Winter recirculation nipple system

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by gabbyscritters, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. gabbyscritters

    gabbyscritters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    fredonia, wi
    Winter is here and we are not prepared! We finally got feed up with water bowls and switched to nipples in plastic apple juice jugs, overall have been very happy.
    This was to be TEMPORARY, hubby was going to build a heated nipple watering system with PVC pipes running into each breeder pen. Summer flew by and here we are, its almost December and we live in Wisconsin. The jugs in each pen are not going to cut it, not going to run extension cords to 12 pens for individual water heaters. Winters past we had 2 coops with a heated water bowl in each but we just had mixed groups of birds now daughter has show/breeding chickens.

    Because winter is here, I thought I would see who else has a similar system and how well it works, what problems you have had and how you corrected them.
    Engineering hubby is going to create a heated recirculation watering system.

    Basically this is what he is planning:
    - a 5 gallon bucket in each coop
    - 25 watt submirsible aquaruim heater (or similar) in bucket
    - recirculation pump for in bucket
    - PVC pipes running from bucket into each pen with nipples

    The submirsible heater would keep the water warm and the recirculation pump would pump the warm water continuously from the bucket through the pvc pipes and back into the bucket. This will keep the water in the lines from freezing and hopefully the nipples will not freeze up.

    So, does it work, we are nipples freeze?
  2. jmagill

    jmagill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2009
    Western Wyoming
    I use aquarium heaters in my buckets. 25 watt keeps it from freezing down to about 10 degrees. 75 to 100 watts unfrozen to negative 10. This is in a 2 gallon bucket. I don't think the circulation system will work that well. The water is moving but it is also losing heat. The aquarium heaters would not keep it warm enough to keep the nipples from freezing. Too much surface area losing heat.
  3. joan1708

    joan1708 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    DFW - mid cities, Tx
    Here's an idea for you. on another website (I don't remember which one) a lady used 2 - 5 gallon buckets. A black one inside a white one. she said the black one cut down on algae. She put the nipples ( on the bottom) and water in the black bucket. she wraped electric pipe warmer around the bottom half of the bucket. she cut off the bottom of the white bucket and put (sorta twisted) the black bucket inside the white bucket being careful not to dislodge the electric pipe wrap/warmer. Then she caulked the gap between the white and black buckets at the top and bottom. there were pictures on the site. She won some kind of contest for the best waterer design. I think I googled chicken waterer or rodent resistent chicken feeders and landed there.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011
  4. gabbyscritters

    gabbyscritters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    fredonia, wi
    I had wrong info on the 25 watt aquarium heater, I was looking at 25 watt heaters for my daughters fish tank. Hubby is planning on a submirsible heater but I don't know for sure what type.

    He had built this type of water system, on a much bigger scale when we had a horse boarding stable. It was a recirculation system with a heated water holding tank and pvc water lines that went to a heated automatic water bowl in each stall.
    Main difference with this chicken set up will be nipples instead of heated water bowl for each horse.
    Hoping if the water stays luke warm the nipples will not freeze up solid?
  5. romstr

    romstr Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 21, 2011
    Perry , Ohio
    It has been about a month since you posted,, Just wondering how the system has worked... Just A thought couldnt you use the electric heating cables used for residential water supplies as long as the piping is not exposed to the weather?
  6. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

    Jun 3, 2011
    Middle Tennessee
    I'm eager to learn how your system worked, too.

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