We arranged bricks under two of the waterers (one in each pen) so that we can put an 8 hour night light under the metal waterer. The bricks surround the nightlight completely. The 8 hour nightlight is in a glass jar, inside a cut-off Illy coffee tin.
In the morning, the waterer is still frozen, but the ice is much thinner. A quick blast on the camping stove and then the ice can be broken.
Top it up with water, and then put another nightlight ti try and keep it defrosted for much of the day.
Some days, it's not possible to get water. The butts are frozen, sometimes it's only the tap bit, sometimes it's more frozen inside. The allotment water pipes need priming, and for that I need water Even then, if there is water frozen in the pipes, it's impossible to draw water.
I've taken to carrying a couple of bottles down with me.
The first night we went down, it was interesting to see how the hens were arranging themselves. I imagined them snuggling up for warmth, but I know from mucking out that the main flock uses three coops.
In Mrs' rickety old coop we had 2 welsh blacks, one on each end of the roosting bars. In one of the nestboxes we had Siouxise or NotNorman, I couldn't tell which,.
In the new coop we had Nora on theroosting bars, Batty in one of the nestboxes on one side, Norman in the other side, and Siouxsie or NotNorman at the front.
Henry and his 4 other wives were spaced out on the roosting bars in the shed.
Not at all what I imagined.