1. Neil Grassbaugh

    Neil Grassbaugh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2008
    My Mother's first rule of life was "Nothing is so worthless it should ever be thrown away." She passed away in '92 and we are still tring to get all her posesssions dealt with.


    I did not throw away a crockpot that I had that had developed a hairline crack in the ceramic vessel. It wasn't unstable or anything but I did not want to trust it with liquids.

    We filled the pot with good sized (1") washed dry gravel put the lid on and fired it up in the chicken house. A little away from the wall in in the walkway away from litter. Also we put it on an aluminum cookie sheet (a wellworn, damaged Air Bake -See I am like my Mother, I never throw anything away either) more to refelect the radiant enegy away from the floor than for any other reason. Aluminum is a great reflector of radiant energy.

    I am very confident in the safety of this apparatus. And we had a crock pot at work for 5 years that ran 4 hours a day five days a week so I expect this heater to last a long time. We plan on using the "off", the "hi" 275W and "lo" 200W settings to adjust the heater through out the winter depending on the weather forecast. You could also use a timer or a thermostat. Remember that the gravel, once it is warm, will radiate heat for several hours.

    I sell heat lamps by the thousands and I can assure you that the physics dictate that this crockpot heater is far more efficient than a light bulb for heating air.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  2. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Oh man, I know how it is when your parents were packrats! Took my sister 10 years to clean out my parents house and sell it, what a nightmare!

    The "heater" sounds very clever--please let us know how it works out--the specs on your coop, number of chickens, insulated?, and examples of the temperature changes with the "heater", and don't let those chickens get into it!
  3. Neil Grassbaugh

    Neil Grassbaugh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2008
    Quote:By accident or by recipe?
  4. wohneli

    wohneli Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2008
    Great idea!!! I will steal it. Thank you
  5. RocketDad

    RocketDad Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2008
    Near US 287
    That's a great idea! It would probably work well for a water heater, too. Guess I have one more thing to look out for at yard sales this year.
  6. Whispering Winds

    Whispering Winds Chillin' With My Peeps

    What a great idea!! And, I guess the bigger the crockpot, the more heat it would radiate, or would that depend upon the base it sets on? If anyone tries this, and they go out and check their chickens and you have a circle of hens with their feet toward the crockpot, PLEASE take a picture. . . .that thought just cracks me up!!!!!
  7. MissJenny

    MissJenny Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2009
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    This is very clever and it certainly sounds safe enough. Here's my dumb question -- is the lid off or on?

    How many chickens do you have? How big is the coop? Is your coop insulated? To what temperature does this warm your coop.

    I am very impressed.

  8. triggfamily5

    triggfamily5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2010
    Moorcroft, WY
    Neil, how did this turn out for you?

    What dimensions is your coop and how many chickens?

    Do you put any water in with the rocks, or just rocks?

    What keeps the chickens from sitting on top of it?

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