I can't believe it's been a month since my last post here. I've been spending a lot of time over at backyardchickens.com forum (I'm that CedarLake guy :-) that I've been neglecting my own readers.
It's past Thanksgiving, which means Winter is well ensconced here in Minnesota. Lows tonight should be hovering a bit above zero, and the birds seem to be doing just fine. They don't like the snow much, but they do eventually come outside. I'm working on providing them with liquid (as in not ice) water since the coop/run is too far from the house to run power. I'm still taking the 1 gallon waterer inside at night, but I have a water supply in a 6-gallon tub buried in the ground. With just a 6" thick flat of wood chips sitting on top of it for insulation, the water remains liquid except for a thin skin of ice on top. I use that to refill the water supply for the ducks each morning.
Two things I want to try:
1) Building a solar heater for the water: this will just be a mini-greenhouse that houses the water supply that the birds can walk into to take a drink.
2) Since I know that the underground tank will probably stay liquid, I would like to try an automated waterer using it. Only problem is I haven't found a battery-powered submersible pump yet. I have lots of aquarium pumps, but they run off 120VAC.
The greenhouse I'd like to try building this week sometime, but I have too many projects...
As a former co-worker used to say "got more balls in the air than a giraffe!"