Homemade Heated Chicken Waterer

You can make this simple, DIY poultry waterer to provide unfrozen water to your birds all winter.
By Anna Hess
February/March 2013

This do-it-yourself poultry waterer is easy to make and will make winter watering chores easier.
Illustration By Nate Skow


Content Tools

Related Content

Top Bar Hive Experiment

Breaking down the last week of homesteading we've done over at WaldenEffect.org, and the Top Bar pro...

Ticking Another Item Off My Bucket List

Cam describes some recent speaking engagements including the thrill of being "piped in."

Goats: How Do I Milk My Goat?

Milking is a fun and easy chore! Here are some hints on milking in an easy fashion.

How to Get Started With Chicks

Raising chicks is easy as long as you pay attention to their needs for food, water, and housing. It ...

We have developed a line of poultry waterers, including this heated one you can make yourself. To construct the heated waterer, start with a 5-gallon bucket waterer with poultry nipples (visit Avian Aqua Miser for details). Additional supplies you’ll need include a second bucket, a 3-foot pipe-heating cable (aka heat tape, usually about $25) and duct tape. (Note: This project may not conform to the safety instructions provided by some heat tape manufacturers. —MOTHER EARTH NEWS) 

First, cut the bottom off of your extra bucket by starting your hole with the drill, then make your cut with the jigsaw. Remove the handle. Starting from the bottom edge of the bottomless bucket, use a coping saw to make a small slit about 3 inches up the side, then set aside the modified bucket.

Wrap the heat tape around the outside of the unmodified bucket near the bottom, using duct tape to hold it in place. Then push the bottomless bucket onto the bucket waterer, letting the heat tape’s cord feed out of the slit. The bottomless bucket should extend a few inches beyond the bottom of the original bucket waterer.

A last, optional step is to wrap chicken-friendly insulation (such as Reflectix, a foil-backed bubble wrap insulation) around the sides and top of the bucket. Here in Zone 6, the resulting waterer provides frost-free hydration for our flock all winter long. For more information, you can visit our website (given above) and click on “Heated Waterers.”

Anna Hess 
Dungannon, Virginia 








Post a comment below.

 

Christopher
1/22/2014 3:45:57 PM
I like the heating cord idea, but I have done something simpler for my girls in zone 4. 1 Clean Five gallon bucket with top - $5 – free if you have one laying around – like using what I have on hand 3 Poultry water nipples - $.50-.60 ea. 1 submersible bird bath heater - $29-$60 (Search - K&H 9000 Ice Eliminator Bird Bath 50 watt De-icer) 1 Clay pot bottom/pie plate (to catch dripping water if mounted inside the coop) - $4-5 maybe free depending on your sources Cut a hole (or a slit and a hole) in the top of the bucket large enough to squeeze the end of the heater cord through. Drill and tap the nipples into the bottom of the bucket. Suspend the bucket in the coop and run power to the cord. The Heater I purchased only uses 50 watts of power and self regulates the temperature so it is never more than warm to the touch. Only once have I gone out to find the nipples frozen, but it was -10 degrees (-25 wind chill) outside and the inside of the coop was only a balmy 28 degrees. At that point nothing but 120 degree water is going to keep those nipples from freezing. Hope this helps

jolene
1/22/2014 8:34:05 AM
I found something easier and more on my very small budget. I bought a crockpot at a thrift store for $3 and secured the fount on top of it. Has been working perfectly. I only plug it in when its 32 or below and I inspect it daily to make sure it is safe.

RollingCoop
10/28/2013 8:33:20 AM
Add a "thermo cube" automatic outlet to save electricity(turns the heat tape on at 35 degrees F...that's what I use for anything that needs protection from freezing: See it at: http://www.amazon.com/Farm-Innovators-TC-3-Thermostatically-Controlled/dp/B0006U2HD2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382966814&sr=8-1&keywords=pump+house+outlet Like my page at: https://www.facebook.com/RollingChickenCoop








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.