small heated waterer for use outdoors?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by DuluthHomestead, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. DuluthHomestead

    DuluthHomestead Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2013
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    I'm trying to find a solution to keep my chicken's water from freezing. We're in the process of building a new, bigger coop where we can have the waterer inside and be able to keep the cord safely off the ground and away from the elements, but for now the chickens are in a "tractor style" coop that is too small for a waterer, so we have the water outside in the run. We were going to make the cookie tin water heater, and bought this lamp kit at Home Depot but I am worried now about the lamp cord being outside. The lamp kit wasn't designed for outdoor use and just doesn't feel safe to me. We would have it plugged into an outdoor extension cord that would be plugged into a gfci outlet, but still. The run has a roof and a tarp on one side, but I'm not sure we could properly protect the cord from the snow and rain or keep it completely off the ground.

    Another issue is that with the current coop, the waterer is accessible only through a small door (our one gallon plastic waterer fits through only if you unscrew the red base first) or by climbing in through the top of the run, which requires minor gymnastics. My mother in law will be petsitting for us over Thanksgiving and she is not able to climb into the coop and is not able to lift anything very heavy, so whatever waterer we use has to be able to go in and out of the roughly 8x12 inch door. The heated chicken waterers that I've been able to find are all 3 gallon and way too big/heavy.

    I'm looking at this heated base too, but it says it's for outdoor use in a "dry, covered area" and I'm not sure my run counts as dry and covered. And then plus I would have to buy a metal waterer that would also probably be too big.

    And I was looking at something like this dog bowl mod, but a quart size wouldn't be big enough (at least over Thanksgiving; my mother-in-law will only be over once in the morning to fill the waterer for the day) and it doesn't look like the dog bowl would accommodate a gallon waterer.

    I'm not sure what my other options are. I don't want to spend too much money, because once we finish the new coop and can have the waterer indoors this will be less of an issue, but I also don't want to risk my chicken's safety for the sake of saving a couple bucks. What's a good chicken water heater that can be used outdoors?
     
  2. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, I use a rubber pan (avail. at Tractor Supply) with a 95 watt bird bath heater (bought on Ebay) in my turkey run and use a outdoor extension cord and protect the connection with a water proof joint connector (avail. at hardware stores). Not the cheapest but, you will have a extention cord and water proof connector for Christmas lights? later. The Bird bath heater can be used in hanging water bucket with nipples later. Good Luck
     
  3. DuluthHomestead

    DuluthHomestead Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2013
    northern Minnesota
    I remembered that I have a heated birdbath in the basement, not the submersible kind but a large, shallow bowl kinda like this. I set it on a small plant stand (for stability and to get it up off the bedding) and put the plastic one gallon waterer on top of it. The weather's warmed up to the mid 30s today so I can't really test it yet. I have a feeling the hens will probably perch on the edge of the nice warm birdbath and poop in the water, but hopefully this will work as a short term solution. I might end up switching to a nipples or little drinking cups; one of my girls has long dangly wattles that dip in the water every time she drinks, and while I can vaseline her up every day she would probably be happier if her wattles were dipping in the freezing cold water to begin with.
     
  4. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I made a 5 gallon bucket with two nipples, I bought a submersible stock tank heater that is capable of keeping 25 gallons of water thawed I got it at tractor supply, a little pricey but it works great. Thermostat control only comes on when needed. It was 18 degrees out last night and at 5:30 am before work I checked it and the water dripped out perfectly. I wanted the bucket out in the run to reduce moisture in the coop. Just make sure whatever you do plug it into a GFCI outlet.
     
  5. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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  6. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you make a cone for the top so, hens can't sit on it? Maybe out of corrugated plastic?
     
  7. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Buy a funnel
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Rob Sivulka

    Rob Sivulka Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2012
    West Jordan, UT
    I've got the de-icer in a gallon bucket with 2 nipples. It works well for the water inside the bucket. However, it's been so unusually cold here in UT (down in the single digits at night and only in the teens during the day), that I discovered that the nipples are still frozen! Can I Vaseline the nipples? Not sure what I should do now.
     

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