Has anyone tried covering their heated water dish?


May 8, 2018
"The Jog", Massachusetts
Question. I only have 8 birds. Their run has a sufficient amount of straw on one end to add some warmth. I surrounded the bottom half with plastic to cut back on the wind, the top has a tarp over it to help keep it dry (plenty of ventilation at the top of the run) and I’ve got plenty of wood chips and straw lining the inside of the coop. My issue, like many others – the water. I do not have electricity out there but was able to run an extension cord out and now have a heated dog dish. It’s raised up on blocks so they don’t get straw and poop in it, but I do have 3 bantams that can’t reach it so roost on the edge. After reading story’s here I’m worried about one of them falling in now and getting wet and freezing. Has anyone tried to partially cover the bowl? Maybe just half of it with something to avoid this? Also I was thinking of putting one in the coop as well as the bowl in the coop freezes up quickly. But, they only go in the coop at night and I don’t think they drink much at night do they? Should I get a second one for the coop? or is outside enough? Thanks


7 Years
Jul 18, 2013
Kalispell MT
Yes, I know people who have added a cover of some sort to a water bowl. It is done to help keep the birds, especially the combs from getting wet. Birds do not see well in the dark. Once they go to roost they are there until morning. Putting water in the coop only gets more humidity in there. Humidity in the coop causes frost bite on the combs. Having water outside in the run is sufficient for your birds.

Eventually you may want to skip the worry of your bantams falling in the water by setting up a horizontal nipple system. The advantages of horizontal nipples are that the water is always clean and their combs stay dry. My system has stayed thawed down to -22.


Mar 2, 2016
Northern Lower MI
That depends on if you use lighting. Are the birds up and awake (from a timer light) for hours before you open the door? If so yes, they need water (and food) in the coop. But if you don’t use light and your opening the door in the am then just the water outside the coop should be fine.

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