Winter Watering

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by smirch9, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. smirch9

    smirch9 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 14, 2010
    Ok, so down here in Oklahoma we definitely don't need to worry about how cold it is right now. With heat over 100 everyday for the last 2 months its hard to think about the winter. But I am moving over to watering with nipples and pvc and was wondering if anyone has done this and if so what do you do to keep the water from freezing?
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    First off, welcome to BYC.

    If you routinely get below 32 there, you'll probably need to get a convential waterer with one of those new fangled heaters that warms the bottom. That or change the water regularly... like we have to here in the summer.
  3. smirch9

    smirch9 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 14, 2010
    Thank you. As I sat here typing my question I thought of another way, and I am going to use a 5 gallon bucket and suspend it from the ceiling of my coop. At that point I'll find an aquarium heater small enough for the bucket, and I'll use it for the heater. That will keep it from freezing. It does routinely get below 32 degrees here, however that system will work
  4. lleighmay

    lleighmay Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    I like the idea of the aquarium heater- inexpensive and easy to find. I hadn't thought of that one (though I have wondered about heat tape... if I ever get my coop wired). I bet the heater will work just fine!
  5. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Quote:Forget the aquarium heater! I spent 30 years in the aquarium business as a writer and fish hobbyist and I can tell you they are dangerous to use anyplace but in the aquarium and even then have to be watched. For one thing if the water level drops below the heating element it will break the glass tubing, which is bad enough, but will also short circuit the system and electrify your water. Want to zap you chickens? If you think you need a light weight submersible heater, try the ones they use for outdoor bird waterers. Depending on how cold it gets, I suggest one of those "old" fangled under the waterer heaters (they've been around as long as I have so hardly new). Make sure it is raised on bricks or concrete blocks that completely cover the bottom of the heater to prevent mice from nesting under it. It is also recommended that you only use metal waterers, not light plastic.

    Whatever you do remember water and electricity are a potential deadly combination so be careful and use common sense.
  6. rdport

    rdport Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 27, 2009
    There are special heaters for chicken waters...just make sure you use a metal container with the heater. In OK you should not have to use it that much, but they are really nice when it is cold.
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Last winter I used a black rubber bowl for a waterer. I turn it over every morning and stomp the ice out, then refill it and set it in the sun. The water in it stayed thawed when the air temperature was around 20*F.

  8. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hi Smirch!

    What I had to do here in Ohio, was change the water in the morning, and after work, until my DH, Dave, ran out some heavy duty extension cords and put some heat lamps in for the gals. Then I moved their water dishes (they were the black rubbery flexible ones) over by the heat lamps, and then they never froze after that. Dave made a totally enclosed chicken run for me, and then we put tarps up to keep the snow and wind out, and with the heat lamp in there, the temps inside the coop were around 40 to 50 degrees.

    This year, hubby ran electrical wires underground, so things will be even better and of course, safer.

    Good luck to you!
  9. CovertS2

    CovertS2 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 21, 2012
    Where can one buy these flexible black bowls?
  10. manaze88

    manaze88 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2012
    Berryville, Virginia

    I set up my 5 gallon bucket with a couple of nipples on it, and my chickens converted over to it nicely. My goal was to be able to find some sort of heating element that would allow me to keep it in liquid form over the winter. I haven't done too much research, yet, but here is a link to a random device I found on amazon:

    Something like that, or with some additional research, something better.....should do the trick. Right now, my bucket hangs outside the coop. When it gets really cold, I'll move it inside, and out of the wind and direct cold weather, if the inside of the coop is warm enough, it might just be enough to keep it thawed out.

    My only other concern is with the actual nipples. If the water is not frozen, but the nipples are, then it's back to the drawing board!

    I know there was a reference to concern with using elements in plastic buckets, but if the element is decent quality, and has some sort of guard and safety measures, it might just be safe enough to use (safety first, safety first, I know).

    I have a friend in Duncan, OK, who has not had any problems without a heating element, though. He checks the water every morning, and if it dipped down to get it cold enough to freeze, he dumps the ice and adds fresh water, which stays thawed throughout the day.

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