water for chickens in winter?

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Does anyone have a good idea for keeping water thawed for chickens for the winter? I read somewhere once to use an old crock pot on low but can't figure out how to keep the chickens from pecking at the cord so I'm afraid to try that. Any other ideas?

-- bwilliams (bjconthefarm@yahoo.com), November 21, 2000


Cut off the plug, slip a length of old garden hose over the cord, then put on a new plug.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), November 21, 2000.

I've never had chickens go after an electrical cord, but it is a possibility. Ken's got a good idea. You can also buy submersible heaters that have heavy cords on them. I just use the black rubbery hog pans. When they freeze, I just turn them upside down and stomp on them. Depending on the weather, I do it 1-3 times a day. Gerbil (new address)

-- Gerbil (ima_gerbil@shymail.com), November 21, 2000.

Great idea Ken! Gerbil, your is good too but I was trying to keep from having to go out so many times in the real cold weather! I have arthritis and the cold doesn't help! Might work for someone else though.

-- bwilliams (bjconthefarm@yahoo.com), November 21, 2000.

There are heaters made for chicken wateres.

-- Hendo (redgate@echoweb.net), November 21, 2000.

I use an electric bowl designed for dogs; holds about a gallon. You can get them at feed stores and maybe even Walmart or similar. They are worth their weight in gold! The insulated plastic bowl has a heavy cord and if pecking is a problem, the hose idea is super.

-- Peg in N. WI (wildwoodfarms@hushmail.com), November 21, 2000.

You could also slip pvc pipe over the cord .

-- Patty (fodfarms@slic.com), November 21, 2000.

Howdy from NM. It gets pretty cold & windy here, but usually have sun during the day. I only have 17 chickens and can get by with just switching out waterers in the morning. I bring out a bucket of hot water and fill the empty one. They don't drink much when it's cold anyway. Works for me. debra in nm

-- debra in nm (dhaden@nmtr.unm.edu), November 21, 2000.

bwilliams, I ought to have stock in the electric water bowl company, I have so many of them, just rigged them all up the other day, but they are great! Wal-mart carrys them, as well as Quality Farm and Fleet, but KV Vet Supply also has the 4-5 gallon bucket size that is perfect if you have 30-40 chickens, or goats, horses, whatever, their number is 1-800-423-8211. I think the farm store had the big buckets in stock also, around 35 dollars. BTW, these things last a long time, I've had some over 12 years, still working. Annie in SE OH.

-- Annie Miller (annie@1st.net), November 21, 2000.

I haven't done it yet but soon will be moving our youngsters up to their permanent home. I got a 5 gallon waterer, galvanized tin, and will be putting it up on a metal ring with a magnetic oil pan heater under it. Good idea Ken with the rubber hose for wire protection.

-- john leake (natlivent@pcpros.net), November 21, 2000.

John, I'm curious, what's a magnetic oil pan heater? Is that something on a car - please don't laugh!!! That's the only thing I know of that has an oil pan!!!

-- bwilliams (bjconthefarm@yahoo.com), November 21, 2000.

John, don't those block heaters (bwilliams, they are engine block heaters that you use to keep diesel, and gas, engine blocks warm in frigid weather, they just stick where you want them) put out 1000- 1500 watts? Or perhaps they come in different wattages, wouldn't want your critter water to boil away. BTW, the heated bowls and buckets use 40-150 watts, depending on their size. Annie in SE OH.

-- Annie Miller (annie@1st.net), November 21, 2000.

Yep, the oil pan is on a car engine. The magnetic heater just sticks to it to keep the oil warm so the engine will turn over faster. Mine is 600 watts. I'll be putting it on a timer so it will be on for an hr per day.

-- john leake (natlivent@pcpros.net), November 22, 2000.

Well, due to Annie's advice, I bought a $24 heated water pan today. It is supposed to be non-tippable. Says it will only cost "pennies a day". The cord has coiled wire around it, very nice! I will probably add a hose cover for the orange outdoor cord I will need as well. Another reason I am happy for putting outdoor outlets around the house. I'll let you all know how it goes. I am hoping it will relieve my worry when I am away for 12 + hours at a time.

-- Anne (HT@HM.com), November 24, 2000.

For my small flock I use a birdbath deicer. It works great.

-- Lisa Cook (bass.cook@verizon.net), March 21, 2002.

PS- the purchased waterer has worked great for us. No worries and no trouble.

-- Anne (HealthyTouch101@wildmail.com), March 22, 2002.

We keep the water pot in the coop when it gets really cold. The chickens might be out in the field most of the day but they can come in the coop and get a drink. The hens are in and out of it all day anyways. When the water still freezes inside the coop, we leave the light on near the water.

-- Lav, Maryland (lavenderbluedilly@hotmail.com), March 22, 2002.

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