Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers

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Heat lamp and a mirror make a heated chicken waterer

Heated chicken waterer

Keeping a chicken waterer from freezing with a heat lampErik Kingston emailed me these stunning photos of a homemade, heated chicken waterer that can be thrown together with parts most chicken-keepers will already have on hand.  He wrote:

[These two photos] show Sparkle (Silver Wyandotte) drinking from the inner waterer, a five-gallon food-grade bucket with two nipples. I drilled a 1/32-inch hole in the lid to prevent a vacuum and keep out dirt. I have a mirror against one wall and thought that a heat lamp on a thermal switch would be enough to keep the water in the bucket from freezing. This winter we had lots of single-digit days and nights and the water never froze.

Australorp drinking from a homemade chicken watererErik also threw in this photo as a bonus, showing Iris, his Australorp hen, "drinking from the single-nipple outdoor waterer we use when it's not below freezing."

I wanted to end with a quick reminder to anyone who's still planning on entering our homemade heated chicken waterer contest --- the deadline is this coming Monday, February 28.  If you're just looking for an easy way to keep your chicken waterer from freezing, check out all of the other great heated chicken waterer ideas from our readers.  Either way, I hope your chickens stay hydrated through these last cold weeks of winter!
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, a three foot length of pipe heating cable ($23), and the contents of our kit.  With a layer of chicken-friendly insulation, the waterer is good down into the teens.

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