Good afternoon everyone! So here we are in mid November and our nights are getting below freezing pretty regularly. This means that the ducks are waking up to frozen water! We clearly need to find a new solution.
One of our challenges is that we have two separate areas where we need to keep water from freezing. The daytime water which up until now has been kiddie pools which we dump and fill daily and the overnight water bowls. In this post we are attempting to solve the daytime water issue first.
We picked up a one hundred gallon Rubbermaid stock tank and the drain plug heater that works with it. Our problem was that given deep enough water the ducks will try to dive and swim down. The heater would then potentially burn them if they came in contact. We threw together this little wooden frame with some half inch hardware cloth to make a frame around the heater. This should protect their little flipper feet while still giving them some depth to bathe in.
The second issue was how do we get the ducks into a tub that is 30 inches off the ground? We have a hill that we placed the tank on and built up the void between the hill and the tank with cinder-block. We are going to back-fill the space with mulch to give them a easy path to walk on. Now we just got to train them to use it and see how it works! We are considering making some sort of cover for the whole tank with holes cut into it that will only allow their heads to fit in. This would eliminate the need to change the water daily as they wont be able to poop it up! We will have to see how they take to it and make adjustments as needed.
We will have another post about what we are doing for the overnight water bowls in their holding pen once it is complete! Have you had any experience solving frozen water for your poultry? Share your thoughts and hard learned lessons in the comments below!