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A oncrete bird bath

i have been lucky enough buy a beautiful old ornate concrete bird bath. It has been fine up to now but I am concerned about possible frost damage. I don’t want to empty it of water as birds constantly use it. Would floating an old tennis ball be helpful. Has anyone any suggestions. 
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  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 7,488
    I don't think you need to be too concerned about the water freezing in the bowl itself as the bowl seems to have sloped sides which would allow for expansion, but a floating tennis ball would certainly be a good additional precaution.

    I think the main concern is if water has been absorbed into the material it's made from (concrete?) and then that water freezes it will crack the structure as it freezes.
    So it really depends on the porosity of the material it's made from.

    It's a lovely bird bath so not surprised the birds are making good use of it :)
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 18,431
    Ours did just that, we now use a large flower pot drip tray in there and don’t put water directly into it, you can buy a 12/14” tray/saucer,  deep enough for the birds to bath in, in your garden centre. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,184
    I'd have thought that something made for holding water might have a coating of some kind already on it? Or mixed in with the concrete - in the same way you get a setting agent in the ready to mix stuff for helping it go off quickly.

    I wonder if you could use a seal of some kind on it? I never found tennis balls any use in water toprevent freezing. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 7,488
    Fairygirl said:I never found tennis balls any use in water toprevent freezing. 
    A tennis ball doesn't stop the water freezing. As a tennis ball is squeezey, as the water freezes and expands it squeezes the tennis ball rather than expanding and cracking the sides of the container.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,184
    edited October 2019
    I understand that @Pete.8- I just meant I'd never found that it worked effectively. I should have been less lazy about my reply  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 7,488
    :)
    I do drop a tennis ball in both my ponds over winter, but as soon as they drift to the side, my dog oics them out and i find them on the sofa.... so I have no idea if they work either - but they should - in theory..
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 6,520
    Oncrete: Never fills up with water because the tide is always out.
    Unlike the brain, the stomach warns you when it's empty.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,184
    Pete.8 said:
    :)
    I do drop a tennis ball in both my ponds over winter, but as soon as they drift to the side, my dog oics them out and i find them on the sofa.... so I have no idea if they work either - but they should - in theory..
     :D 

    I use a block of polystyrene, covered in gaffer tape, which has a spherical indent on one side. The gap means there's always an air pocket.  I keep it tethered to the side of the pond-  as it often disappears in the wind on the days which aren't freezy.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 18,431
    A pond is a bit different to a bird bath, all of the water freezes in the bath, it cracked ours, now we don't take a chance. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,184
    I know what you mean @Lyn. I've got a couple of different 'arrangements' for birds etc, and the two shallow ones have been frozen the last two mornings. I had to do a little ice breaking with my foot  :)
    I wonder if you could put a plastic container  [old washing up bowl?] with water inside the bath @maisie_mac? I've used an old wok, which was left in this house, sunk into the ground, and added some stones/gravel/small rocks etc to hide the edges a bit, and make it easier for smaller birds to use.
    It would be a shame if it cracked  :/
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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