Water base heater concerns

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by hockeygirl56, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. hockeygirl56

    hockeygirl56 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2011
    Allenton, MI
    I live in Michigan, and winters can get pretty cold here so I bought a base heater to put my metal waterer on. It's already getting close to freezing at night so I pulled out the box to look at it today. Looking at the instructions today though made me come up with a few worries. The biggest concern I have is that there is a warning that the top of the base will be so hot that it will burn you to touch it. The waterer doesn't cover the entire base, so I'm assuming the girls will end up standing on the edge at some point...won't this burn their feet? Also, I had planned on putting the base on the cement floor and putting the waterer on top, figuring it would be high enough to avoid shavings in water. However, now I'm worried that shavings will get kicked up on and around the base, and if it's really that hot, what are the chances of this creating a fire? Would it be better to put the base on something else to get it up out of the shavings, and what would everyone suggest for that? I just really want to make sure my girls will be safe!!!! Thanks!!
  2. 202roosterlane

    202roosterlane Happy Hen on a Harley

    Feb 24, 2011
    Central Arkansas
    I am glad you asked. It is that time of year and this will be my first winter raising chickens. I already have heat lamps in there. But I was worried they would fly up and knock them off the hook so I zip tied the lamp as well. That lamp is going no where!!! I went in there about every hour for a while checking to see if the floor was getting warm, afraid the wood chips would catoch on fire. But I think I have it set at just the right height. Too afraid to put a heater inside the coop. But I was thinking if I could keep it above 50 degrees (allowing for ventilation as well) I would not have to worry with water heaters....
  3. hockeygirl56

    hockeygirl56 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2011
    Allenton, MI
    Does anyone has any experience with these that they wouldn't mind sharing? Had frost overnight so the cold is coming fast, and if this setup I had planned isn't gonna work I'm gonna have to figure something else out soon. I don't know if there's any difference with brands either on these things...if one kind is safer than another? Please help I need your knowledge!
  4. serenityNH

    serenityNH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2011
    Raymond, NH
    I too am going to be using the heated base for the first time. I was planning on plugging it in to see how hot it actually got before I leave it alone in the coop. But, I'm thinking it doesn't get that hot and the manufacturer is just trying to cover their butt, if it could burn you then the chickens water would probably be too hot for them to drink, right? If it's anything like the heated dog dishes, which I am assuming it is they are just warm. If you notice the directions also say don't use around water! [​IMG]

    Not going to heat our coop, especially after reading this thread https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=421122&p=1
  5. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    I would put the heater on top of a concrete block (Or bricks), with the waterer on top of the heater. I would not set it on the floor where shavings could build up around it. Also, if you put the waterer and heater on top of a concrete block the chickens would be less likely to step on the heater. You want the waterer to be at the level of the chicken's back. I seen the heaters you are talking about. What size waterer are you using? Maybe you need to get a bigger water fount. It looks like the 2 1/2 gal waterer would cover the top of the heater. Finally, if your chickens are anything like mine, they can get kind of rammy in the coop. My chickens would knock the waterer off the top of the heater/bricks. I found that hanging a light chain (Like a dog leash) from the ceiling to the top of the waterer would keep the birds off the top of it.
  6. NottinghamChicks

    NottinghamChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I actually find the water gets too warm using the base. I also would not ever put it in the coop just because it scares me a bit. I just ordered a heated dog bowl from Jeffers to see how it works. If i like it I will order another to replace the heated base in my other coop. They only cost 17.95 which is a pretty nice deal! Oh, BTW, All my birds are fed and watered outside which is a motivator to come out of the coop in the winter. They have a covered run however, which makes a difference [​IMG]
  7. Jake Levi

    Jake Levi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 14, 2011
    Harrisville, MI
    One thing to keep in mind is that the heater is going to be working harder when it is in the 20s and below so the area around it will be cooler then, you could also plug it into a timer that would kick on only in the night when the water would be colder. I think a cinder block would be very good to set it on, and the waterer on that.
  8. hockeygirl56

    hockeygirl56 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2011
    Allenton, MI
    This particular base only turns on when the temp drops below I think 35, so it should only be running when necessary. My coop is insulated, so I'm curious to see how cold it'll actually get in there.
  9. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2009
    You don't need heat, I use one of those rubber tubs that, if it freezes, you can just knock out the ice and refill.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by