As the sun sets earlier and the days grow shorter, it’s a reminder that winter is just around the corner. One of the challenges that comes with this season is keeping our chickens hydrated. Unfortunately, water will freeze in the chilly temperatures, leaving our feathered friends without a drink. Replacing their water multiple times a day can be exhausting, especially when it means treading through the snow.
Water is essential for chickens, just like for any other living being. Dehydration can be a serious issue, especially for younger chickens, as it can lead to stunted growth or worse. Even for older chickens, lack of water can lead to an absence of egg-laying – every chicken farmer’s worst nightmare. That’s why a heated chicken waterer is such a valuable tool for those raising chickens in colder climates.
Do you need a heated waterer for chickens?
The simple answer is yes. Chickens need the heated waterer for many reasons. Water may seem like a basic necessity, but for chickens it is essential. Especially during the winter months, when the temperature drops and the water in their regular water starts to freeze. Chickens cannot break the ice themselves, leaving them with limited access to water. As a responsible owner, it’s important to ensure that your chickens have constant access to drinkable water. Dehydration not only affects their health but can also lead to a lack of egg-laying.
You can either choose to break up the ice every time it freezes or invest in a heated waterer which will prevent ice from forming altogether. This will ensure that your feathered friends always have fresh water to drink and save you time and effort in the long run.
6 Best Heated Chicken Waterers of 2023
1. Farm Innovators Heated 2 Gallon Poultry Drinker
The Farm Innovators Heated 2 Gallon Poultry Drinker stands on the number-one spot in our list. This innovative drinker offers a range of helpful features, including a convenient, easy-to-remove lid that makes filling and cleaning a breeze. With low electrical wattage, you’ll never have to worry about a sky-high electric bill, while the translucent walls allow you to keep an eye on water levels at all times.
With this advanced chicken waterer, you can have peace of mind knowing that your coop is protected from the risk of fire. Thanks to its built-in thermostat safety feature, the waterer is able to detect changes in outside temperature and will automatically turn off to prevent overheating.
- Thermostat controlled
- No need to worry about water level
- Chicken nipples help keep the water clean
- Low wattage
- Price is expensive
- It cannot be used with younger chicks
- Some chickens struggle with nipples
- The cord is not detachable
2. Premier Heated Poultry Waterer
When it comes to keeping a flock of chickens hydrated, the Premier Heated Poultry Waterer is a great option. With its impressive three-gallon capacity, this waterer is perfect for larger flocks. One of the best features of this waterer is its covered lid with nipple attachments, which helps keep the water clean and free of debris. Despite its size, this waterer is still easy to move around thanks to its sturdy handle. And if you prefer to keep it on the ground, no need to worry about chickens perching on the lid – its clever cone-shaped design prevents them from doing so.
- Big water capacity
- The long electrical cord makes it easy to plug in
- The cone-shaped lid stops chickens from perching
- Will work in temperatures as cold as -20°F
- Not the most energy-efficient due to higher wattage
- Chicks cannot use the waterer
- Need to train chickens how to drink from nipples
3. Farm Innovators All-Seasons Poultry Fountain
The Farm Innovators All-Seasons Poultry Fountain is the perfect solution to ensure that your chickens have access to fresh, unfrozen water at all times. This traditional gravity waterer not only has a built-in heating element to prevent the water from freezing but also features a thermostat that regulates the water temperature. The heating element is concealed within the fount to protect it from curious chickens and debris. To keep the water clean and free from contamination, it is recommended to either hang the waterer or place it on top of some bricks.
- Can be hung or set on the ground
- Three-gallon capacity
- Keeps water thawed even in subzero temperatures
- Short electrical cord
- Hard to clean
- The bottom refill hole can leak if damaged
4. RentACoop 2-Liter Heated Poultry Waterer
Are you looking for an affordable and reliable option for providing water to your chickens? Look no further than the RentACoop 2-Liter Heated Poultry Waterer. This budget-friendly waterer is not only automatic but also prevents dust from getting into the water. While it does not come with a thermostat, remembering to turn it off during warm days is a small price to pay for such cost savings. And for those already in the practice of checking their flock’s water daily, it’s hardly an inconvenience. Plus, with its 2-liter capacity, there’s no need to constantly refill it throughout the day. The RentACoop 2-Liter Heated Poultry Waterer is a fantastic option for anyone on a budget who still wants to give their chickens the best.
- Easy to refill
- Can be used during spring and summer too
- Comes with a mounting bracket kit
- Chicken nipple keeps water clean
- No thermostat
- Short power cord
- Low water capacity
- Only one chicken can drink from it at a time
5. Farm Innovators Heated Base
If you already own a metal gravity waterer and don’t want to purchase a new one, the Farm Innovators Heated Base is an ideal solution. This heated base keeps water unfrozen in metal gravity waterers and it’s easy to set up. Equipped with protective features such as a thermostat to turn it off above certain temperatures and a covering to keep dust away from the heating elements, this heated base creates an environment that is safe and efficient. With a high wattage, it can heat most metal waterers regardless of their water capacity.
- Can heat a range of different metal waterers
- Designed specifically for use in chicken coops
- The bottom cover keeps flammable debris away from the heating element
- Not the most energy-efficient
- Waterer not included
- It cannot be used with hanging waterers
6. API Bucket Deicer Pail
The API Bucket Deicer Pail is the perfect solution for those who want to keep their waterer and their chickens happy. This handy device can be clamped onto your favorite water container, which means you don’t have to sacrifice functionality for warmth. The deicer will ensure that the water stays liquid and easily accessible for your feathered friends, and it can also be used in other animal containers. And with its ability to keep up to 15 gallons of water thawed, this deicer is the perfect solution for those who want to ensure their backyard animals have access to fresh water all winter long.
- Can be used with your regular waterer
- Heats up to 15 gallons of water
- Enclosed and protected heating element
- Built-in thermostat
- Not compatible with automatic waterers
- Very high wattage makes it less energy efficient
- Deicer can get damaged if left on in a dry container
When it comes to buying a waterer for your chickens, there are a few key features you should take into consideration. One of the most important factors to think about is the power source. There are three options available – electric, battery, and solar. Electric waterers are the most commonly used ones since they are easy to set up. All you need to do is plug them into an outlet or an extension cord, and you’re good to go. However, they are susceptible to power outages during extreme weather conditions, like heavy snowstorms. This is why some people opt for battery-powered waterers. While they may require more maintenance in the long run like changing the batteries.
Solar power is your final choice. But, setting up a solar power system can be both complicated and expensive, which might not be worth the hassle if all you need to power is your heater. However, if you already have a solar power system in place, it can definitely be a good option. After deciding on your power source, you’ll need to determine what size waterer to buy for your flock. Typically, each chicken requires around 1 pint of water per day, so a small flock won’t need more than a 2-gallon waterer, assuming you refill it daily. Of course, if you have a larger flock of 20 chickens or more, you’ll need to consider a larger waterer to make sure everyone has enough hydration.
Here are the three things to consider are:
1. Thermostat control:
A heated waterer with thermostat control is the perfect solution to this problem. This amazing gadget can sense the temperature in the surrounding area and automatically shut off when the water is warm enough. Not only does this save you money on your energy bill, but it also prevents the waterer from overheating and causing a potential hazard.
When it comes to choosing a heater for your waterer, wattage plays a crucial role. With options ranging from 60 to 200 Watts, it’s important to consider your specific needs before making a purchase. Not only does wattage affect how efficiently your waterer will heat, but it can also have a significant impact on your electricity bill. Opting for a lower-wattage heater can save you money in the long run, especially if you’re only heating a small or moderate-sized waterer. However, if you live in an area with harsh winter temperatures or need to heat a larger waterer, a higher-wattage heater may be necessary.
When it comes to choosing a chicken waterer, practicality is key. One of the most important factors to consider is how easy it is to clean. After all, you don’t want to spend hours scrubbing away at something every time you want to refill it. You should also think about how easy it is to fill the container. The last thing you want is to spill water all over the place every time you try to fill it up. If you’re planning on hanging your waterer, you’ll want to make sure it’s easy to install and won’t tip over.
Some of the most common problems
The most common issue with heated waterers is a malfunctioning thermostat. Cheaper models are especially vulnerable to this problem and may only last for one season before needing to be replaced. To avoid any potential issues, it’s crucial to properly test your waterer’s thermostat the first time you use it each year.
Another common problem is a power cord that’s too short to reach from the coop to your main power source. It might be tempting to try and make it work with an inadequate length, but don’t –it will only cause you more trouble down the line. Instead, invest in an outdoor extension cord that’s safe for long-term outdoor use in all weather conditions. You don’t want to worry about it becoming damaged or getting overly hot during the summer months. It’s also important to stop your chickens from pecking at the cord. The simplest solution? Run it through a PVC pipe, which will keep your feathered friends from causing any electrical mishaps.
While some chicken waterers use nipples to provide water to the birds, you may find that not all your chickens are willing to drink from this type of system. While it’s true that most chickens can be taught how to use nipple waterers, there are always a few who struggle to learn. This can be especially true if you are introducing these waterers to an older flock. To ensure everyone stays hydrated, it may be best to avoid nipple waterers in these instances.
At last, you will have to be alert for Power outages. Yes, power outages can be a hassle for many reasons, but it’s especially important to pay attention to your chicken’s well-being during these times. Although it’s not the heater’s fault, it won’t keep your chickens warm and cozy during an outage. This is why it’s crucial to have another water supply available to ensure your chickens stay hydrated and healthy.
Here are some alternatives
If don’t have electricity near your coop, don’t panic! There are still options available for keeping your chickens hydrated during the winter months. The old-fashioned method of replacing the water each time it freezes is a tried and true technique. It may require a bit more effort on your part, but it’s a reliable solution nonetheless. Based on personal experience, a chicken waterer won’t freeze instantly – it takes about six hours in the coldest of weather. This means you’ll need to check on your coop and replace the water 2-3 times a day, ensuring your feathered friends have access to fresh water that isn’t frozen.
However, there are ways to slow down the freezing process and make your life a little easier. One strategy is to opt for a dark rubber container as your waterer. The darkness will absorb sunlight and retain heat, helping to keep the water warmer for longer. Additionally, the rubber material is more pliable and easier to manipulate, making it simple to empty out any ice that does form.
The next solution is to add frozen bottles of salt water to your chicken waterer. Not only does salt water freeze at a lower temperature than regular water, but it also helps to keep your chicken’s water from becoming a solid block of ice. However, it’s essential to remember not to let the saltwater mix with your chicken’s regular drinking water.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post about heated chicken waterers.
Heated chicken waterers can be a great addition to your flock of hens that help keep them nourished and happy. They are safe when used properly, and with the proper care, they can help you reduce mess and excessive water waste.
Ultimately, these waterers can be a valuable tool for keeping your chickens healthy during the cold winter months. It is always important to use any electrical device safely, so before using heated chicken waterers make sure you read through all of the instructions that came with it.
Pay special attention to any electrical instructions in particular, as getting those wrong could potentially lead to serious damage or even fire hazards.
It’s wise to only use these waterers when temperatures are low enough for the water to freeze – when it’s too hot out these devices could overheat which is unsafe for both you and your chickens.
Growing up enjoying the beauty of my village, a good passion for nature developed in me from childhood. Following my passion for the natural world, I have chosen zoology for my graduation, during my undergraduate degree, I participated in many nature trails, bird watching, rescues, training for wildlife conservation, workshop, and seminars on biodiversity. I have a keen interest in invertebrate biology, herpetology, and ornithology. Primary interests include studies on taxonomy, ecology, habitat and behavior.