Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers

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Keeping chicken waterers thawed without a heater

Chicken waterer by stoveWe've been sharing inventive designs for heated chicken waterers all 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.

Your 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, 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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