DH worked on this design in his head until he had it all planned out. After finding that the chickens did best with a "dog waterer" that's raised up (keeps it much cleaner-- and they don't seem to scratch anything into it) he went from there. He doesn't want to use a heated base if he can help it, so he built a containment box, insulated, with a lightbulb inside- hoping to keep the water just warm enough that it won't freeze. The "coop" is in the back of the barn, and the watering box is in the barn as well. He's got a thermometer inside to keep a check on the temp, and will be starting with a low wattage bulb, and going up only if needed.. If it doesn't work, we'll go with the heated base-- which will fit -- but only if needed. We'll be monitoring it very often--- to begin with--- when DH is working in the barn, just to be sure there are no overheating issues. I'm sure it will be an all winter "test" to see what works and what doesn't. I might put together simple spreadsheet to gather some data- maybe to find out what "extremes" it works under----- So-- for all the data junkies out there---- any suggestions on what I should gather? I was thinking just simply keep track of the Outdoor temp, Barn Temp, wattage bulb and how long it needs to stay on, if at all and condition of the water-- basically-- ice present, no ice present ( or solid block of ice Any ideas would be great. Here's a few photos. Any questions, and I'll check with DH for specifiics. This shows where the fount sticks out of the opening. Here's the open side-- or back of box-- insulated with bulb and thermometer. Edited to add: This entire unit is outside the actual coop room--- It slides up flush to an opening where the fount comes through into the coop. The back==just held on with a bungee Inside showing the 2 waterers inside-- 1 will be available to drink from (left side) the other is the reserve bottle for quick changes--will always have a "thawed" bottle available.