This post was written by Mr. Denim…

he just had to give you his 2 cents worth about one of his biggest frustrations!

These girls…

{don’t forget to see the happy hen video at the end of the post!}

buff orpington

For eight years I have dreaded dealing with chicken water in the winter.

The first couple of years we had the standard heated chicken waterer.

chicken water container

It NEVER worked well. Temps slightly below freezing or a cold wind and you’d get ice even with a built-in heater. If you keep this type of waterer inside the coop you have a potential huge mess to deal with.

I also tired of cleaning out slimy, dirty water every day because as you know the girls are messy.

 I got smart and transitioned to a water bucket with nipples. It only took the girls about 5 minutes to learn to use the them. Sometimes they’ll amaze you with their IQ, but not very often 😉

chicken water with nipples

That was the best thing I ever did!  Now they had clean water without dirt, straw and poop.  For winter I purchased a heater and set it in the bucket.  The heater had a  built in thermostat so I thought the problem was solved.

heater element for chicken water

It worked well until temps dropped below 20 degrees or we had windy conditions

. (Note: I keep chicken water out of coop to prevent spills and keep inside humidity down in winter. You never  want humid conditions with temps dropping well below freezing. It’s bad for chicken health)

The main problem is that the heater kept the water warm in the bucket but it didn’t take much for the nipples to freeze. Frozen water nipples = thirsty chickens.

SOLUTION –  this poultry drinker (below)

chicken drinker

Notice the side mounted nipples.

poultry drinker

The nipples are imbedded in the bucket near the heater to prevent freezing.

There is a small lip under the nipple to catch water drips. If I want to, I can now keep this in the coop and the area under the bucket remains dry. You can hang this or set it on the ground.

The built-in heater automatically turns on when temp falls below 35. The manufacturer says that this unit is recommended for operational use to -10F! The key is to protect it from wind. Several reviews on Amazon say that they have had no problems with temps well below -10F.

This is the only chicken waterer I would place inside a coop in the winter, but I still keep mine in the enclosed chicken run.

chicken waterer

This 2 gallon waterer will handle 15 chickens, even with only 3 nipples. I’ll admit I was skeptical at first but we’ve have had no problems with our 12 girls.

 I only refill it every 4-5 days. Just remove the lid and pour water in with a pitcher.  I only need to clean the inside out about once every 4-6 weeks.

If you have any questions I’ll be happy to answer them. After 8 years of chicken water issues, it’s one less thing to think about!

Now back to one of my gazillion honey-dos 😉


WOWSA…that was pretty good, Mr. Denim.  

I think I’ll have you back for more guest posts!

never miss a thing

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