Heated water base--safe?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by skrap, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. skrap

    skrap New Egg

    Jan 22, 2012
    Hi all,

    Brand new to the forums--first time posting. I'm in Massachusetts & I've had my three hens (Barred Rock, Buff Orpington, Rhode Island Red) since the spring.

    I'd like to get a heated waterer set up for my girls but I'm worried about safety. The hens live in a wooden coop with cedar shavings. I was looking to buy something like this: http://www.flemingoutdoors.com/elhebaforpof.html. I'm concerned, though, that this would be a fire hazard? Or that the hens will burn themselves on the base...

    Thanks for any advice!

  2. itsmechrissy

    itsmechrissy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2011
    SE Wisconsin
    I looked at those but decided not to get one because it was actually really big...i forgot the exact demensions but like a 12-15 inch diameter. I only have 4 hens so my coop is fairly small and didn't want to take up that much floor space. I ended up getting a heated dog water bowl cause it was much smaller (and less expensive). The dog bowl works great for my 4 girls. I do have to dump it, rince and refill each morning and then I top it off with more water in the evening (I use an old gallon milk jug to bring to hold the rinsing/refill water, just bring it out to the coop with me whenever I visit :)
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  3. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
  4. shelleen

    shelleen Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 27, 2011
    I don't know where you are located, but these bases are not sufficient for extreme temps. The fine print on the ones in our stores here say, good to 20 degrees (and only with galvanized waterers). I am in northern MN & we had -20 temps the other night and -35 windchill. If you are in a milder climate, they would work. I have a heated base plastic waterer that I have elevated on some cinder blocks to keep it up out of the straw & also to keep cleaner. I have also used cable clips to secure the cord, so the birds don't knock it over. I have also found that if you do not keep the water more than 1/4 full, it freezes. The birds will not burn themselves on either type...they just do not get that warm. They will stand on it in cold temps though [​IMG] Hope this helps...
  5. itsmechrissy

    itsmechrissy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2011
    SE Wisconsin
    Ok... I looked them up again and those types of heaters are around 16-17 inch diameter. The dog dish I got was only 10in diameter so much better for my little coop. Here's the one I got, the cord is pretty long too (5-6 ft I think) the water never gets hot but it's not frozen yet and we've had the temps drop below zero.

  6. Rosaleen

    Rosaleen Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2011
    Danville, Vermont
    Welcome to BYC...I have never used a water heater in my coop. I have some rubber bowls that I fil with warm water. When they freeze I just knock the ice out and refill. I've done this for years and the chickies have all survived...I don't heat the coop either....last night -10 degrees and this morning they were all waiting to go out into the run. Living in northern Vermont we have some really frigid days and nights so I always make sure I raise cold hardy breeds. Good luck!
  7. skrap

    skrap New Egg

    Jan 22, 2012
    Thanks for all the replies! Helpful stuff.

    itsmechrissy: Our coop was built to house six hens, so I'm not too concerned about space, but the heated dog waterer still sounds like a good option. Thanks for the link to the particular one you use--I'll definitely look into it.

    Rosaleen: That's what I've been doing so far & I don't mind it, but it's a problem on the weekends when I'm sleeping in until 8 or 9--I don't like the hens to be without access to fresh water for several hours in the am. So I think a heated waterer will be best for me & the hens : )
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  8. chick007

    chick007 secretagent chickenman

    Sep 25, 2011
    anchorage, alaska
    another option is to use a automotive battery tray warmer between a couple of ceramic floor tiles. works for plasic or metal waterers, inexpnsive and made for outdoor use. would be bad if your car battery caught fire. hope you are useing pine shavings, as cedar shavings are toxic to chickens
  9. keenecowboy

    keenecowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 24, 2011
    Coshocton, OH
    They are safe, but way too expensive.
    You can build your own for less then 10.00

    Tractor supply company has a pan that sell for about 5.00
    Go to a trift shop and get a 100 watt table lamp and use the lamp holder and cord.
    That will do the trick.
  10. nuchickontheblock

    nuchickontheblock Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2010
    south portland, maine
    Somewhere on the forum, if you search, is a thread about making a heater from a cookie tin. I never tried it, but it looked interesting, relatively easy and inexpensive. We have a metal base heater from TSC - does the trick and doesn't get very hot. we have it on a piece of metal on a couple of cinder blocks to keep it up a bit and not directly on the shavings.

    AND [​IMG]

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