Cold snap – only the beginning

It was 27 degrees (F) in the barn tonight. Which was awesome, considering the fact it was 6 degrees (F) outside. And today is forecasted to be the warmest day for the upcoming week. The water tubs are crusted with a thin layer of ice. The chickens’ waterer is frozen solid. Last night the water hose into the barn froze on me. Had to drag it up to the house and thaw it in the bath tub. Chopping ice before I can dump out the tubs to refill them. Breaking up the ice in the chicken jug to be able to dump the old water and refill it. Days like this make me really miss the barn on our old farm that had hot and cold RUNNING water in the milk house. Sigh. The animals are fine. This farmer is freezing her butt off!

4 thoughts on “Cold snap – only the beginning

  1. Is your waterer sitting on a heat source? Mine’s drinking trough has frozen a couple times but one can break that out (or melt it with hot water, if there’s room) so long as the main water is still liquid. The Hubbit rigged up something absurdly simple for my hens. Let me know if you want a description or picture!

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    1. I think I have the heat lamp adjusted just right, finally. It keeps the water in the jug liquid and the hole where it flows into the trough from freezing. The side of the trough away from the heat lamp freezes solid, but the patch where the water flows down stays liquid, so they can drink. I would love to see a picture of your solution, though. In case it gets any colder!


      1. I had the same problem, with one side freezing. We sometimes set up a heat lamp in REALLY bitter weather, but the hens seem to do okay – their house is reasonably small (about 6×6 and I have to stoop when I’m inside it) and the roof is insulated, so it doesn’t get too cold usually. It’s just the water …

        So what Jim did was, he got one of those hollow concrete blocks and made a hole through the closed end. He put a light through on that side and set it up so it could stand upright. The cord runs out from the hole he made. We turn the block upside down so that the waterer sits right on top of the space that the light is in, and the water constantly heats from the bottom. It works quite well, although in REALLY bitter weather you might want to have the heat lamp pointed at the place where the water flows out to ensure that doesn’t get iced up.

        If that doesn’t make sense to you, give me your email address and I’ll send photographs… 🙂

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      2. I understand what you are describing. My chickens are in the barn with the sheep. It is a very old barn, not even a little bit air tight and not insulated. I only use the heat lamps for the water. Although when lambing starts we usually turn on another heat lamp for the lambs.

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