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Just wondering what others use to keep their water for their chickens from freezing in the winter.

Presently, I have a 5 gallon bucket hung in the coop with 4 nipples on the bottom. Last winter I wrapped a small 3 foot heating tape around the bottom of the bucket and slide it inside another bucket. I found similar on the internet. While some of the water would freeze on the top, the majority stayed ice-free.

I got this from Mother Earth...



http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/heated-chicken-waterer-zm0z13fmzhun.aspx#axzz3Ix7sUYNE

So what do you use?

Jim
 

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Up to this year, I had just hung a heat lamp over the water buckets, but this year I made a cindercrete heater. You put a bulb inside a cindercrete block, which sits on a ceramic tile as a base. Then, you put a smaller tile over the bulb. The top tile was VERY warm last night, in spite of it being -21C. I am about to go out and see if it worked, as I set it all up yesterday.

IMO, it should work; the top tile getting that warm should be able to keep it ice free, down to quite a cold temp. I would hope.

Will post back after chores!
 

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Same as painterswife. No issues. I like the submersibles with built in thermostat, because they burn less juice vs. a light.

@@aart, I originally had my nipples horizontal like that and found that they leak, almost as though they were intended to me bottom mount. Are yours holding water ? Horizontal would have been my preference, like your design.
 

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We've got a lot of birds, so my dad made a big 50gal plastic drum into a waterer with a few nipples underneath. We're throwing a stock tank deicer in there. The weak point will be wether or not the nipples freeze... we shall see.
 

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Same as painterswife. No issues. I like the submersibles with built in thermostat, because they burn less juice vs. a light.

@@aart, I originally had my nipples horizontal like that and found that they leak, almost as though they were intended to me bottom mount. Are yours holding water ? Horizontal would have been my preference, like your design.
I tried the horizontal and mine got water all over the floor as well. I just make sure my vertical nipples are above their heads and all the water goes right down their throats.
 

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Well an update. At -21 C, one of the heaters had a very thin, easily breakable ice crust on top of the bucket. The other one had a half inch ice layer.

I have 50 watt bulbs in each one. If I change to 100W bulbs, it may just be enough to keep the water melted. What will happen at -40 is anyone's guess!
 

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Well an update. At -21 C, one of the heaters had a very thin, easily breakable ice crust on top of the bucket. The other one had a half inch ice layer.

I have 50 watt bulbs in each one. If I change to 100W bulbs, it may just be enough to keep the water melted. What will happen at -40 is anyone's guess!
- 40 means taking water to the coop here or dropping in a big stock tank heater. Luckily it is only ever a couple of days a year here so I don't waste my money with the extra watts for most of the season.
 

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Previously I was just taking them fresh water daily, but that was a chore in itself! Now at least the water is not frozen solid, so even with a bit of ice, it is easy to add to it or dump it out.
 

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Auto fill waterer sitting on top of a old bathtub filled with rocks and dirt that has a lamp inside a pipe buried in it with heat tape running along the hose that connects to the spigot. Hauling water outside is miserable!
 

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I just use heated dog bowls up on cinder blocks. I rarely have problems with them pooping in it.

I'm trying to figure out something reliable that doesn't use electricity.

I'm not getting very far.
 

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No electricity where our birds live... so its a 3x a day haul when the weather is really bad... like last year. Most years once a day is enough.
 

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@@aart, I originally had my nipples horizontal like that and found that they leak, almost as though they were intended to me bottom mount. Are yours holding water ? Horizontal would have been my preference, like your design.
It's a different kind of nipple.

The ones that mount vertically, in the bottom of a vessel, use a ball bearing that seals with gravity and the weight of the water column above it - or at least 5 psi water pressure from a regulated hose supply. Yeah, won't work if mounted horizontally.

The ones that mount horizontally, in the side of a vessel, use a rubber o-ring to seal that is held in place with a spring.
 

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We've got a lot of birds, so my dad made a big 50gal plastic drum into a waterer with a few nipples underneath. We're throwing a stock tank deicer in there. The weak point will be wether or not the nipples freeze... we shall see.
Enough wattage, and it won't matter. The chickens will huddle around the drum to keep warm. :) I have a 55-gallon drum with a 250 watt farm innovators submersible. It had frozen nipples today, but I had thermostat and circuit breaker issues. I hate the first cold spell. So much to troubleshoot. It worked very well last winter.
 

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It gets too cold up here in winter to rely on heaters. At
Constant overnight lows of -20 or colder the heat would just
evaporate the water anyway. Chickens or game birds can get
by on snow for their water needs to tough it through winter
with extra corn for them to 'heat' .
For my ducks, it's a different scenario. They need water after
eating to flush their nostrils an bills. I use a plastic drum
cut lengthwise and pour in hot water over the ice. It stays
fairly clean that way and re freezes. Then every few days
dump it all and start fresh.
 
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