automatic waterer help?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Auroradream26, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. Auroradream26

    Auroradream26 Smothered in Feathers Premium Member

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    I ordered 5 Nipples on eBay the other day to make a homemade waterer but I'm having second thoughts on how to do it. I was going to attach PVC pipe to the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket and make it come out left and right as a straight pipe with the nipples spaced evenly on it but with that freeze in the winter? Obviously I'll have a fish tank heater in the bucket but will that keep the pipe below warm enough to not freeze or should I just put the nipples directly on the bottom of the bucket? I don't want to mess it up lol
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    No it won't keep the pipe warm unless you have a means of circulating the warm water in the bucket through the pipe.

    Even in the bottom of the bucket, if it is extremely cold, it's possible the nipples will freeze but your chances are much better.
     
  3. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    I agree with ChickenCanoe. Put the nipples on the bottom of the bucket. Us just 4 instead of 5.

    Then, what you can do is use a heat tape or heat cable (called differently depending where you buy it.) and follow this plan.
    http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/heated-chicken-waterer-zm0z13fmzhun.aspx

    I did this and it keeps the water from freezing down into the lower teens. Below that, I get a skin of ice on top of the water and the nipples tend to get stiff, so I have to watch it when it gets real cold. When it does, I just dump the water, add hot water. That loosens the nipples again and gives the girls a warm drink.

    I probably should have used a 6 foot heat tape, but all the plans I read said to use a 3 foot one.

    Hope this helps.
    Jim
     
  4. Auroradream26

    Auroradream26 Smothered in Feathers Premium Member

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    Thanks guys, I'll just put them on the bottom of the bucket then. I appreciate the help :)
     

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