The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Limited edition heated chicken waterers

Heated chicken waterer

In the summer of 2013, Mark and I were seriously considering bringing a heated chicken waterer to market. Mark had constructed a waterer that kept working at least into the low teens Fahrenheit, and we both thought other chicken keepers would love the waterer as much as we did.

Unfortunately, not all products are worthy of going to market. The base of Mark's heated chicken waterer was a two-gallon heated bucket produced by Farm Innovators, and we weren't able to get them to sell us the buckets at a low enough price to make it worth our while to produce the heated waterers and then sell them to you for under $150. So, we instead made a video tutorial showing you how to make the heated waterer yourself, then we moved on to the next project.

But we kept getting emails from customers who said that making their own heated waterer was just too hard. Could we possibly sell them a premade heated chicken waterer...just one? This fall, we cleaned off the porch and realized we had fourteen heated buckets taking up space, so we did a limited edition run and sold out in 24 hours.

Mark with his heated waterer

People kept emailing and asking for heated chicken waterers, but a second limited edition run didn't seem possible because the company now wasn't willing to even sell us the buckets at the slightly-reduced price they'd offered earlier. Enter my awesome mother-in-law, who tracked down the same heated bucket on sale at Rural King and bought up a carload.

To cut a long story short, we now have seventeen more premade heated chicken bucket waterers ready to keep your chickens happy this winter...and this really will be the last run for the winter. So snap up your waterer below ASAP!

Here are the stats:

  • 2 gallon volume with two nipples (sufficient for 34 chickens for at least two winter days).
  • Comes with a lid with a birdcage knob for easy removal. In addition, brackets within the bucket prevent your lid from falling in.
  • Free shipping within the U.S. (We can't ship these out of the country at all --- sorry!). Shipping time is approximately 6 to 10 business days, so order by this weekend if you want your waterer by Christmas.
  • Cost: $100

To buy, just click on the button below and paypal will check you out, allowing you to pay by credit card, echeck, or paypal balance. I hope your chickens love the warm water as much as ours do!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Hi, I bought one of these from you and finally put it up Sunday attached to a thermocube. This morning it was 8 degrees outside so I decided to check it. The water inside was not frozen but the nipples seem to be. I tried tapping them with a hammer which apparently wasn't a good idea because it made them leak. Any suggestions on how to keep the nipples from freezing? Also, how cold can it get before the chickens themselves need a heat source? It is supposed to get below zero this week and I am worried about them freezing. Thanks, Dave

Comment by Dave Tue Jan 6 21:53:38 2015

Dave --- I'm sorry you had trouble! Unfortunately, all waterers will freeze up eventually, and we only rate ours down into the low teens. When they freeze, it's best to bring them inside to thaw slowly --- as you found, trying to crack the ice will only crack the waterer.

You can get a few more degrees out of your heated waterers in a few different ways. The least energy-efficient way is to shine an incandescent light on the nipples, which will also double as a very small heater for your coop. (Not that your chickens should need heat --- ours weathered -12 last year with no trouble, and yours should as well as long as they're dry and out of the wind.)

A less effective (but requiring no extra energy) way to keep the nipples thawed at least a few degrees lower is to make a skirt for your bucket out of that metallic, bubble-wrap type insulation. If you wrap that around your bucket and let it extend down a few inches past the bottom, but make sure it flares out so that chickens can get to the nipples, you'll keep more heat around the nipples where they need it.

I hope that helps! On our own end, when the temperature gets too low for even a heated bucket waterer to work, we just bring smaller waterers in for the night and return them to the coop in the morning. Sometimes simplest is best!

Comment by anna Wed Jan 7 09:45:15 2015

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