Saturday, December 29, 2012

Frozen Water Woes

As our temperatures hover around freezing these days, we are getting more and more concerned about the waterer feezing up.  This morning, there was a crust of ice which I easily broke with my fingers and the chickens could easily break with a good peck.  I found directions to make a homemade heater, which sounded good because the ones in the stores cost about $40. 

http://anniemiz.typepad.com/thesecondhalf/2011/01/chickens-homemade-cookie-tin-waterer-heater.html

Check out the link for complete instructions!

We went to Lowe's to get the supplies we needed.  The tin was a little trickier.  Considering we are so close to Christmas, they are still available, but you need to hunt.  We tried JoAnn Fabrics since we were shopping nearby, but they did not have a tin that would work.  I went to Dollar Tree, knowing they sell them for the holidays and was able to get a round one like I was looking for.  It's a smaller diameter than our waterer, but it should work fine. 

My husband is a whiz with electical stuff since he majored in electronics in school, so it went together in no time flat. 

The bulb gives off alot of heat and even after only a short time, the tin was warm.  Maybe this will even help give them a little heat in their coop.  I worry about them, but I know their feathers keep them warm!  And the fact that they sleep 3 to a roost....they huddle together. 
Water heater 1.0
The tin is smaller than the base and Kenny said it was tippy.  So the waterer is resting on the wood pieces and there is a gap between the top of the tin and the base of the waterer.  We'll see how and if this is effective.  Future alterations may be necessary!

Chickens all ready for bed on their roost bars.  You can see who is top hen....the important ones usually shack up with Lila on the front bar.  The lower end girls get stuck in the back.  Usually they are 3 to a bar, but tonight there were 4 on the front bar.  I noticed Grun up front and she's usually in the back.  I guess since she laid her first egg the other day she gets special treatment!  She hasn't laid another since so we'll see when #2 shows up!

Night Night from the flock!
Malissa