Watering in the Winter


In the Brooder
9 Years
Oct 15, 2010
I live in New England and am getting ready for my first winter with chickens. I do not have an outside water source in the winter and will need to fill a bcket inside then bring it out to the coop. Are the heated water bases worth money? Do they use a lot of electricity? They sell for about $45 at Agway. The thought of changing out frozen water containers each day does not seem fun.

Any other tricks of the trade for keeping water available in the winter?
Heated bases are worth their weight in gold if used properly. Be careful to get a good quality one that does not get hot to the side if in saw chips. If necessary you can put the heater up on a cinder block/bricks or pavers and then have a small platform or step up to the water. My father (who was retired and had plenty of time) used cut off 5 gallon buckets with a wire cover. Since they are tapered when they finally froze it was easy to turn upside down, tap on the ground and the block of ice pops right out. We always had
8-10 "blocks" of ice laying in the yard...
Thanks for the feedback guys. I saw one heated base for sale that said it was for use only with double wall waterers. Is a standard vacuum type waterer considered a double wall waterer? It has the top that lifts off.
I use the galvanized double waterers on the galvanized heater. I'm not sure they use an awful lot of electricity compared to say an animal bowl heater since they keep the temperature just above freezing. However you do need to raise them off the floor with bricks/pavers and make sure they completely cover these as mice will get inside and build nests where it is warm. I lost two of them to this before I smartened up. BTW, don't use plastic waterers on these heaters, they will melt/warp.
BTW my coop temp gets to below zero and I haven't had either a 3 or 5 gallon waterer freeze. However, I tried an 8 gallon waterer last year and that froze up about a foot above the base on the really cold days--had to bring it inside to defrost and open it.
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Eastins - Any idea where i can pick up a cheap heated pet bowl online?

How about cheap heater bases?
I wonder what the electrical demand is on one of those base heaters. Can they run off batteries?

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