Originally Posted by tess36
How did you make your bucket? Do you have a drop in heater of some kind and I just can't see it? I'm looking for something. I don't like the all-in-one heated waterers for chickens that I've seen at TSC. I've seen pics of them shorting out. Hubby, the professional firefighter, has already x-nayed those. Plus, while the chickens might like one, it won't really work for the duckies.
I like the look of yours and it 'appears' pretty simple. Right now the ducks have one of those rubber dog bowl that I'm emptying. So far it's been no big deal because being in central Virginia, we've only had a handful of nights in the upper twenties this far, but come mid January through end of February, it's not uncommon to go into single digits out here for a night or two during cold fronts with day highs in the twenties. Of course the thing about central Virginia that weather could be sandwiched by sixties or possibly even a day or two or seventy! I'm sure single digits and twenties is probably 'princess' weather for a lot of y'all, but I assure you, it's plenty cold for me. 😉
This is a pre-made heated bucket. I had some heated bowls that shorted out as you said. They were a plastic bowl with the heating element stuck on the bottom and a cover on the bottom that wasn't water tight, but since it was a "cover" once the water leaked in, it couldn't get out so it was just a matter of time before it would short out and if you put it in a place where there was snow, there is always water. These buckets are actually two buckets one inside another. The outside bucket has a door in it and that is where the cord is stored when you buy it (I can't see putting it back in ever). There are three screws on the underside of the rim that hold the buckets together. If you separate the buckets, you will see the cord comes into and the heating wires go out of a sealed epoxy block (I have even pulled that from the molded plastic compartment on the bottom of the inside bucket At the top of the epoxy block is the thermostat pressed against the bottom of the inside bucket. The heating wire is insulated so there is no exposed electric area at all. The heating wires run around the sides of the inside bucket and cover the bottom half of it. They are held in place with a metal tape and a strip of the tape is peeled back and grounded to the safety ground of the power plug. So if the insulation were to degrade on the wire, the wire would short to the safety ground and pop your breaker with no danger to ducks or you. Since the outside bucket has a big hole in the bottom that the cord came out, if any water does get in between the buckets, it can find its way back out. The electronics are about 1-1/2" to 2" above the bottom of the outside bucket so unless you put the bucket in a puddle, that shouldn't present a problem and since the entire system is sealed in epoxy in its own compartment minor wetness shouldn't be a problem either. As you can see in the picture, I put the bucket on blocks to help with drainage and I gave them a step so if the water gets lower, they can use their necks to get down to it. That is all the good. The bucket in the picture I bought last year and have been VERY happy with. My wife knocked of the handle support with a pick (she was clearing ice from the platform) but I will be able to fix that. If you look at the second picture, there is a second bucket outside the ducks area to the left. I put it out of their range because I don't want to drill holes in it yet. This year we decided to get a second bucket and two of them have froze then been returned. This is number three. Fortunately Murdochs stands behind their products even if I did drill three holes in the rim. So I wouldn't get one from a non-local establishment unless they pay postage both ways (maybe they just had a bad box of thermostats).
What I did was drill three holes in the top and put a piece of signboard on top. I initially bought the signboard in a big pack of 25 from Amazon when I was setting up their "big" brooder. A year and a half ago, I attached a piece of the signboard to a cheapo run for the ducklings. Today, the run is falling apart but the signboard is like new after all that time in the rain/snow/sun and temps from -20F to 98F. The signboard can be cut easily with a utility knife and drilled with a drill. The signboard is held in place by 3 LONG (2-1/2" I think) #10 stainless steel screws with a washer on each side of the signboard and an nut tightened just enough to squeeze the signboard a little. The screws just go through the holes in the bucket so they are easy to remove for filling/cleaning the bucket but the threads provide enough friction and they are long enough that neither wind nor duck has removed them so far.
Originally Posted by farmincity
Hi I really like your bucket design. THere is a new face book group https://www.facebook.com/groups/DucksInTheGarden/ I really would like the design to be shared on the site. Can I share or would you like to share it yourself.
Oh go right ahead share away. I avoid facebook like the plague. Because my wife and I go sing karaoke on a regular basis, we know WAY too many young people who are VERY involved with fb. If we were friended with all those people on facebook, it would be like shovelling the driveway every day just to get through all the fb drama.
Edited by Tevyes Dad - 12/15/15 at 8:25am