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1st Winter w/Chickens Ideas for Waterer? Currently using nipples

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Chicks4MyFamily, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. Chicks4MyFamily

    Chicks4MyFamily Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Valley City, OH
    This will be the first winter we will have chickens. Currently we use a nipple watering system for all coops. It is a 5 gallon bucket with flexible hose to PVC pipe with nipples in it. I am looking for suggestions for a winter waterer solution (without spending a ton of $). Any ideas? We live in NE Ohio and the winters can be a little harsh. The coops we currently use are raised off the ground and have covered attached runs
  2. rngrbill

    rngrbill Chillin' With My Peeps

    My nipples are in buckets directly. One bucket is hanging in the coop. I just added a 15 watt pad heater I got from Petco for about $10 - $13. It is supposed to raise the water temp approx 5 - 10 degrees in 5 -10 gallon aquariums. I only put about a gallon and a half in the bucket. It is a frosting bucket from the grocery store bakery.

    The data: [​IMG]


    We are in Western MA in the Berkshire Hills and winter can get intense here also. If need be I will go with a 50 watt that will keep the water at 78 degrees. Don't know if that will keep your lines open or not.

  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I just use a heated dog dish, the large size. Rather inexpensive at WalMart and such places. They usually only stock them in winter, however. These heated dishes have their own temperature control. On when needed, off when needed.

    Into those dishes, I just place a 1 gallon ice cream bucket. Works like a charm. Easy to just take a fresh bucket out and swap out with old. No messing around in zero weather.
  4. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2011
    Quote:We use buckets as well, but all you need to do is put a garden hose fitting on the end of the pvc line, a bird bath de-icer in the bucket and a small pump (preferably in the bucket) to circulate the water.

    Or, you can put a bucket with deicer in each coop. If you already have the nipples, all you need are the buckets, and de-icers. Someone on here got a package of three submersible fish tank heaters for like $15 bucks, and all the reports are they work very well as long as they are kept under water.

    My system has a central storage tank, with a heater and a pump that fills buckets through garden hoses. Works pretty well.

    I have pics if you like.
  5. tsmith1499

    tsmith1499 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 9, 2011
    Mount Airy, MD.
    Somewhere on here there is a very cool heated bucket setup. Uses 2 buckets one inside the other and 15' on pipe heater cord. It is a nipple feeder also. You cut the bottom out of one bucket and place the other bucket with the cord wrapped around it inside the other. The nipples stick out the bottom of the outer bucket and the person that made it says it works very well. Just do a search for waterers and you should find it. I am planning on making one like this for the winter.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  6. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2011
    Quote:FWI, you can just drop a heater into a single bucket with nipples on it. the problem with wrapping heat tape around a plastic bucket is the transfer of heat is limited by the plastic which does not conduct heat very well so the system is very inefficient. Also, in the summer just pull the bird bath de-icer out and hang it on the wall. by placing the heater, directly in the water, you get nearly 100% heat transfer to the water. In addition, a bird bath de-icer (and submersible fish tank heater) is designed to be in a water environment, heat tape is not.

    We have extreme winter here -30*, so we are very careful in our water designs, and have failed miserably on many, many occasions. It is no fun to fix stuff with a -70* wind chill. Heat tape has failed us many times, so we simply do not rely on it any more except for purely temporary situations.

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