Heated water hack


7 Years
Sep 6, 2015
Central Massachusetts
I figured this out by accident and it seems to be working so far...

I bought this heated bowl for my 2 ducks and 5 chickens. I elevated it thinking it would keep the ducks from playing in it. No such luck. The water was actually always pretty warm, and the ducks loved it so every morning there would just be a little muddy mess in the bottom of it.


So I took my black rubber (Fortex?) bucket and set it right inside it - fits perfectly.

The heated bowl has been keeping the bucket from freezing. The ducks still play in it (obviously) but at least my birds do not run out of water, and my chickens will still drink out of it.

The coldest it has been so far is 25 F, so we will see if this hack works as it gets colder- but I was almost going to give up on this bowl when I figured this out.
I'm aware….but having already bought the heated bowl and not wanted to spend another $30-40 on a heated bucket- I was pleased to be able to use the bowl and not throw it aside as a failed attempt at heating water. Simply offering a suggestion to adapt the bowl if other's had the same issue as I did with their duck's emptying it too quickly.
I discovered the same solution. When I used the heated bowl alone, it was cumbersome to empty and clean it with the wired cord attached. Just lifting out the bucket to empty, clean, and refill was so much easier. Now, with more ducks I have two of these setups going.
I do the same, and the cord actually goes up vertically to the power source, so no tripping for the ducks.
I set the 3 gal bowl on two pieces of firewood (to lift off straw by about 6-8"), then the 3 gal bowl, then the 1-1/2 gal heated water bowl in that.
They don't swim in it, but they still make a mess. ; )

I also have a low sided storage bin (approx 18 x 24"?) that I put under a large white cat litter container I cut the large side out of. It has a rim to help keep water in
and they seem to find ways to make the straw there wet, but this is the one they take their beak "bath" in...

2-3 gal of fresh water daily.
I use a 1.5 gallon heated dog bowl. I set a gallon milk jug, rinsed and refilled with water and capped, in the bowl, which keeps the ducks from getting into the bowl, though they can still stick their heads in next to the jug. I put two quarter inch holes in the jug, one at the base and one just below the desired water level of the bowl. When the ducks splash out enough water that the top hole is uncovered, air flows in and water flows out the hole at the base until top hole is covered again.
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That sounds like a great idea! How long did that gallon seem to last? I feel like my 2 would play in it all day….as they do now until it gets too muddy for their liking (boy do they LOVE fresh, clean water).

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