I do not have electricity at the coop, so heated water is out for me. However, this year, I am going to add nipples to one of the those black rubber buckets. Last winter in very cold weather, I used two small black rubber bowls that would freeze solid, if I flipped one upside down, the suns heat would melt the ice enough to slip out, and the next morning, I would fill that one and flip the other. It worked, but it got me to thinking.
Ice forms on top of the water and works down. A large black rubber bucket, would take much longer to freeze solid, and what did freeze would be at the top, and the black coloring would absorb the sun's heat, so start thawing almost immediately at dawn. I am thinking that if I added warm water to it each day, most of the days the water would remain liquid and available to the birds. Anyway I am going to try it and see.
Will report back in the spring.
Edited by Mrs. K - 10/8/14 at 4:04pm