I have to use a 1 gallon plastic bucket to water my chickens inside of their coop this winter. It is a fairly small coop and I only have 3 chickens, so that is why I am using such a small bucket. I plan on using horizontal nipples and purchasing a cold weather thermo cube to plug the heater into. I just want to make sure I am not heating the water too much, I don't want to be giving my chickens 80 degree water, I just want it to stay above freezing. How many watts should I be using? I found an aquarium heater that only has 10 watts, is that too few? Thanks!
1 Gallon Waterer: How many watts are too many to heat such a small waterer?
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A 10 watt aquarium heater will surely fail out in the freezing temperature.
You'll be better off getting birdbath de-icer - they usually come with sensor that turn on/off by itself so you won't even need a thermo cube, which I found unreliable.
Get the absolute minimum of 50 watt de-icer. I had to upgrade to 200 watt de-icer because the watering nipples froze and 50 watt wasn't enough during really cold days.
I advise against keeping the waterer in a coop. The nipples leak when girls drink water and you'll be battling humidity issue that can contribute to frostbite.