Solar heated base for chicken waterer

Compost King

Free Ranging
Apr 19, 2018
3,304
11,416
667
Salisbury, North Carolina
This doesn't work in all climates but these black rubber bowls that can be found at TSC as well as other places including walmart heat up in the sun and can prevent freezing. A few times a year I have to break up the ice or add water. It doesn't get so cold here that I need more than this. They come in different sizes. Even if you love your fountain feeder this makes a decent back up in the winter if you can not find a base heater.
https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/fortex-8-qt-rubber-feeder-pan?cm_vc=-10005
1017594.jpeg
 

New2COchicks

Chirping
May 6, 2020
103
69
60
I just bought a rubber one now. Also I have a metal dog bowl with a salt water bottle half submerged. It’s 19 degrees and a thin layer of ice that they break through and drink from still had formed. My other dog bowl with water and no salt water bottle has been out for an hour and a half and is frozen over. Will give an update later.
 

Compost King

Free Ranging
Apr 19, 2018
3,304
11,416
667
Salisbury, North Carolina
I just bought a rubber one now. Also I have a metal dog bowl with a salt water bottle half submerged. It’s 19 degrees and a thin layer of ice that they break through and drink from still had formed. My other dog bowl with water and no salt water bottle has been out for an hour and a half and is frozen over. Will give an update later.
I am lucky, 19 degrees or colder only happens anywhere between 1 to 10 days a year and during the days it always goes above freezing. When It gets that cold I just put hot water in the bowls in the morning and it melts most of the ice and the top layer is water for the chickens if the bowl froze solid overnight. Since day time temps go above 31 degrees it won't freeze again until over night. That would be a pain all winter long. I hope the salt water trick works.

Those black rubber bowls are perfect for NC weather, the sun heats them up enough to thaw out until temps go below 20 degrees over night. unfortunately most climates are too cold for the black bowl passive solar heating.
 

New2COchicks

Chirping
May 6, 2020
103
69
60
UPDATE on a metal dog bowl with a bottle of salt water laying inside dog water dish with the bottle being too big to lay all the way in: Well I went out at around 3 pm After an 8:00 a,m start with it filled. It is now 16 degrees. There was still a tiny hole that the chickens were using to get water and I think they themselves help with keeping that layer of ice off. most was frozen over but still some access to water. Not bad. I wonder if the amount of salt makes a difference. Some people here say the salt water in the bottle trick did nothing...I think it does stave off the freeze by some hours and I wonder if I put even more slat if the bottle would take even longer to freeze. My rubber feeder is on its way!!! i live in Colorado, have Brahmas, have a solar chicken door, and am able to keep a water supply for most of the day with no electricity. You can live off the grid. Thanks for all suggestions.
 

JoePa

Songster
Apr 18, 2011
267
36
164
Lehigh County Pa.
You may want to consider this - get a solar panel and a charger - hook the solar. panel to the charger and the charger to a RV type battery - this is for keeping the battery charged - then run some 18 gauge wire under a metal pot or dish turned upside down - connect some 12 volt RV lights to the wire - put a metal water container on top of the upside dish - the lights will produce heat which will in turn keep the water from freezing - the more lights that are on the more heat you will get - now if you want to get fancy get an inverter to change the twelve volt to 120 volts and then use regular light bulbs under the dish to heat the water - you can buy outlet type plugs the only go on when the air temperature is 32 degrees or lower that way the bulbs will only come on when really needed - if you use regular light bulbs make sure that they are off the floor if it can burn from a hot light bulb
 

Red-Stars-in-RI

Songster
Mar 24, 2014
751
1,411
236
Rhode Island
I’m no expert on solar power so take with a grain of salt, but converting light to electricity to heat seems inefficient.

They do make solar setups specifically for heating water that are more efficient.
 

RoosterML

Make Ameraucanas Great Again
Premium Feather Member
Nov 5, 2018
3,850
26,333
632
Tolland County Connecticut, USA
I haven’t tried it but I think it might work. I’ll have to give it a go myself when the weather gets cold. Heating the water is obviously difficult without electricity at the coop.
So aside from an expensive solar setup the next best thing would be to keep the water moving. I’m wondering if I did a simple siphon loop tube to pick up water in my black bowl and feed if right back. :confused: Might just work.
 

New2COchicks

Chirping
May 6, 2020
103
69
60
You may want to consider this - get a solar panel and a charger - hook the solar. panel to the charger and the charger to a RV type battery - this is for keeping the battery charged - then run some 18 gauge wire under a metal pot or dish turned upside down - connect some 12 volt RV lights to the wire - put a metal water container on top of the upside dish - the lights will produce heat which will in turn keep the water from freezing - the more lights that are on the more heat you will get - now if you want to get fancy get an inverter to change the twelve volt to 120 volts and then use regular light bulbs under the dish to heat the water - you can buy outlet type plugs the only go on when the air temperature is 32 degrees or lower that way the bulbs will only come on when really needed - if you use regular light bulbs make sure that they are off the floor if it can burn from a hot light bulb
Who sells solar type panels and all the gadgets you mentioned?
I haven’t tried it but I think it might work. I’ll have to give it a go myself when the weather gets cold. Heating the water is obviously difficult without electricity at the coop.
So aside from an expensive solar setup the next best thing would be to keep the water moving. I’m wondering if I did a simple siphon loop tube to pick up water in my black bowl and feed if right back. :confused: Might just work.
oh please do update if not video it
 

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