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how to make sure the chickens have water?It keeps freezing!

(27 Posts)
amummyinwaiting Mon 06-Dec-10 18:50:55

We have a water feeder for the chicks-it's one of those that you tip upside down to fill and it comes out in the saucer. They also have a seperate bowl of water because they are tempted to knock things over by standing in/on them.
We fill them in the morning but then 3 days a week by the time I get home from work they have already gone to bed.
On the days I get back beforehand I give them fresh water but I worry the days I'm not there that they'll get dehydrated.
There run is covered so no water gets in and I dont want to put it in there hutch as if they knock it iver they will have to go to bed in the wet.
Any ideas?

shongololo Mon 06-Dec-10 18:54:44

i bought a small water pot that fits to the side of the cage/coop. I put it at about mid chest height, so it doesnt get full of mud. Fill it with a cup of water every morning (after chucking out the lump of ice).

Millie1 Tue 07-Dec-10 20:49:54

Our water container freezes too - this morning it was put out with fresh water at 8.30am and was solid 3 hours later. It's a pain. We just keep smashing the ice and filling it with hot water - which obviously cools in minutes.

dbm Tue 07-Dec-10 21:15:19

flippin nuisance this deep freeze weather; can you get a larger water feeder that they cant knock over and keep it inside? or a neighbour or someone who can pass by midday to top up while its so cold

Geepers Tue 07-Dec-10 21:18:59

Have you tried a drop of anti freeze?

Blatherskite Tue 07-Dec-10 21:28:34

No experience with Chickens, but with my rabbits, I used to fill the bottles with warm water and cover them with an old sock to insulate them a bit which used to keep the ice off for a little longer...

dobby2001 Tue 07-Dec-10 22:12:43

I just take mine in overnight and put them out again in the morning when i oen up the coop

dbm Tue 07-Dec-10 22:17:59

despite the -15 temp I'm going to nip out and get the water feeder in; itll save the hassle in the morning

midori1999 Wed 08-Dec-10 12:48:40

A snugglesafe under the drinker will stop it freezing. You can put it in the coop at night to keep the hens warmer too.

I wouldn't even consider anti-freeze, it's extremely poisonous to other animals and I don't see why hens would be any different?

nickeldonkeyonadustyroad Wed 08-Dec-10 16:32:25

Geepers - no, that's poisonous. shock

can you put it in a cardboard box or a wooden crate? or put straw round it? (under mainly, but on top so they can still reach the lip)
that might help a bit.

other than that, just keep it inside at night and refill it.

or put a drop of poultry spice or garlic in.

whatever you do, don't fill it with hot water, as that freezes quicker (latent heat)

a larger drinker would help, too.

amummyinwaiting Wed 08-Dec-10 17:34:21

Thanks everyone for your comments (although the antifreeze did worry me slightly) I thik its just the extreme weather, have tried a variety of things in the past to stop them knocking it over but a 6 and a half pound chicken just keeps managig it!
Dh put a type of vinegar in it today ad that did seem to help (or might have been the warmer weather?!)
Nickel- thanks for latent heat info- I had no idea!

Catchthewind Wed 08-Dec-10 17:49:23

Ours has been freezing over too.

I started putting a dish, like a dog dish, down for them as well so they have some water while it thaws out.

They are learning not to try and perch on the rim...

btw in the OP it says that you tip it upside down to fill it - I have never done it that way. Is it me being nuts, or the OP?! grin

I fill it the usual way, some comes out at the bottom as I fill it but not that much - then I bung the lid on quickly.

I think this is me being dim, isn't it blush

nickeldonkeyonadustyroad Wed 08-Dec-10 17:56:14

it's a special kind of drinker - the base is the lid, and you put the water in the top part, then turn it back so the base is the base.
there are holes to stop if from all falling out.

drinker on the right

amummyinwaiting Wed 08-Dec-10 18:00:06

Ours is one of the ones that you tip upside down, unscrew the lid/base fill up and the screw lid/base back on...cant fid a photo to show grin

Ours perch on the rim too!and walk through it/climb on it/barge into it.... I woud blame it on them being ex batts but our new un-ex batts do it too!

amummyinwaiting Wed 08-Dec-10 18:01:50

thanks nickel- cross posted but you managed a picture!
We tried others/bows etc but ours are just so cumsy we thought this was damage limitation!

anonymousbird Wed 08-Dec-10 18:03:43

Oh God!! I was going to post about this today!!!!

My poor poor girls...

My friend has lost two of her girls to the freezing weather. Didn't make it into their house at night. sad sad

Catchthewind Wed 08-Dec-10 18:03:53

Ah. I don't know if it's the same but ours is like this

I have always filled from the top. I think I might try filling the lid instead!

anonymousbird Wed 08-Dec-10 18:19:37

My drinker is a large-ish one, you fill the main jar, then put the base on and quickly turn it the right way up.... and water comes out of little holes into the tray at the bottom.

But it still freezes! AND I am not even living at the property where the chucks are, have had to move out, so can't take the water indoors at night (but that is a good idea). Instead it's a daily early morning trip on the way back from school to chip away the ice and use warm water to defrost them.. poor mites!

amummyinwaiting Wed 08-Dec-10 21:21:56

Oooh just saw on another forum that adding a bit of sugar or a bit ofvegetable oi can help to stop the water freezig so somethig to try?
One of our girls died before the really cod weather came but I'm certai she woudnt have lasted in this. The others are just really mopey.

Catchthewind Thu 09-Dec-10 09:28:04

thanks, will try veg oil...

I just refilled ours, and tried it upside down - you know, filling the top section with the handle on. Then inserting the base.

It was dreadful!
first there was nowhere to stand the top bit, because it isn't flat obv.

Then I put the base on, couldn't see whta I was doing as base is wider than top...and water went everywhere because of the displacement.

Can I just recommend people do it the right way up? Fill the base up, put the lid on fairly soon after and it comes out of the hole so slowly that the base is unlikely to overflow before you have done this.

It's far easier!

nickeldonkeyonadustyroad Thu 09-Dec-10 10:47:23

Catchthe wind - yours is metal, so it's probably meant to be filled that way - our plastic ones don't come apart at the top, only at the bottom ( link here again if you missed it earlier )
(so ours tend to have little plastic feet on the top so that you can fill it upside down)

Ours are increasingly mopey - I put out cat food for them yesterday and they didn't eat it (might have eaten a bit of it) it had frozen by this morning.

they're just walking round like it's the end of the world.

nickeldonkeyonadustyroad Thu 09-Dec-10 10:48:23

putting lots of straw o nthe floor ofthe run is supposed to help their cold feet, but i don't think anything will work at the moment.

Catchthewind Thu 09-Dec-10 14:11:04

Thanks, Nickel. I understand now. Mine has a double thickness wall, as well, which I think is why it was so hard to put together upside down.

Poor cold chickens sad

mine don't seem to have noticed it's cold. They always look a bit bored though.

meltedmarsbars Thu 09-Dec-10 14:15:47

They hate wet more than cold, apparently.

And you can put vaseline in their combs to stop them getting frostbite!

nickeldonkeyonadustyroad Thu 09-Dec-10 14:18:26

forgot about the vaseline.
must remind ex to do that.

they hate wet because it goes under their duvets and makes them cold, whereas when it's just cold, they fluff up their feathers more and they're fine. grin

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