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Livestock/Horses Cows, sheep, pigs, goats, llamas, and other four-legged friends.

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  #1  
Old 11-17-2015, 05:10 PM
King Hugh King Hugh is offline
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Default Chicken Water & Winter

Hello all, I had trouble last winter with my chicken water freezing, and a lot of water being lost into the coop making everyting wet and kind of nasty. I was using one of those waterers that you have to flip over to fill.

Anyhow, the freezing issue was fixed when I started to use a waterer with a heating element...but it was still the type that you have to tip over to fill. I hang it to help keep it a little cleaner, and I think I was losing about 1/2 my water every day from the chickens bumping it. Plus what got lost when I moved it and filled it. My floor covering was always wet, and it smelled horrible.

Then, in the spring I found a huge waterer that you just take the top off of and fill...it's fantastic...from that day on my coop has been dry and so much easier to keep clean.

Now freezing is going to be a problem again and Ihate the idea of going back to my old plug in tip over to fill waterer.

Are there any options for keeping my new waterer in liquid form? It's a plastic one which makes it more difficult I think.

Thanks in advance.
D
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Old 11-17-2015, 05:30 PM
CountryMom22 Female CountryMom22 is offline
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After the first year with chickens and a filthy, stinky coop I decided waterers stay outside. I use black rubber feed pans for horses. The black color keeps the water from freezing in all but the worst weather, as long as it is placed in the sun. I dump them out at night when I lock up the coop. If I forget to dump them it's still really easy to empty them and they really take a beating. Mine are almost 20 years old and going strong.

My coop doesn't have electricity so a heater wasn't an option. I do fill the pans with warm water every morning, anyway, so they always have clean water. I also have never had the chickens tip one over, so the chicken yard doesn't get muddy either.

Plastic waterers don't work in cold weather. I have one of those big ones that you fill from the top that I used years ago, but the water didn't stay fresh if I didn't refill it everyday and the tray portion still collected too much bedding etc for me, so I still had to lift it and dump out the dirty water so it could refill itself, so the area was still always wet. I don't use mine at all any more. The pans really work for us so we use them all year long.

Hope this helps!
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Old 11-17-2015, 06:12 PM
King Hugh King Hugh is offline
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That is a good idea, thanks! I never considered the water being kept outside the coop.

I'm guessing it's basically just a big dish that you are using...how to you keep the girls from getting in it and or pooping all over it. I do have electric at my coop, but no water. I have to carry whatever water we need from the house.
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Old 11-17-2015, 06:55 PM
Terri Terri is offline
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Excepting in the worse weather I water outside.

Every day I bring out half a bucket of hot water. If the ice needs breaking then I break it, and I add a chunk of hot water to help thaw the ice. Over time the black water dish may freeze solid and be full of ice, and then I use the OTHER water dish. Eventually we will get a break in the weather and then the dishes can be dumped and re-filled.

In the worse weather this is insufficient, and I keep a water dish just inside the coop door. They scratch bedding into it so it has to be dumped and cleaned daily. It is much better when I can keep the water dish outside.

Also chickens are stupid but not foolish. They are born knowing that they should not wade outside when it is cold out! As for poop, well, poop happens. No more than anywhere else in the run, but sometimes there is poop in the water. Sometimes. I just do the best I can: sometimes the dish can be emptied but if both dishes are half full of ice and the poop is frozen to the ice then the chickens will just have to live with it. Fortunately chickens are not fussy.
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Old 11-17-2015, 11:25 PM
doc doc is offline
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http://www.farmandfleet.com/products...-pet-bowl.html

This sort of heated bowl works well. Chickens don;t wade in open water generally, although for some reason they do tend to foul (no pun intended) those "upside down filling waterers." I think they like to roost on top and are oblivious to where they're doing their business.

It's easy to provide electricity to an out building like a coop by running an outdoor-grade extension cord. Just split the turf with a spade down two or three inches and stuff the cord in, covering it back up as you go. I've got several cords like this that have been in place for 10 - 12 yrs without problems. This way you can also provide light and a little heat with an incandescent bulb set with a timer. The girls will lay eggs right thru the winter if you give them 14 hrs of light each day.
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Old 11-19-2015, 05:47 PM
CountryMom22 Female CountryMom22 is offline
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Yes, you're right King, it's just a big dish. The only waterer that I have ever had a problem with when it comes to them pooping in the water are the ones where they can get up on top. With those, within minutes the water is disgusting because they all play king of the hill on the waterer. I have never seen one of my chickens even perch on the edge, but they do jump up on lots of other things in the yard. I guess what Doc said is true, they just know not to wade in the water.

I can honestly say that my chickens, in over 30 years, have only ever dumped one of these once. The only things that get in the water since it's kept outside the coop, is leaves in the fall as my entire chicken yard is shaded. And the occasional wind blown feather!
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Old 11-21-2015, 08:31 AM
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Bearfootfarm Male Bearfootfarm is offline
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To keep bedding out of the pan, the waterer needs to be on a raised platform, high enough so the chickens can just barely reach it.

The platform can be a box or container made from any material that is durable and fireproof.

Put a 60-100 watt incandescent light bulb in the box near the top and you shouldn't have freezing problems.

One easy solution is to use a "cookie tin", and if you do a search for "cookie tin heater" you can see endless variations

I connect mine with a Thermocube so it doesn't burn all the time

www.thermocube.com
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Old 11-23-2015, 03:19 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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I use both what Doc suggested and what BearFootFarm suggested. I have a heated pet bowl on a thermocube outside. For the larger livestock, I used a tank heater with a partial cover outside also.
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