How Do You Keep Your Chicken Waterer From Freezing? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I use the double walled chicken waterers (fount). The metal kind that has the inner piece where you put the water and then another metal piece that goes on the outside and works a value. They work great and the inner water does not freeze; however, the dish part where they drink freezes solid. I looked into the heated plate type things they sell that you set the waterer on top of; however, they cost $40 or more and I don't have electricity to the coop. I could run a really long extension cord. What do the rest of you use to keep the water from freezing? Thanks in advance for your input.

-- Karen (, December 03, 2001


I usually just water our chickens once a day. In the morning I empty out the old water and the ice if it has frozen overnight and refill. The chickens seem to drink enough before it freezes I guess. I never have had a chicken seem to die of thrist on me during the winter. I know some people buy a gadget that keeps the water from freezing but I don't know if I would want an electrical cord in with my chickens...too curious. Good Luck !!

-- Helena (, December 03, 2001.

Hello ..again !! Just read down the list of questions that have been posted recently and saw someone had used a crock pot for their chickens. Not for cooking them !!!! but for keeping their water from freezing. Might be worth you looking at that and get a few ideas.

-- Helena (, December 03, 2001.

I just bring their waterer in at night and, with the wood stove going most of the evening, the water is room temp to warm in the early morning when I bring it back out to them with their morning feed. They seem to enjoy the warm water, especially on really cold mornings.

-- Lisa (, December 03, 2001.

My chickens free range so they go to the barn with electricity to drink out of the heated dog water bowl I have there. Got it in Walmart for $20. When the weather is bad and they don't leave their coop, I use a rubber water bowl. I crack out the ice and replace with water, twice a day on those really cold days. It's harder to do the rabbits twice a day but the rubber bowls work best for me. Carry a hammer in the pouch in the back of the hunting jacket my husband gave me one Christmas.

-- Dee (, December 03, 2001.

We have a round contraption that sits under the waterer, with space for a light bulb in the middle. I'm not sure where we got it- you could try a farm store or maybe someone who's good at tinkering with electrical stuff could make you one. Only problem is you have to be careful not to spill water on the bulb. We've had no problem with the electrical cord, but the waterer is against the wall so it's not right out there. Hope this helps!

-- Sarah K. (, December 03, 2001.

I usually empty the waterers at night (when it's suppose to be freezing) then refill in the morning. Most of our days here rise above freezing, so i don't have to worry about the water freezing during the day.

My thought is to run the extention cord & attach a heat lamp over the waterer. Course the electricity you would use on a heat lamp running all day would end up costing a lot more than a $40 heat plate, in the long run.

-- Buk Buk (, December 03, 2001.

We have two of the metal type waterers that you mentioned. Always keep one in the coop, the other in the house. We swap them out twice a day when we go to collect the eggs.

-- chuck in md (, December 03, 2001.

I also have two sets of waterers. One in the basement - the other in the chicken area. I exchange them twice a day in really cold weather. I also look at what the weather is going to be. If its going to be 40 and above I know the the water in the tray will thaw so I just leave them out.

-- Tom S. (, December 03, 2001.

They make a water warmer for chicken waters. I have on with a 5 gallon waterer on it. It stays in the hen house. Jim

-- Jim Raymond (, December 04, 2001.

Thhis may sound silly, but a few years ago when we had no nearby electricity near the chicken coop, I rigged up a waterer that used a votive candle to keep the water from freezing. The candle was in an old potpourri burner and that was inside a metal pan. The water sat on top and was anchored so it couldn't tip over. If you do this, be very careful that the whole thing plus the chickens don't go up in smoke.

-- Katherine in KY (, December 04, 2001.

We live in the north so our winters are long and cold. We hang a brood lamp (with a white light not red) over the waterer and have a timer set to turn on at 2 am. It keeps the water from freezing overnight and the light also provides the additional hours of light they need right now.

-- susan banks (, December 04, 2001.

I also use a metal waterer like the questioner uses and hang a brood lamp over it. Be very careful that you attach the lamp securely from the ceiling and I use a stiff wire for that. Last year we had our chicken house burn to the ground along with about 15 chickens. The fire department thought it was the heat lamp. I had the clamp on kind and had it clamped to a wall stud and aimed over the waterer. I did have it nailed on somewhat but not sufficient I guess. I think the 3 roosters in the bunch got overly crazy and in their chasing each other around they somehow knocked it off the wall or knocked it so that it pointed at the wall and started the fire. Just a warning. Nancy

-- Nancy (, December 04, 2001.

My husband rigged up old metal buckets. He put a couple brackets in the bottom of the bucket that hold a light bulb and socket securely. Punched a couple small holes in the bottom of the bucket so heat could escape. Turned the bucket upside down with the cord coming out under the edge of the bucket and plugged it in. We place 5qt. plastic ice cream containers or a metal pan on top and it keeps the water thawed in the coldest of weather. We get at least a week or two of -20 here.

-- Anna in Iowa (, December 04, 2001.

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