Homemade Chicken Water Heater

While I was bedding down the coop today, I did clean one thing - my homemade water heater.  I have to admit, the first year we had chickens I used a commercial chicken water heater and it lasted for about a month and then it couldn't keep up with the sub-zero weather we get here in Minnesota.  So, I came up with my own design, which over the years I have refined, and this year it has proved to be a winning design.

Here are all the parts spread out before I started cleaning them, but at least you get a good idea of what the majority of the design entails:

  • One small pasture trough
  • One feeding tray
  • The top of a 5-gallon bucket (it is black and hard to see inside the feeding tray)
  • A bird bath heater (not pictured - it was still in the coop)
  • The top of a summer chicken waterer - that is sealed shut with the plug
  • (Pictured here is also some cider vinegar and a brush - my cleaning tools)

After cleaning everything I turn the pasture trough upside down and use it as a base for the heated waterer.  Next I put the feeding tray on top of the through and then I sandwich the birdbath heater between the feeding tray and 5-gallon bucket lid, as shown below:

WARNING:  Make sure you put water into the tray before you put in the bird bath heater and plug it in, otherwise you will melt a hole in your tray! 

Next I put the top of the summer waterer on top of the lid, but I leave it sealed shut. (The main purpose of putting this on top is for two reasons:  First it holds the lid down, but more importantly it keeps the chickens out of the water.)

Now you just use a bucket (or a gallon jug like we do) to pour in the water - it holds about 2 gallons all together.

Here it is completely assembled:


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