heaters for a 5gal bucket?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by raygirl4386, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. raygirl4386

    raygirl4386 Chillin' With My Peeps

    i have a 5 gallon bucket with chicken nipples on the bottom that i am using now. do i need to buy another waterer for the winter? i thought of using a stock tank heater but will that keep the nipples from freezing too?
  2. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    You can buy heat tape that would wrap around the bucket exterior. You may need to add a mesh out from the tape to keep your birds from pecking the tape. I am not a fan of the nipple system for winter watering since water easily freezes in confined spaces. We use good ol 2 gallon heated horse buckets for the ease of cleaning and replacing/adding fresh water. We locate water stations under a bench or shelf to keep the water clean.
  3. RiddleMe

    RiddleMe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Not sure how harsh your winters are but I used a 5 gal bucket with a plastic safe stock heater last year and didn't have any issues with the nipples freezing, or if they did freeze the first peck "unlocked" them, but every time I checked there was free flow. Not uncommon here to have stretches with nights in the low teens and days just around freezing, rarely nights will get in the single digits. One thing to note, my nipple system was relatively new and didn't leak, not sure it would work as well if there were leaks to freeze/ball up.
  4. jmagill

    jmagill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2009
    Western Wyoming
    I use aquarium heaters. 75 Watts. It drops to the bottom of the bucket. No frozen water, no shattering. Light load on the electricity.
  5. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    In winter, I use a 5 gal bucket with nipples in the bottom. I place a bird bath heater in it. I cycles on and off by temperature to prevent freezing.

    I have a nipple system in pvc piping, but drain it in winter to prevent freezing.

    Winters are short and mild here, so this activity encompasses only a couple of months.


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