i have a 5 gallon bucket with chicken nipples on the bottom that i am using now. do i need to buy another waterer for the winter? i thought of using a stock tank heater but will that keep the nipples from freezing too?
heaters for a 5gal bucket?
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You can buy heat tape that would wrap around the bucket exterior. You may need to add a mesh out from the tape to keep your birds from pecking the tape. I am not a fan of the nipple system for winter watering since water easily freezes in confined spaces. We use good ol 2 gallon heated horse buckets for the ease of cleaning and replacing/adding fresh water. We locate water stations under a bench or shelf to keep the water clean.
In winter, I use a 5 gal bucket with nipples in the bottom. I place a bird bath heater in it. I cycles on and off by temperature to prevent freezing.
I have a nipple system in pvc piping, but drain it in winter to prevent freezing.
Winters are short and mild here, so this activity encompasses only a couple of months.