Terracotta Water Heater
Since we live in a northern climate frozen water is something to contend with during winter months. A heater for the water may not be a necessity, but it's a nice convenience. Here's the one we built for $15.00 and a few pieces of scrap wood. It's a lot cheaper if you re-purposing an old flower pot. This one is a 10 1/2" azalea pot for $8.00 because we didn't have an extra the right size.
We haven't used this yet because it hasn't been cold enough yet. I tested it on a 50 degree day. I ran it for 1 hr, then placed my hand on it for a full minute. It was very warm, but not too hot. I could've held my hand on it indefinitely. We're planning to run it on the same timer with the lights, from 3am to 7am.
Giving credit where it's due, I based it on the heater showcased in the YouTube video, "backyard chicken coop water heater".
I needed to raise the waterer a couple inches, and accomodate the cord, so I used a plywood base with a few 2x4 pieces. I added stop to keep the base centered.
The bungie cords are run through heavy duty hooks that are closed a good bit. The pan is 12"x2" galvanized, from the pet dept at Walmart. We use them for treats in their run. I drilled 4 holes in the side for the bungie hooks.
I cut two plywood circles to screw the light fixture down on to give it some stability. Then I drilled a hole through the center of the bottom disk for the cord, and a 2 1/2" hole in the center of the top disk for the connection points under the fixture.
The welded wire screen allows for a draft to prevent it from overheating. We haven't actually used this yet because it's our first winter with chickens, so it might not be necessary at all, but I'm taking a cautious approach.
Here's the completed heater all bungied together. I'll put in the corner of the coop, against the walls, and anchor it with a screw or two. The 3 gallon waterer will rest on top, tied to the wall.