Anyone using a mug warmer to keep the water bowl from freezing?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Carolyn252, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. Carolyn252

    Carolyn252 Mother of Chickens

    I have a Salton mug warmer, similar to the one seen below. The one I have is 23 watts, but otherwise looks the same as the one in that photo. I'm thinking of putting it on the ground in the chicken run, and then placing the water bowl on it. The bowl that I use is an enamelled metal bundt pan that looks like the one shown below . The two chickens have never pooped in the bowl, and have never turned it over or ever moved it in any way. In these days of freezing temperatures, the water has turned to ice every few hours and I've been dumping the ice and refilling the bowl with warm water several times a day. Both hens are laying every day and are active and happy. The surface of the mug warmer gets hot enough to burn the chickens' little feet, so for sure I don't want them to move the bowl off it and then touch the hot spot. Is anyone using an electric mug warmer for a heat supply to their chicken's water bowl? Any advice about this setup?[​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Sorry, but your links aren't working...anyway you can post the pics directly into the forum?
  3. spammy

    spammy Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 17, 2009
    I put a similar 25 watt warmer in a cookie tin and set the waterer on top. Has worked in zero weather.
  4. RocketDad

    RocketDad Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2008
    Near US 287
    I think the only problem with it would be duty cycle and designed life span. It's probably not made to run for a long time. But if it's cheap ("already own it" is pretty cheap) and you don't mind killing it, go for it. Let us know how well it works.
  5. Carolyn252

    Carolyn252 Mother of Chickens

    Well, three hours ago, I cut an inch-square hole in the side of a small cookie tin and installed the mug warmer inside it with the plug and its wire running out through the hole. Put the cover back on the tin, plugged it in outside on the cement patio and plugged it into an outdoor electric outlet. I set a big metal bowl of cold water on top of the tin; it's about 28 degrees F outside right now, three hours later. Just stuck a finger in the water, and it's cold but definitely far from freezing. So.... SUCCESS!! I'll run an extension cord out to the coop tomorrow morning and will install the cookie tin inside the coop with the chickens' bundt pan water bowl on top. Can't wait. Specially as the weatherman is shouting about a blizzard arriving here in the middle of the night just a few hours from now. First snow of the season.
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Be careful about using devices rated for indoors, though. Electric dog bowls are 60W to give a comparison and work best in the coop. Very interested in how this works for you. [​IMG]
  7. Carolyn252

    Carolyn252 Mother of Chickens

    I dug a depression in the run and settled the cookie tin into it so the top of the tin is level with the surrounding earth. The wire is buried under about a half inch of earth and then goes straight up in the air to the wire mesh roof of the run. Goes up through one of the mesh spaces and the big orange extension cord goes from there to the outdoor electric outlet. I set the bundt-pan water bowl on top of the cookie tin and the water has remained liquid and perfect all day. I'm delighted.

    I covered the outside of the entire 15' x 9' run with clear, transparent, colorless heavy-duty shower curtains and taped the seams together. Each shower curtain is six feet by six feet square, and the run is six-feet high so they're perfect. At $5.95 per curtain, at Bed, Bath & Beyond, I've windproofed the run completely and efficiently. Screwed the top of the curtains to the horizontal top framing of the run, using the convenient shower curtain holes. The roof of the run is open wire mesh, but above that, I've got a slanted shed-style roof of clear corrugated plastic roofing panels mounted a few inches above the wire mesh, so there's is complete ventilation for the run.

    The coop is a Little Tikes plastic playhouse for kids. It's sitting right in the middle of the run, completely unattached to the run. I separated the two roof sections by about four inches at the peak, so the coop has complete ventilation too. Installed a 2 x 4 for a roost board. Built a nest box on one side. Covered the entire open air side window with a sheet of storm window glass. Using the deep litter method with lots of food-grade DE and pine shavings. It's perfect for my two hens.
  8. Suechick

    Suechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2009
    Carlsbad, CA
    Um, just wondering, what would happen if it gets flooded?
  9. Carolyn252

    Carolyn252 Mother of Chickens

    Quote:No idea; but it never has. The hole in the cookie tin is covered over with black electrical tape, and the tin is buried up to its top surface. The run is slightly raised because there's a slight depression in the ground all around the outside of the run. Kinda like a dry moat about four inches wide and two inches deep. No flooding has ever happened. No water ever gets in the run.
  10. hildymarie

    hildymarie Out Of The Brooder

    May 13, 2009
    da UP of Michigan
    Personally I wouldnt. It will burn out the element if it has to work too hard and will freeze anyway. Those things arent designed to work continuously. If you are going to put a cord out anyway., just build a cookie tin heater. If you have small waterers use a smaller tin and/or a smaller watt bulb. We have our cookie tin heater on cement blocks side by side and then the heater then the 5 gal galvanized waterer. Perfect height for our isa browns. If you have smaller chickens add an extra block so they have soethign to jump up on to reach the water.
    I have all the doing to build another one on hand.

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