Homemade heated chicken waterers

Two week old chicks using homemade chicken watererI’ve
had a lot of emails lately about keeping chicken waterers from
freezing, so I thought I’d share some heated waterer information to
help us all prepare for the cold months ahead.  First of all, if
you haven’t already, you should read my tips for
of your
Avian Aqua Miser — simply taking the
waterer in at night when you
collect the day’s eggs then putting it back out with the morning feed
is often feasible if you have a small flock.

But bucket waterers are
too bulky for daily carrying.  Is there a
better solution?  Our
homemade chicken
ingenious, so I wasn’t surprised to find several tips in my inbox:

  • Build your own heated bucket waterer
    — This old blog post gives instructions for using a light bulb to
    turn your bucket waterer into a heated waterer.
  • Keep the coop above freezing
    — If you have several
    chickens in a relatively small coop, you may need no more than a light
    bulb burning at night to keep the air temperature above freezing. 
    The light will have the bonus effect of increasing egg production
    during the winter months.
  • Add a stock tank deicer to your
    bucket waterer
    — Barbara emailed to give me some facts on her
    experience with using a Model H-49 Submergible Bucket De-Icer from Farm
    Innovators.  She says, “I paid $49.69 for it.  A bit pricey
    but well worth it!  The only issue I have had was the metal coil
    around the power cord rusting in the water.  It is to prevent
    animals chewing the power cord.  Not a problem with the guinea
    fowl so I just removed it.”

The photo in this post,
by the way, came with Barbara’s email about her deicer.  She noted:

I still love the Avian Aqua
Miser.  I’ve included a picture of 2 week old [guinea fowl] keets
and chicks drinking from them.  It keeps the water so much cleaner
and so easy to make the waterer.  We started them using it when
they were 2 days old with no problems at all.  Next time will try
it out from birth!
We recommend our 3 pack
DIY kit
for making a
heated waterer for up to 50 chickens.  The CD that comes with each
kit includes complete instructions to help you build our favorite
heated options without any trial and error.

The heated waterer
we use in our own coop requires two buckets,
three foot length of pipe heating cable
($23), and the contents of
our kit.  With a layer of
, the
waterer is good down into the teens.

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