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Home made water heaters for the coop

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by crooked stripe, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Songster

    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    I have been reading all the questions about store bought water heaters for winter. Most are $35 and up. I replied to a post on how I built a heater. Mine was a 15 watt light bulb in a 4" concrete block mounted on bricks that keeps my water from freezing. Not the safest way of doing it with wood chips- straw for bedding. You all know how chickens can send all the bedding flying. There must be a lot of folks here who have come up with there own way of heating water safely. Lets come up with some of the best ideas that can be put in the Learning Center for the future builders. What do you all think? John
  2. freemotion

    freemotion Songster

    Nov 10, 2008
    Western MA
    Mine drink out of a two-gallon plastic bucket (all full-grown chickens) that I bury half-way into their deep litter and fill with lukewarm water. It only freezes here in Massachusetts on the coldest nights, and I check the forecast and put a few apples or a split pumpkin in after dark for them to work on when they get up before I do.

    I built an insulated water bucket for my horse that worked great, and will do a smaller version for my chickies this year, although I don't really need to, I like to experiment.

    I used muck bucket with a five-gallon pail inside, held in place by a round of plywood cut to fit the muck bucket, and a cutout to hold the pail. I filled the space with packing peanuts and Great Stuff spray foam insulation, and a couple of bolts to hold the top on. The Great Stuff glued the pail in permanently, I might try to line it with a plastic bag in the future attempts so the inner pail can be removed for easier cleaning and dumping. This bucket never froze, only a slight skin on very sub-zero nights with wind.

    Electric heaters make me nervous after hearing a friend describe the midnight fire that they would've missed had the cat not gotten them up and let them to the door. The flames were shooting up and the water was pouring out as the heated bucket melted.

    I have been saving styrofoam packing materials and have a small rubber feed pan set aside for the project. I found a larger metal pan at TSC for about $3 for the outer shell.

    I stop using the regular chicken waterers once they are big enough to not drown in the little bucket I use. What a big difference it makes in cleaning time, and it doesn't freeze nearly as quickly outside, and barely ever in the coop.

    Hope this helps someone!
  3. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Why cant ya just stick a small submersible fish tank heater in to a half gallon jug of water then put the jug in the water dish. Even if they run out of water the heater wont burn up.
  4. FarmerMack

    FarmerMack Songster

    Oct 28, 2007
    Stanford, KY
    Quote:4.5 gal bucket upside down in large rubber watering dish, 40watt bulb in the cinder block, 1 thermo plug. no worries about the pine shavings catching fire. worked great least winter, using this method in 2 coops this year
  5. Reinbeau

    Reinbeau The Teapot Underground Premium Member

    Quote:What is a thermo plug?
  6. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    I made one last year....but I cant find the web site I got it from. I will try to describe it. I took a cookie tin. You know the ones you get christmas cookies in? Line the inside with thin styrofoam...just the sides and bottom. The I got one of those electric window candles....from the dollar store. Took it apart, useing the mechanics only of it...drilled a hole in the side of the can, and put the socket part inside the can. There ya go! I set it on a cynder block...then sat a 3 gallon metal waterer on top. It never froze.I am going to the thrift store this weekend, I need to make 6 more of these.
  7. NurseNettie

    NurseNettie Songster

    Feb 13, 2008
    Northern Maine

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