How To Keep Chicken Water From Freezing

By Jason Jackson •  6 min read

Chickens are one of the easiest, if not the easiest animals to begin your homesteading journey.

However, when the temperatures drop significantly during the winter, their water can freeze in their chicken coop much more easily if you’re not mindful.

how to keep chicken water from freezing

In this article, I will provide you with some handy methods of how to keep chicken water from freezing during the colder months.

Keep reading to find out more.

There are lots of positives to keeping chickens on your homestead.

For instance, chickens provide you with a way of being more self-sufficient when it comes to the food that they produce. This is true of the free-range eggs that they lay on a regular basis, and the meat that they provide should you decide to send them off.

Knowing how your chickens have been raised, including the feed that they’ve eaten, and rearing them with care all contributes to the quality of their meat.

In addition to this, chickens also are great for keeping pests at bay on your homestead. Pests can range on homesteads, from insects, to beetles, to bugs, which chickens love to feast on for the benefit of your backyard.

Chickens also provide natural fertilizer that is packed full of high levels of nitrogen that you can eventually use to fertilize your backyard. Once it has been composted, you can use their manure for free fertilizer!

How To Keep Chicken Water From Freezing

Despite the fact their water intake decreases when their environmental temperature drops, water remains fundamental to a chicken’s daily life in terms of hydration and digestion.

As a result, you will need to ensure that they have access to fresh, clean water during the winter months and make sure that you’re monitoring their water so it doesn’t freeze.

There are a variety of different ways you can prevent your chicken water from freezing. These methods will be split into two sections: If you have electricity, and if you don’t have electricity.

If You Have Electricity

Heated Dog Water Bowl

A great and inexpensive way to keep your chicken water from freezing is to place a heated dog water bowl in their chicken coop.

Not only are these bowls incredibly easy to clean and refill, but this bowl is also the safest and durable method of preventing the water from freezing.

Simply plug in the electric dog bowl, and your chickens will have constant access to fresh and clean water throughout the winter.

Heat Lamp In A Cinder Block

For this method, you simply will need to screw a light bulb into the side of a cinder block and set it down on a stepping stone whilst covering it with another stone.

This will ensure that the lightbulb is contained within the cinderblock, and is in no danger of touching the ground.

how to keep chicken water from freezing

Placing the water bowl on top of the stepping stone that is being heated by the light bulb will allow the water to remain warm, and will prevent it from freezing.

It’s important to note that you shouldn’t place the lightbulb inside your chicken coop, as this can be a fire hazard with all of the bedding, shavings, and chicken feathers inside it.

For the same reason, you should try to avoid placing a heater inside your chicken coop as it is a safety hazard and a fire will be fatal.

Instead, you should place the cinderblock on the hard, frozen ground away from the chicken coop to ensure your chicken’s safety.

If You Don’t Have Electricity

Place Ping Pong Balls On The Surface Of The Water Tank

To prevent your water from freezing, you can use a few ping pong balls to float on the surface of your water tank or tub.

For this method, you will want to make sure that you set your water tank in a place that is less sheltered from the wind to ensure that there is always a bit of a breeze to help this method to work.

The slightest breeze will work to create waves in the water, and will prevent a layer of ice forming for a longer period of time.

While this is a good option for your water tank when it is above freezing, this method isn’t going to be enough if the temperature dips below zero. If the temperature does drop, you will need to consider another method.

Use A Black Rubber Tub

One of the easiest methods to keep your chicken’s water bowl from freezing for longer is to change the tub itself as the material might be what is causing the water to freeze.

For instance, a metal tub might not be the best option for the winter months. You will want to switch from a traditional metal tub to a wider, deeper rubber tub that is black and color and will need to set it in the sun.

Instead of using a metal water bowl that gets cold incredibly quickly, using a black rubber tub and setting it down in a place where the sun can reach it will mean that the tub is able to absorb some of the heat.

As a result, the water will remain warmer than freezing, even during those crisp winter days.

Even on the days where the sun isn’t out, this material is still more suitable than metal during the winter, though you might need to get more creative if it continues to freeze.

Make A ‘Sunroom’ Or ‘Greenhouse’

Another option to keep your chicken’s water from freezing is to build a ‘sunroom’ out of old paned windows you might have lying around your homestead that you can repurpose.

The sun’s powerful rays are able to shine through the glass of the windows to prevent the water from freezing as if it is like a greenhouse.

In Summary

If you’re worried about your chicken’s water freezing, then hopefully you now have a better idea of how to prevent their water from freezing during the winter.