Keeping Water From Freezing in Winter

Jake H

In the Brooder
Jan 23, 2018
Baltimore County, MD
Hi All,

It's my first winter with my chickens and I've had a few instances already with frozen water in the mornings. I have 5 Easter Eggers, a 5 gallon metal fount waterer and electricity in the coop. I currently don't have anything but a lightbulb (for me to see at night) in the electricity but I recall hearing about options for water heaters to keep the water from freezing. Does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to keep the water from freezing? Is there a commercially available waterer that I can but that just plugs in and has a warmer in it? Any help is greatly appreciated!


Aspiring Chickenologist
Oct 28, 2018
Manhiem, Pennnsylvania
some people use heated dog bowls, but if you have a pre made waterer then the way i do it is to wire a candelabra bulb into a metal cookie tin. Place the tin under your waterer and the heat from the bulb will keep the water from freezing


Spring has sprung!
Jul 23, 2018
Edgewood, KY

Just shop around online for best deal. I did the heated dog bowl and it barely works. It is supposed to go to -20 below but at 28 degrees it is icing the base of my fountain a little. My chickens would not stop knocking over the heated dog bowl and so we turned it upside down to sit fountain on and it works but starts icing below 30 degrees. My recommendation would be to invest in good heated poultry waterer fountain. See link above for several different fountains.


9 Years
Jul 18, 2013
Kalispell MT
I use a container, a stock tank deicer that is safe to use in plastic, and horizontal nipples. For my container I use a 10 gallon tote with lid. Some use a 5 gallon bucket. Some use a large jug. My water has never frozen and it has gotten down to -22 F here in Northern Montana.

You can also purchase a heated bucket and add the horizontal nipples. Vertical nipples do not work as well as the horizontal ones in winter as they freeze faster. The heated dog bowl that others have mentioned can also be used. Some build a brick/stone type box, put a light bulb inside, and set a fountain type waterer on top.

I would also suggest you scroll to the 2nd page of this forum where you will find that others have also asked about keeping water thawed. There are several threads you might find interesting.


13 Years
Feb 25, 2009
Here's my two suggestions--you can get a plug in heated base to place your 5gal waterer on, OR do a submersible bird bath heater. It seems like you have a smaller setup so I think either would work.


Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I rigged this up 4 years ago...still going strong, good down to -12°F.

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