Winter Woes!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MamacatPatch, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. MamacatPatch

    MamacatPatch Songster

    Jul 10, 2007
    Ok, we're in north central Indiana and this is the first winter for our geese & ducks and their two small 'ponds' [big rubber tubs] are now frozen solid. We have a metal water tub with an insert to build a fire [something hubby found on the farm from when he was a kid here] that works well to water the goats and I use it to dip a bucket into to fill a small container for water for the geese and ducks every day.

    My worry is, the waterfowl have no access to any pond or deep water now, can't clean up and clean off ... barely enough water daily to help them eat their food. Hubby and I are racking our brains trying to come up with something that'll give the geese & ducks access to water in the winter for drinking AND for dipping!! They just need a big jacuzzi! HAHA. Heck, who doesn't!?

    We bought a heater that sits in the pond for one of the tubs but I fear the goats might chew their way through that and get the shock of the lives. We're thinking of digging out a BIG pond area right in the sand/dirt next spring/summer for them. We have electrical outlets and weatherproof extension cords ... I told hubby ... how about a big sturdy but not too expensive swimming pool? Problem is, this cold snap is too much and it freezes everything quickly. I'm making two and three trips outside with hot water every day to fill cat & dog water bowls! The hens, the rabbit and the kittens have heat lamps over their water bowls.

    Thanks for any help, peeps!


  2. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    Okay, not as cold down here as where you are but we have been getting below 20 the last few nights and this is what I do.....I have a big plastic trash can (formerly a feed barrel so it is clean) and I have it in the back of my barn, wrapped in a blanket and put a cover over it at night. So far I just have to take a thin layer of ice off the top to dip buckets of water in the morning for the 600 chickens, horse, dog, cats and ducks. The ducks (22 of them) get it poured in a large black rubber feeding bowl or tub. They get about 4 gal. and that will give them water to eat breakfast.
    I also have 7 brooders running in the old tack room and fill the waters every morning and evening with water I put in 5 gal buckets and set in the room. There isn't much room with so many chicks but I can get 2 buckets in there and have plenty to dip from.

    When it warms up during the day I dump the pools and refill them. I try to remember to dump them at night before dark but so far I haven't gotten home in time and they are frozen. But the hose is laid out every morning in front of the barn to get that early sun and south sun all day so they are ready to go. Most of the time I will unhook at night and drain the hoses so I can use them the next morning but again, I have been gone until well after dark.

    I fill the barrel back up every afternoon about 2 pm when the water is working. We have a well pump and it can be flaky in cold weather.

    And there is a great thread that tells how to keep water containers from freezing with old tins and a light.

    Good luck and know that spring will roll around and make you glad of it![​IMG]
  3. IcarusSomnio

    IcarusSomnio Songster

    Apr 27, 2010
    Vernon County, MO
    My little pond liner keeps freezing over too. My main issue is that the ducks refuse to poop outside of the pond. When I let them out in the morning, it's like a nuclear explosion of duck poop!

    I don't have goats, so I'll probably just go with a little water heater just to keep it from freezing. I can't keep up with the amount of poop coming out of these ducks on a daily basis, I've been having to change the bedding every day. I ran out yesterday, and the duck house is a mess AGAIN!
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    We used a heater for our stock tank, when we had sheep. We didn't have any problems with it. If the goats chewing the cord is the biggest issue you have, maybe you could run the cord through some pipe to protect it?

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