Keeping chicken waterers thawed without a heater

Chicken waterer by stoveWe’ve been sharing inventive
designs for
chicken waterers
month, but we also got several emails from folks who keep their
chickens’ water thawed using no electricity and just a bit of careful
management.  Although we’ve enjoyed the freedom that a heated
waterer gives us to go out of town in the winter, we don’t want you to
think you
need a heated waterer to keep
your flock healthy in the winter.  Until this year, we just
followed the lead of the folks below, and the extra bit of work was no
real problem.

chicken waterers work
well.  The winter is a problem here in Michigan.  However I
have found that once a day a gallon of hot tap water poured into the 5
gallon white bucket with 3 waterers after the ice is broken out will
usually suffice til the next day when you repeat the process.  One
white bucket for each 3 chickens.  You have to feed up and collect
eggs anyway so it isn’t really a back breaker.  However, a
submersible heater in each bucket
would be a better but a little
more expensive idea.  Keep up the good work.

best regards,

Well this morning it was 10
but no problem.  Just bring in the plastic jug the night before
that has been made into a chicken waterer and let it set by stove so
for those 10 mornings it will be nice and warm. I use a couple hay
strings to tie it to rafter so it is easy to install and take
down.  I use a gallon vinegar jug so the hay string goes through
the handle and slips over the top and the lip on the jug spout thus
keeping the hay string in place.

If you forgot to bring
in the jug the night before then just run some hot water in another jug
and on morning chores add the hot water to the icy jug and put a little
hot water on the nipple and it will work just fine.  In the winter
I maintain a low water level in the waterer so if I forget to bring in
the jug and the water is frozen then the hot water in the additional
jug works better. This works for our area but the coldest we have been
this winter is 5 last year was -2 the year before was -4.

— Anonymous
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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