Heated Waterers

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by racefanz, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. racefanz

    racefanz Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2009
    Maine
    I live in Maine, where it has been below freezing at night for a couple weeks now. I hadn't noticed a problem with the water freezing until this morning. I went to my local Feed Store and they had a heated waterer, but it was $63 and it was huge, I think 3 gallons! I only have 10 chickens and as it is they do fine with a 1 gallon waterer right now. I don't want to buy one that is so big and I need to do something to keep the water from freezing at night (and before I know it durring the day as well!) now. I've looked all over the web to see what else is out there or if there is a 1 gallon heated waterer, but I have come up empty handed. I found people that have improvised and used different tricks to keep the water from freezing. I DON'T want to have to go out and change their water more than 1x/day. Someone told me to get a hot plate and put my current waterer on it, but it is plastic and I'm not entirely comfortable with leaving something like that on all night. I've also heard putting a heat lamp on over the waterer works, but doesn't the light on all night upset the chickens? Does anyone have any ideas or advise??
     
  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    It might sound silly and someone might say it is a bad idea -- but here goes:

    I have read of people using small crockpots - with the setting on low or warm - as heated waters for chickens.

    If you do not have one - thrift stores usually have one or two for a reasonable price.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  3. kathleengp

    kathleengp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 6, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  4. fiberart57

    fiberart57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 31, 2009
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    I think that it's the same waterer that I'm using: Red base, white, three gallon reservoir, a skimpy little red handle at the top and a black plug underneath to fill?

    If so - I thought the same thing as you did about not needing that much water available for six chickens but it was freezing and I needed something and the base and galvanized can cost around $100. So I bougt one but it took a while to figure it out but now that I have it down I really like it.

    First of all, it keeps the water at 35 degrees which means it doesn't use unecessary electricity and it doesn't get very hot. If the water gets dirty, I unplug it and dump out the dirt and have clean water. I really only have to fill it two or three times per week.

    It does have some idiosyncrasies: First, it must be leveled in the coop. The water comes up to the lip and if it's off balance even a little bit, the water spills out. I used a level for its blocks. Second:It fills from the bottom and after it's filled, you put one hand on the top and the bottom and turn it over QUICKLY. Then not so much spills. Third: I'm waiting for the handle to break and then I'll replace the wimpy plastic with a strong piece of wire. I don't fill it up to the top for this reason.

    I live in Colorado with a dry climate and my chickens drink quite a bit. I put out two gallons in this waterer and one inside the house and have to refill every two or three days. I don't know about Maine.

    I keep this waterer because of its low voltage use. I have to run an extension cord from the basement to the coop with it and for the first week would obsessively go downstairs to see if the outlet was putting out too much heat because I'm nervous about fires. But it remains cool and the water stays defrosted at temperatures down to 22 degrees so far.

    Mary
     
  5. racefanz

    racefanz Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2009
    Maine
    Thanks everyone! The crock pot is an interesting way to go, I actually have an old one out in my shed that I keep meaning to get rid of so maybe I'll try that until I can scrounge up some extra $$ to buy the heated plastic one that fiberart57 mentioned.
    Kathleengp....that is a great idea! My local feed store had some heated water bowls for dogs in 2 sizes, he said that the chickens would more than likely just stand in it, which I agreed. I never thought about getting one and putting the chicken waterer in it! I think that is the route I am gonna go....at least try it and see if it works! Thanks again everyone!! [​IMG]
     
  6. CoopmasterK

    CoopmasterK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 17, 2009
    Rehoboth Beach, DE.
    We've only been below freezing one night so far this year so I haven't set up my water heater yet but here's what I do. In the coop, I use the 1 gallon plastic waterer and set it on top of a cinderblock. I run an electric cord under the cinder block to a light socket in the cavity with a 75 watt bulb, the heat from the bulb keeps the water from freezing. Some folks put the light socket inside a cookie tin with a lid and set the waterer on top of that. It's enough heat to keep the water from freezing but won't damage the plastic. You can buy a thermocube at a home center and plug the light's electric supply into the thermocube and it will turn the light on and off as the outside temperature requires. I also have waterers in the run but I just bring them indoors at night. Be sure to keep any electric cords out of reach of your birds or they will peck them out of curiosity and may get shocked. Hope this is helpful.
     
  7. racefanz

    racefanz Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 30, 2009
    Maine
    thanks CoopmasterK, that's another great idea! I have to check with my husband to see which he thinks is best for our coop now that I have more than one idea!
     

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