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Hello,

one simple solution that I haven't tried yet.

build a small "stove" with stones, f.e. four brickstones laid on the ground. Put a small candle in the middle of the stones and a metall bucket on top.

Works only if there's nothing around the bucket that can catch fire and the amount of water in the bucket must be large enough that the candle isn't overheating it.

I've heard about double isolation boxes (wood, styrofoam, wood) around buckets.
 

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We run a 100' extension cord from our back porch to the goat house so we can keep a heated bucket out there. I've done similar things to get light and heated water to the various places where I've boarded my horses over the years. Extension cords are our friends! :D

In times when I simply can't use a water heater, I try to put the bucket in as warm a spot in the barn as I can find and bank it up will with deep sawdust to insulate it. When I feed in the morning, I bring milk jugs full of hot water from the house and use it to melt the ice. My animals all love warm water in the winter. In the evening I fill the bucket with very warm water (remembering to bank it up with the sawdust). It will still freeze, but your goats will learn to "get it while it's hot!" ;)
 

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I do not know if this works or not but on another forum a lady posted this.

"we only get down to minus 25/30, think Ill do the same as last year as it worked, a normal plastic bucket set inside a wooden box and have the bedding deep enough rapped around the box. it only had ice crystals in last year, but with others drinking out of the bucket as well I shall still need to fill it up5 times a day instead of 2.....anyway everyone would laugh their heads off at me if I suggested a heated water bucket....but it does sound like a good idea though."

And this.

Last year we had so much snow here and it stayed for so long. So, we packed snow around the water buckets all the way up to with an inch or two of top. It insulated great. Most of the time there would be just an half inch to inch of ice, we would crack it, scoop out the chunks and top off the bucket with fresh water. Did this am and pm and worked well most of the winter. Had to do the "switch a roo" a few times and thaw out a bucket in basement, but not many.
 

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Huckleberry said:
Any tips, tricks, or ideas to keep the water buckets from freezing when you don't have power to the goat house?
You can trying building something like this:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/do-it-yo ... m0gri.aspx

There are actually quite a few folks building variations of this which you can probably find by googling "solar livestock waterer" or similar.
 

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I have my water flowing all the time. It comes from the ground it is at 55 degrees. It goes into a bath tub which then drains into a small puddle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, that solar waterer is exactly what I need, thanks! Although the boys are loving the warm water they're getting. They crowd around the buckets, stick their lips out and make the best sucking/slurping noises :lol: Doesn't take much to make 'em happy!
 

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The two things I've had the best luck with are just running a really long extension cord out to the stock tank heater or getting a little solar charger. The viability of the solar option will depend on how much sun you see in the winter. Here in Wyoming, we have sun almost every day, even in the winter. I remember, though, when I was stationed in Connecticut, one year we didn't see the sun from Thanksgiving to St Patrick's Day.
 
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