Winter water options, tips, tricks.

  • Winter water options, tips, tricks.

    Posted by FatherFigure on September 17, 2022 at 1:50 am

    In search of veterans to help us new to livestock. Help us avoid the pitfalls that you took the lumps on. Any livestock watering advice is appreciated. One tip may save someone a lot of trouble.

    My situation: I raise quail and rabbits in my garage. For the rabbits we use 4qt rubber watering bowls and change the water once a day. For the Quail we use plastic jar gravity type waterers. We swap these out 2-3 times a day. This will be our first Michigan winter raising animals outside of a climate controlled environment.

    Bless you freesteaders. Shalom.

    SamOfHappyBirds replied 10 months, 2 weeks ago 6 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • MomH

    September 28, 2022 at 10:06 am

    I saw where someone used an aquarium heater to keep water thawed for their chickens. I thought it was genius!

  • Hitem20

    September 28, 2022 at 1:38 pm

    PA here, quail in the garage (moved them to the house side of the garage and their water didnt freeze, howeve MomH has a good suggestion. Use a small aquarium heater in your bucket (make sure it stays covered and you will be fine). We keep our rabbits outside and have finally settled on these: “Heated Rabbit Water Bottle, 32 oz.” at Tractor Supply. They worked very well for two winters now.

  • 3ADscout

    September 29, 2022 at 2:22 am

    So with electric prices going sky high I really am not looking forward to using an electric water heater for the animal’s water. I didn’t have power in my barn last year and I hauled water from the house to the barn. Broke the ice up in the morning and evening. I was given a small industrial air pump and I was thinking I could use it as a Bubbler that would move the water enough so that it would t freeze so quickly and should take a lot less electric to run it. I have seen bubblers used around boats left in the water over the winter so they don’t get frozen in the ice and the work. I’ll find out soon enough since it is getting colder everyday.

  • KimC

    September 29, 2022 at 3:03 am

    This will be my first winter with jumbo quail in zone 9b (Central California). They are outside under a fully mature orange tree and backed up close to the fence on the long back side. No place (or way) to move them in. I was told quail can handle cold better than heat, and all but one were okay this summer in our 100-degree and higher extreme heat wave that lasted for weeks.

    We usually don’t get really low temps, or at least not for very long. One winter a few years ago it got down pretty low for a few hours near or at freezing for a couple of nights in the depth of winter. Their water is gravity fed from a black 2.5-gallon bucket with a lid through tubing to large yellow auto-fill cups that probably hold about ½ cup each. Maybe a little more.

    If we get really cold this winter, I’m thinking I’ll wrap their cage in a thick moving blanket I got on sale at Harbor Freight and put bubble wrap around the bucket (would that even be necessary?). Think that will be sufficient overall? Or I should get a heat lamp for under the tree near their cage also just to be sure the air temp doesn’t get as low near them as in the surrounding areas? I’m a bit concerned about moving blankets (or anything flammable) anywhere near a heat lamp.

    Is there some kind of plumbing insulation that could be used to surround anything that could potentially freeze (like the tubing that runs from the bucket to the cups; it’s secured to the cage and couldn’t be wrapped just by itself)? It’s probably quarter-inch drinking water quality line wrapped in black electrical tape (to keep it from growing algae from light exposure because the tubing itself is clear).

    Suggestions? Thanks!

  • SamOfHappyBirds

    January 17, 2023 at 8:12 pm

    As we have to supply about 200 birds with water, we found through the years with the harsh winter weather here in WI that 5 gal buckets do best. You can knock the ice loose with a small hammer from the outside, the top sheet from the top and during the nights we bring them inside, clean them and refill them to be put out again in the morning when we let the birds out for roaming again.

    You can try putting these buckets in straw filled old tires for added insulation, but as we have too many waterfowl, they would simply try to climb into the buckets and bathe and waste the water…

    For feeders we used some goat/sheep hanging feeders at first, but meanwhile upgraded to 45 lbs dome feeders that work for all of our birds, are easy to clean and sterilize and can be set everywhere. The only downside to these is no rain/precipitation protection as it runs down the barrel into the feed 🙁 So they do have to be sheltered somehow.

    Hope this helps someone out there!🙃

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