb as they look. [​IMG]

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