Heated waterers

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering' started by patlet, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. patlet

    patlet New Member

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    I am so cranky! My heated 'dog bowl' chicken waterer failed yesterday. Coldest day thus far. So I go out and spend $40 (!) on a new heated waterer yesterday. Well, I had read that it was awkward to use, but I was desperate (-10 not including wind chill). Today, with my fingers freezing and kidneys aching from the cold, I attempted to fill this damn thing with a hose. Yesterday, since it didn't fit the sink faucet, I had to fill it via the handheld shower head. I spilled water everywhere but today I thought, great I I'll just use the hose! It's the plastic three gallon font model with a heated base. Beware! The catches between the base and the font are NOT locking! They separate easily ( and it's always good to dump three gallons of water on the floor of your coop...NOT!). And then! Because the font has four good sized holes in it, if the whole unit is not dead level, OF COURSE, another (!) 3 gallons will quickly drain out! Always good to spill water in below zero weather. Finally, half full, I managed to level this unit on a now-frozen-with-spilled-water on its cinder block. It does my heart good to know they finally have some heated water for tonight but man! There has to be another way!
     
  2. nxb161

    nxb161 New Member

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    I wish I could help, but I just have a common question. I was about to start my own thread when I came across yours. Does anyone have a lot of experience using birdbath type heaters? I was thinking one that would go in a 5G Bucket. Of course I notice most of the ones on amazon say not to use an extension cord, but how can you not?
     

  3. Mamachickof14

    Mamachickof14 New Member

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    Water...that was my biggest challenge so far this winter!! So sorry patlet you had such a hard time! This last week has been a tough one for all of us! I have two chicken water cans. The larger one(2-3 gal.) I fill once a day and it is under the light that I leave on in their coop for egg laying. The other one I leave out side their coop and change it twice a day...ones always in the house un-thawing... Today the temp was about 25* and I didn't have a problem. I use an outdoor hose too...pain in the butt bringing it in after every time!! Next winter I'm going to check into something else??? Not sure what??? There has to be an easier way!! Jen:)
     
  4. kahiltna_flock

    kahiltna_flock New Member

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    I got this great idea from a guy here who has had chickens for years and doesn't like to fork out a lot of money. I use an oil pan heater, one for cars, and put it under a paver brick on top of 3 other bricks. It keeps the water up off the ground and keeps it from freezing, well unless it is -0. Then it is still freezing. My husband set it up for me while I was on vacation so I don't know how much the oil pan heater cost.
     
  5. patlet

    patlet New Member

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    I like the idea of an oil heater! Are your waters plastic or metal?
     
  6. kahiltna_flock

    kahiltna_flock New Member

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    Mine are plastic
     
  7. patlet

    patlet New Member

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    So you have a slab between the plastic water heater base and the oil pan heater which is also off the floor?
     
  8. patlet

    patlet New Member

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    Re-reading, your hubby is brilliant! Thanks for the idea!
     
  9. kahiltna_flock

    kahiltna_flock New Member

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    I think there are 3-4 pavers then the oil pan heater then another paver and then the waterer. Like I said it works pretty well until it gets really cold. Our highs are only around-10 the past few days. I am still having to break ice a couple times a day. Normally it works well enough
     
  10. patlet

    patlet New Member

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    I found that the insert heaters, like birdbath ones and stock water heaters, make critters wary of the water. And that is the last thing I want for them in the winter. They have got to stay hydrated. I don't know why, maybe they can feel the charge. I put plastic buckets inside the heated buckets (who have to have water in them as well...just a few inches) For all my critters, this has worked best for us. This new heated waterer is a real pain to fill because the top and bottom can come apart very very easily, like when you're turning it right side up after filling it to the brim. What a pain!!! The oil pan heater heating stone sounds safer than using an direct insert heater.
     
  11. IdrisFarm

    IdrisFarm New Member

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    I have used fish tank water heaters for my five gallon water containers. They have the chicken nipples in the bottom. Works pretty well and it's been very cold here. I also made water heaters for my waters that sit on the ground. I went to the dollar store and got metal cookie tins then went to Walmart and bought $7 lamp kits. Drilled a hole in the side of the cookie tin and wired it up. Add a 40 watt light bulb and close it up and plug it in. Put the water on top and so far it's been great!
     
  12. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    Sounds like a crappy day. Hope tomorrow is better.
     
  13. eqstrnathlete

    eqstrnathlete Member

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    I just use a heated 5 gallon bucket intended for horses. It works great!
     
  14. WeeLittleChicken

    WeeLittleChicken Active Member

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    I have a 1 gallon plastic heated water bowl I got at Wal-Mart for $15. I think it's a dog bowl? I drag water out there with milk jugs. I haven't had any problems with it, though I was totally expecting to at that price. I was all ready to go out and rig a aquarium heater up but I just haven't needed to. I can understand your frustration though. I have days like that too when nothings going right and its so cold your fingers are snapping off trying to fix something or other...
     
  15. patlet

    patlet New Member

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    I'm getting used to the damn thing now that the weather's more reasonable. I just wish the folks who designed these things actually used them before putting them on the market. It wouldn't take much to greatly improve the design. Ah well, thanks for your kind words and suggestions. It really peed me off.
     
  16. Vanessasilkies

    Vanessasilkies New Member

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    I have one of those heated waterers and yes they are terrible. I spilled water a bunch of times. Fill gallon jugs with water and gently unplug it and take it out of the coop to fill it. Flip it back over and set it down and plug it back in. That was the only way I could use it. I now use heated bases for my waterers.
     
  17. CharlieEcho

    CharlieEcho Junior Member

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    Before;

    I think I've discussed these plastic heaters before. They are hard to get used to and I will not buy another. I'm strong enough to "flip" it over once it's filled and not spill "too much" water. You can't help but spill some.

    We were at the farm store Monday and looking at the metal pan type heaters. These are very easy to use, made of metal and will handle the larger "metal" watering fonts. I wouldn't try plastic on these heaters. We have ours mounted on truck rims up off the floor. We placed Webber type grill grates over the rims and then the heater and font. The metal heaters look like a metal pan with an electric cord, that's just placed upside down.

    I would watch the farm stores this spring and look for sales of these heaters. They are around $40 currently, but well worth it. Unless it's very cold outside the two gallon font will last a couple of days. We fill small rubber tubs each morning, outside near the scratch. We turn the tubs over each night and the ice falls our in the morning, usually.

    The picture will show the plastic heated waterer. We have since placed it on a truck wheel also. The cement stepping stone prooved to hold too much cold for the heater to keep up. A wheel, truck or auto is easy to shift around and make level and the grate lets debris fall away from the heater.
     

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  18. kahiltna_flock

    kahiltna_flock New Member

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    I wish they were $40 here, they were $64 at every place that sold them. Then I would have had to buy the metal fount too, another $45. Yikes.
     
  19. toybarons

    toybarons I luv Polish & Houdans

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    We built our own. We use metal tower waters. We built wooden bases then wired it for a light bulb. To keep the heat in, we cut a hole in the top of the wood base that is the diameter of the waterer. Then using a piece of sheet metal, we formed a tube that we put through the top of the wood base and comes out above the base by roughly 6 inches. This way the birds don't have to reach all the way down to drink and it leaves less mess. The waterer then sit on top of the tube, nice and snug. To prevent the birds from getting cut, we use duct tape around the edge of the tube. The base keeps the waterer out of the litter. The birds hop up onto it to drink. We use a 40 watt light bulb to keep the water from freezing up. If the temps drop below -30C, then we just switch out to a 60 watt bulb. Thankfully, that doesn't happen too often. Finally, we made each heater with a 10 foot grounded cord, so we pretty much plug it in anywhere we like in our coop.

    Forgot to say, these water bases didn't cost much. The bases were made from wood scraps and pallets got from my husbands work. The plugs and extensions were taken from old 16 gauge outdoor extensions that were damaged. We just recylced them. Some of the metal tubes we got from scrap piles at the dump. The tubes we made ourselves, we bought metal sheets for home furnaces at Home Depot as well as the bases and fixtures for the light. I think each one costs maybe less than $15.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  20. kahiltna_flock

    kahiltna_flock New Member

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    Yes, we built our own too. It's in this thread I think....,