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Heated water nipple systems

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by becy, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. becy

    becy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2015
    Does anyone in the northern areas use a heated nipple system? If so, how do you like it? I am in search of a way to keep my hens watered in the winter and it can get to -25 or -30*F on the worst nights here. Electric can be provided to the coop. Any suggestions appreciated!
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. campbellchicks

    campbellchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 28, 2015
    Western PA
    Interested in ideas as well
     
  3. carolb5

    carolb5 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 23, 2008
    Montana
    I'm in Montana. I use a square 4-5 gallon bucket with 2 nipples. I use a bird bath heater? Round metal. Turns on at 35. off at 40. I lay the heater on top of the nipples and plug it in.
    The feed stores or Murdochs carry them closer to cold weather. Heater was about $40. Worth every penny!

    Carol
     
  4. becy

    becy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2015
    Thanks a bunch for the info, Carol. A couple of questions if you don't mind me picking your brain a bit: have you done anything to insulate the bucket or does the heater work on it's own? I suppose a birdbath isn't insulated...

    Also, you mentioned you lay the heater on the nipples, but I presume you mean inside the bucket? Do you just make sure the heater is in contact with the internal housings of the nipples?

    Montana does indeed get pretty cold. I think whatever works for you will work for me. Have you ever had a problem with freezing using your set up? Also, just for reference, how many hens do you have? Just curious about water consumption rates and how often they are hitting the nipples.

    Oh! I'm just full of questions. Lastly, do you keep your water inside the coop or outside? Is your coop insulated?

    Thank you so much!! I'm new at this :/
     
  5. BobDBirdDog

    BobDBirdDog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 8, 2014
    Tennessee
    I am working on that, will post again before next winter.
     
  6. phryan

    phryan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2014
    Roof deicing wire wrapped around the piping from the water container to the nipples. It kept everything liquid and relatively warm even in the single digits.

    Thinking about an all internal solution for next year, and something to keep the eggs from freezing.
     
  7. carolb5

    carolb5 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 23, 2008
    Montana
    Ask away. We do have the water bucket inside another bucket with the bottom cut away from the nipples. No, the heater doesn't have to touch the nipples, it just does. No freeze ups, 8x16 uninsulated coop with 8x16 roofed run. Lots of ventilation up high, not drafty. 24 birds (Leghorns) during the winter. I feed fermented feed so water consumption is reduced. The bucket is inside the coop. They drink more during the summer of course. Just some more info, I hatched 33 Leghorns recently. They only have had the nipples to drink from (Smaller container) Doing just fine. I love that they always have clean water. I hope this helps. Carol
     
  8. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2012
    This was my second winter with one of these:

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/heated-chicken-waterer-zm0z13fmzhun.aspx

    it has worked great for me. I did make some modifications from the shown plans. I couldn't fit the bubble insulation in between the buckets so just wrapped it around the outer bucket, if needed this mod would allow you to add more insulation. I had some 1" foil backed foam sheet insulation, I cut a circle and sanded it down till it fit just inside the bucket and would only go about 1/4 of the way down. This provided insulation above the water supply.
    Another mod was to take the bottom that was cut off the outer bucket and I drilled it out so it would fit up over the nipples below the water bucket. This allowed me to add a 1/2" thick piece of foam sheet insulation to the bottom of the bucket that would be protected by the cutout from the outer bucket.

    With my setup, when I go to change the water it's steamy when I pull off the lid and the top insulation piece. I can easily go a couple weeks without needing to worry about water for my 8 birds.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. becy

    becy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2015
    Thank you so much for the detailed information. It's really helpful. Maybe this won't be as hard as I thought.

    Does anyone have trouble with the birds pecking at the insulation for these set ups?
     
  10. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2012
    for my setup I've not had any pecking of the foil bubble insulation on the outside of the bucket.

    The two foam sheet insulators are protected from pecking, one is inside the bucket above the water the other has the cutout bucket bottom secured below it so all that the girls see is shorter nipples they can't get to the foam.

    I suppose in a few weeks when I switch over to the summer bucket, I'll do a write up with pics.
     

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