I am done buy the heater pet bowl. They seem to work one year and then they don't heat up. Since the bottoms are sealed it is hard not break the bowl to see what's going on in here.
I cut the end so now I have 4 bowls for watering during the summer. This winter, I found laying in the barn, a drop-in deicer for stock tanks. It sets on 2 bricks in a rubber tub that has the side not to high for the chickens to reach the water. It is plugged in a timer that turn it on every few hours. The deicer would probably warm the water pretty good if left on all the time since the tub is so little!
It has work perfectly and I don't use too much power since it is on only a few time a day.
I am looking forward warmer days this week. I am ready to cut in a trap door in the new coop so the chicks that are almost 2 months old can enjoy the nice sunny days also!
I've heard others having the same problem with the heated pet bowls. I've actually had good luck with the green water bowls. I have 2 of the green pet bowls from Orscheln's in my duck yard. I've been using them 24/7 year-round since the first winter we had the birds (probably winter 2012) and have only had to replace one bowl in that time. I have no idea why they've worked so well for us and so poorly for other people. I had to eventually put cages around my bowls to keep my birds from BATHING in them. :D The holes in the cages are like 4x4, so plenty large for them to get their head in but not quite big enought o allow the whole bird through.
I've heard of several people fermenting chicken feed. I've ordered my first group of chickens (hatch/ship date is March 7th! and am doing some research on fermenting feed). Can someone who's more experienced with this send me more info?