Recipes and Tips for Healthier Living and Smarter Budgeting

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

2 Favorite Urban Homesteader Products

This winter has been a chilly one in my part of the woods--and that's being euphemistic. Extreme cold is normal for this area and I was prepared for it. But it's our chickens' first winter, so we've learned a few things the last few months.

First, who has the time to change out frozen water multiple times a day? Not me. It was getting very annoying and difficult. Even switching the rabbit's water twice a day was a lot of work for my eight year-old daughter and we still worried he wasn't getting the water he needed because in negative temperatures, water freezes quickly.

Enter two solutions. Both required an investment, but these containers should last us at least another winter (hopefully longer), and it's totally been worth it already in time and anxiety saved.

The first solution was this heated poultry fountain for about $40. The base has an attached cord that plugs into an electrical outlet. We had already strung a cord from our house to the coop and attached a power strip to plug in the heat lamp (which got our chickens laying again--see this post). This waterer is thermostatically controlled and keeps the water from freezing. It's guaranteed down to 0 degrees, but we've had many days and nights well below that and it still hasn't frozen. *Happy dance.* It's not a perfect system, as flipping it over once it's filled has to be done very quickly and precisely in order not to get soaked or flood the coop--which can be tricky. But it definitely beats what I was doing before! And for our five chickens I only have to refill it once a week (especially now that I have it raised up off the floor so they can't get it scummy as quickly).

The second solution was a heated rabbit water bottle, for about $30. It stays plugged in all winter, too, and even out in the hutch exposed to the elements, the water doesn't freeze. Happy bunny, happy daughter, happy parents. :)

Both items I found at our local IFA.

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