No electricity in the coop- How do you cope with water in the winter?

luvinlife offthegrid

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Hello! I know it's June, but I like to get things ready beforehand. Plus, we've been known to have the odd snow flurry in July, so you never know. ;)

I would like electricity-free water solutions for the chicken coop. I currenlty have 16 birds. Hoping I still have 16 in the winter, what with the raccoons, coyotes, and fishers. (oh my!)

I have been looking around on the BYC forum, and everyone's suggestion is to run an extension cord out to the coop with a heated water base. Not gonna happen, unless the generator is runnng anyway. Not to mention, the ones I have seen are 100W or higher. Someone suggested a 50W, and I don't want to run anything higher than 20 watts 24-7 all winter. I'm hoping generator run time will be less frequent with the added solar. We used the 18W ecoglow brooder with great success.


I would like to hear what you've done WITHOUT electricity to prevent the water from freezing.

Do you use extra large buckets that you dump and refill a few times a day?

Do you insulate the waterer? Not sure what kind of insulation the chickens won't shred and/or eat, but I'm open to suggestions.

How long does it take your water to freeze and what quantity is it?

If I use a 5 gallon waterer will it last longer, or will the fount base freeze up and block it anyway?

Those double wall galvanized poultry founts with the little rubber gasket thingy look useless in the winter. Anyone use the larger capacities with no heated base with any success?

I am not afraid of hauling water. I will do that if I have to, rather than waste gasoline or propane running a generator.

My biggest worry is that a bunch of people will say, "we just use the heated base or float de-icer". ;) haha.

Thanks so much!

edit- forgot to say that I'm in upstate NY and it can get to 20 below at night for about 2 weeks in the winter. However, this winter we had only 10 nights a few degrees below zero and only 2 nights of 16 below. We can have a several-day stretch of just above 0 temps in January.
 

BarredBuff

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Here is how I do it. I just have a plain metal tub and fill it up everyday. Then break it with a hammer every morning. Works good for me. It rarely freezes in the day at least here. But Im in Kentucky. I dont believe in electricity for chickens.....so Im good with breaking the ice.
 

miss_thenorth

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I use electric, but what ou could do is get as rubber tank of sorts. Not a typical waterer, b/c the base will freeze while ther is still water in the top part. Get one sort of like a dogs water bowl, but it should be rubber, since you can dump it and break all the ice out, then change it twice a day. My chickens, horses, sheep cow and goat all have electric water tanks, but my rabbits and quail did not. I used crocks for them, brought out warm water, put crocks in the bucket to thaw them out then filled them and left them. I only changed them morning and evening. You could do the same for the chickens, but if it is rubber it gives you the flexiblity to knock the ice out befor e you refill them. When I first got the rabbits asnd quail, I used to go out three times a day to give them fresh water, but found they only needed it twice. I'm sure chickens would be the same.

:welcome
 

MorelCabin

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your best bet off grid is having two of those soft rubber pails and refilling them every morning. If you can place a window in the coop and put the bucket in front of it in the sun it may help keep it thawed longer
 

luvinlife offthegrid

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FarmerChick

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old fashioned way
water in the morning, check around afternoon, and check at night.

just give them a drink which means just check if the water froze.

old days people carried a pail of water to critters one time per day. if you are worried then carry them water 2-3 times per day.


I agree the thick rubber feeders/water are best cause when can easily break ice in those without cracking/ruining the tub.
 

Wifezilla

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LOL...My ducks drink out of the open top :D You might have to put a few stepping stones around the edge so the chickens can reach the lip unless you have large fowl. Duck necks are pretty stretchy. If they get on their tippy toes they can reach the bottom of the cooler. Sometimes I throw peas in the water so I know they can reach :D
 

luvinlife offthegrid

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FarmerChick said:
old fashioned way
water in the morning, check around afternoon, and check at night.

just give them a drink which means just check if the water froze.

old days people carried a pail of water to critters one time per day. if you are worried then carry them water 2-3 times per day.


I agree the thick rubber feeders/water are best cause when can easily break ice in those without cracking/ruining the tub.
That's what I figured. Just never had livestock of any sort before, so I'm not familiar yet. I'm sure I'll get an education this winter. ;)

Are you the person who suggested the 50W thing in TSC? 50W is definitely better than 100W. I could use it only when the generator's running, but I'd have to shut it off when it's not running, so I don't know how much good it'd do.
 

Farmfresh

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I use the black rubber bowls made by Duraflex. rubber bowl

I have often wondered if there was a way to combine this idea with the rubber pan. ??? Who knows I could be the next millionaire inventor. :lol:
 

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