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Water tank in winter time

 
pollinator
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Hi
if the drinking water the chickens receive comes from a water tank collecting chicken house's roof water, how do you prevent it from freezing in winter time?
Or does it mean that you have to have an alternative way of supplying water (by hand for example) in winter time?
I have also seen that some water feeders use a nipple system, which I think can also freeze in winter time but seems to be more hygienic overall than the more conventional drinking systems.
So I guess that if you install a nipple type drinking system in a cold climate winter area, the water needs to be supplemented by hand or some other system that doesn't freeze on daily basis.
Any thoughts on these?
 
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I have taken on a project to teach the whole of North America to catch and store rainfall.
The surprise I have had is the extent to which the whole area freezes.
I doubt you will be able to use nipples and small containers for water.
In some cases if they are in a barn that is weather proof, water may be able to be kept liquid, but that is a questions others may have to answer.
The issue is the small volumes involved have no way of not freezing if conditions are right.
 
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Hi Antonio. I have a rainwater catchment system on my chicken coop and I love it. During the winter time, I drain it and set out a hanging 1.5 gallon plug-in heated fount which I need to refill about every 2 or 3 days. I'm sure there are several ways to approach keeping water from freezing for chickens in the winter, and I've found the heated fount works well and I've been using them for years.
 
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I have built a chicken coop with the roof of an old barn, and those roof panels do contain their fair share of rust. I was hoping to collect rainwater into a barrel to build a watering system for our hens, but I'm wondering if that is a good idea with the roof in that condition.
Does anyone have any experience with anything like this?
Should I let it ride?
Or should I try to scrub off some rust and paint? If so, what type of paint? I have seen all kinds of ideas for metal roofs. or if anyone has any other ideas they would certainly be welcomed. Thank you.
 
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I also use an electrically-heated bucket waterer with nipple spouts in the winter.  It draws around 250 Watts, and turns off above 40 degrees F
https://www.amazon.com/Pet-Products-Ultimate-Deicer-Float/dp/B002QXN1EQ/ref=sr_1_14?dchild=1&keywords=bucket+heater&qid=1590689559&sr=8-14

The only solutions I have seen in my area that don't involve heaters are based on bringing up well water from below the frost line

I think the old-time farmers in this area solved this problem by packing all their animals into the barn over winter and relying on their body heat to keep the water troughs above freezing.  Works great with a couple dozen head of cows, but not so much with only a few chickens
 
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I had too many expensive water heaters fail.  Now I just carry water every day.
 
pollinator
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https://www.amazon.com/Pet-Products-Ultimate-Deicer-Float/dp/B002QXN1EQ/ref=sr_1_14?dchild=1&keywords=bucket+heater&qid=1590689559&sr=8-14&tag=pfa12-20
This is a great device and the wonderful part is that it is low wattage only a 183KWH per month aka 250W

Spain climate is similiar to California with some areas a zone 11/10 and other areas a zone 8 (think Seattle).
https://www.plantmaps.com/interactive-spain-plant-hardiness-zone-map-celsius.php
With such mild climate it might be that it will never freeze, esp if a bubbler is used.
 
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My solution is a Tractor Supply heated bucket with a homemade lid and chicken nipples added to it.  It's 60 watts and only comes on when it has to to keep the water liquid.  The nipples haven't frozen for me down to -30F.

The supply still has to be manual if it freezes enough.  But I only have to fill the bucket every three days (for 20 birds) and it doesn't get funky since it's basically refrigerated.

Tractor Supply bucket
 
Antonio Scotti
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Hi Mike
sound like an interesting setup. Would you please be so kind to send a photo along?
Best
 
Antonio Scotti
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S Bengi wrote:https://www.amazon.com/Pet-Products-Ultimate-Deicer-Float/dp/B002QXN1EQ/ref=sr_1_14?dchild=1&keywords=bucket+heater&qid=1590689559&sr=8-14&tag=pfa12-20
This is a great device and the wonderful part is that it is low wattage only a 183KWH per month aka 250W


Thanks I'll check it out

S Bengi wrote:Spain climate is similiar to California with some areas a zone 11/10 and other areas a zone 8 (think Seattle).
https://www.plantmaps.com/interactive-spain-plant-hardiness-zone-map-celsius.php
With such mild climate it might be that it will never freeze, esp if a bubbler is used.


In the place where I am building the pen it does get down to -12 ÂșC in winter, so it will freeze..I know it.
Kind regards
Antonio
 
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What depth is the frost line?  Rarely is it more than 4ft or 122cm.  Bury a large bucket or barrel and use a frost free hand pump to bring it up to the surface on demand.  
 
S Bengi
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Once the birds perch, they dont come down for the night. So if you swap out containers every morning, you are mostly okay and you can save some energy/pollutants.
Based on your winter low, you are in Zone 8, with a climate similar to Seattle/PNW.

But it sounds like you are going to need a water heater. I like this system
 
Trace Oswald
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Jack Edmondson wrote:What depth is the frost line?  Rarely is it more than 4ft or 122cm.  Bury a large bucket or barrel and use a frost free hand pump to bring it up to the surface on demand.  



How do you fill the barrel when it's empty?
 
Antonio Scotti
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Jack Edmondson wrote:What depth is the frost line?  Rarely is it more than 4ft or 122cm.  Bury a large bucket or barrel and use a frost free hand pump to bring it up to the surface on demand.  


Well actually I don't think that the ground freezes at depth, maybe just a few cm.....but yes it could definitely be a solution. Thanks!
 
Antonio Scotti
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S Bengi wrote:Once the birds perch, they dont come down for the night. So if you swap out containers every morning, you are mostly okay and you can save some energy/pollutants.
Based on your winter low, you are in Zone 8, with a climate similar to Seattle/PNW.

But it sounds like you are going to need a water heater. I like this system


Thanks again, nice system!
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