CHICKEN NIPPLES! What were you thinking?
Our first real freeze hit this week and I found my home made poop free waterer totally frozen over. The nipples were iced, immovable and yielded no H2O. I pulled out a pan of water to give our ladies something to quench their thirst while I pondered a solution. A trip to the garage found an 18 foot length of pipe heating cable. I zip tied this to the hoses, the t-adapter from my bucket and one loop around the bucket, plugged it in and presto. Liquid water. We are expecting 12 inches of snow today and tomorrow. Hopefully my little fix should do the trick. The next time one of us heads to the hardware store we’ll grab a plug in thermostat, these handy guys only turn on the juice when the temperature falls below 35 degrees Fahrenheit. If we lose power we are back to the pan though.
These chickens are pretty hardy, as long as they stay dry they can tolerate low temps. Interestingly they are “big chickens” of the snow. No one has ventured out into it after it piled up. Early on a few of the buffs were chasing flakes, probably remembering the tasty morsels flying in the air in August when there was a nearby termite hatch. The water heater works great. Full flow the morning of our big snow.