Bird bath and freezing?

I understand liquids freezing and expanding. If I let your basic ceramic bird bath out all year here in WI, would it crack? Showing my age now, but I remember when milk was delivered to your door and if it froze, it never cracked the bottle, it expanded out the top. So if I have water in a bird bath and it freezes, will it expand upward or sideways and crack the thing. Yes I know, but I don't want to run a heater.
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R
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On 10/22/2011 2:26 PM, Joe J wrote:

I just turn the bowl part upside down for winter, its a heavy 3 piece job, pedestal, bowl and an angel on top, all made of fine cast concrete. If concrete, spawling (my spell checker gave up on that one) is a problem.
If yours is concrete or stone and all one piece then definitely keep water from freezing in it, take it inside or cover it in some way.
Plastic shouldn't be a problem unless it could blow away in a 'Noreaster ;)
John
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Just an opinion. What will happens depends more on the shape of the bowl. Sloped sides should let the ice rise. Steep, deep sides more likely to crack.
I have a shallow one that I carved out of a piece of flat rock and it has never cracked. I suspect it gets a good bit colder in WI and stays that way longer than it does in KY.
I think if I were in your shoes I would turn it upside down and leave it out.
Nice to meet another person who recalls milk in glass bottles on the front porch.
Colbyt
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On 10/22/2011 2:26 PM, Joe J wrote:

If you live in cold climates, you look for one with sides sloped and smooth enough, that the ice will simply rise up as it expands. Or take it down/turn it over in winter. Just a crust of ice is seldom a problem- only when the sucker freezes solid. Yes, ice expands all directions. That is why people throw telephone poles in pools they don't want to empty- pole floats, and as water freezes, it pushes it up, getting (hopefully) enough expansion room without blowing out the side walls. (Seen it done, but never had a pool myself to verify it works.)
--
aem sends...

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I guess I wasn't clear. I would like for the birds to have a water source when it does warm enough to melt the ice, but I don't want to be making trips out there to flip it back up and add water every time it does. It's not always below freezing in winter.
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wrote:

I wonder if it would help to line the bird bath with black plastic. We used to have artisan wells on the farm years ago. They ran all winter without freezing up. Would there be some way to keep the water moving? Circulation pump for a fish tank?
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On 10/22/2011 3:32 PM, aemeijers wrote:

There ya go! Throw a Lincoln log (or fat twig) in the bird bath and be done with it.
LOL, John
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Joe J wrote:

The milk bottle didn't break because the closure - the cap - was weaker than the force of the freezing milk. Your bird bath *has* no top; ergo, it won't break or crack.
--

dadiOH
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On 10/22/2011 4:34 PM, dadiOH wrote:

Depends on bird bath. It isn't common, but I have seen it a few times, when basin had vertical sides. If OP is worried, he could just put the water in a tin or plastic pie plate or serving tray weighted down with a few small stones, inside the bird bath. Measure what he has, and visit nearest Goodwill or Salvation Army, and a buck or two should turn up something usable. In my experience, most winter birds ignore bird baths, for the same reason I try not to step in puddles in winter. If they do need water, there is always a drip or a puddle somewhere close by.
--
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Milk is not water.
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Really! Thanks for that insight.
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