I am trying to decide on a heated waterer for the winter. I think I have narrowed it down to two choices and wanted to see if anyone here had any experience with either.
My first choice is to make a bucket waterer with nipples. I am looking at this bucket heater, http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-250-Watt-Heater-Floater-Safety/dp/B002QXN1EQ/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8 . There are lots of great reviews for it but some contradict each other. All of them say that it keeps the water thawed but some say their nipples still freeze and others say their nipples don't. I suspect that the ones having the issues with frozen nipples may have the heater set up to float. I would set it up to sit on the bottom. I am hoping this will keep the nipples thawed as well. Any thoughts?
My other option (much pricier) is this, http://www.jefferspet.com/products/k-h-heated-poultry-waterer-2-5-gallon-gray . I am attracted to this over other brands for two reasons. First, it is only 2.5 gallons. I have a small coop and don't want to take up all the space with the waterer. Most of the other heated waterers are larger. Second, and this is the biggest plus for me, it has a button valve on the cap. I can just lift the water jug off of the base, even if there is still water in it, and it will not spill. All the other heated waterers out there require you to flip the whole thing upside down to refill. I like this design much better and this is the first time I have found one offered in a heated unit. The one down side is that I don't think it has an option to hang it.
If I can keep the nipples from freezing I think I would prefer the bucket option because it is much less expensive and I can hang it so it takes up less room in the coop.