Heated Waterer opinions?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Farmgirl217, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. Farmgirl217

    Farmgirl217 In the Brooder

    Oct 15, 2017
    Hi all!

    I am a new chicken owner and new to the BYC community. Today, our waterer froze and I was left breaking up the ice this afternoon. Since this is only the beginning of the winter I know this will only get worse. I know there are heated waterers but there are so many types and I´m not sure what is best?

    What waterers do you guys all use and do you like them? (We have a small coop with 4 EE hens)

    Thanks so much!
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome1 I use the metal waterers on heated metal bases for winter. You could buy one of the heater plastic waterers, although some of them are miserable to fill. It's also possible to use a black rubber dish and freshen it up three times daily, without electricity.
    Smaller heated dog dishes work well too.
    Verticle nipple waterers have fans, and a heater can be used with them. Mary
  3. RonP

    RonP Crowing

  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    I use a 5 qt heated dog bowl with a gallon jug of water set in the middle. The jug creates a moat, and gives me extra water to top off the moat as needed. The waterer is raised up on a platform to keep the birds from filling it with litter.
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I use 2 heated 5 quart dog water bowls in a coop for 28 chickens, and clean and fill them once daily. Outside, I use 1 gallon black rubber bowls. I fill them in the morning, and they normally remain liquid until evening, when I scrub them out and dump them. There are 3 of them in different spots in the run and out in the yard.

    With the heated bowls, you can use metal dog bowl inserts that come out and are easily cleaned. But I really like Lazy Gardener's idea of milk jug in the middle to keep them from getting wattles wet and freezing. Might have to try that.

    The heated dog bowls only come on when the temperature gets near freezing, so the water stays cool. I once had a metal heated base that I used with a regular metal water, but it overheated, and to my horror, the water got hot. Big waste of money, since it only worked properly one season.
    Kat2141 likes this.
  6. PingoBags

    PingoBags Chirping

    Jun 27, 2016
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    I'm using a 100 watt ceramic heat emitter bulb. The 5 gallon reservoir and heat emitter are all sealed in an insulated box. Happy with it so far but it's not field tested yet. We are only getting -5c temps but the water is staying steady at 15c, the temp I set it too.
  7. blackdog043

    blackdog043 Crowing

    Feb 19, 2017
    Charlotte, NC
    Ron, do you leave the light on all winter? Have you tried using a thermo cube with this? I like it better than a cookie tin, I might have to try it out. I have a stock tank deicer for my horizontal nipple bucket right now.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  8. Farmgirl217

    Farmgirl217 In the Brooder

    Oct 15, 2017
  9. RonP

    RonP Crowing


    I leave it plugged in all year, but power does as described in my article, go through a thermo cube. These past few days temperatures dipped in the 20's. Everything worked as designed, both water and nest box heaters (no frozen eggs). I will not do anything. The bulb should last a minimum of 2 more years as rated. I have a spare on the shelf for when it fails.
    blackdog043 likes this.
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Ron, what are your lowest winter temps? And what is a typical "cold snap" for you? (In terms of lows and how long those lows are sustained.)

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