Envying Heated Waterers

Not long after we settled in here, ten years ago or so, Cherie told me that now when she sees something on the internet that causes her to become envious, it tends to be things like heated chicken waterers.  Just more evidence that we’d entered a different world.

I do that too.  When I read that someone has a heated chicken waterer, I envy it.

The waterers in our pastures are heated, mercifully. But not the waterers at the chicken coops.

In the heart of winter when I go to let the chickens out in the morning I often find their water frozen solid.

So I have to bust out the ice, or give them water in something else while waiting for the thaw.  It’s not that much work really.

But a heated chicken waterer?  Now that would be nice.

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26 comments on “Envying Heated Waterers

  1. BeeHappee says:

    Too funny. 🙂 Better yet, chickens that would take care of themselves and you could just sleep until lunch. Just do not search the internet, as they may have those types of chickens, maybe GMO, but would be tempting. . 🙂

    Like

  2. Woody says:

    I had a chicken water heater go bad on me a couple of years ago. The feed stores and farm and home supply were all sold out. I scrapped the bedding down to the limestone minus floor of the coop and flipped a large galvanized tub over the top of a 100watt trouble light and it kept the five gallon waterer from freezing up. I am always nervous about fire and thought that the mice might find the confines of the tub too cozy to pass up, so I checked under the tub for any sign of nest building. I found a few mice, so I placed a metal mouse motel under the tub. It turned into a mouse killing machine.

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    • Bill says:

      Nice. The tub/light combo was a great idea. I keep their waterer outside the coop. If I keep water inside the coop it doesn’t usually freeze (or at least not as much). There the problem is the chickens roosting on it, pooping in the water, knocking it over, etc.

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      • Woody says:

        If I didn’t enjoy eggs and just looking at the birds I wouldn’t keep chickens. They are one of the nastiest critters in captivity.

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  3. shoreacres says:

    Just yesterday, my weekend email from my favorite farmers included this photo of the crew that produces my eggs. I’ll have to ask Lee this morning if her chickens have heated waterers. They’re far enough north of Houston that I imagine the thought of heated waterers has crossed their minds, if they don’t already have them.

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    • Bill says:

      That’s a fine-looking flock. You’re doing right to get your eggs from someone who farms with that kind of transparency. The best kind of farmers, in my humble opinion, are happy to show their animals. Sadly, that’s not usually the case any more.

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  4. Joanna says:

    I know exactly what you mean! Although heated water heaters we don’t envy so much, but definitely we have some weird and wonderful envy raise its head, that ordinary folks just wouldn’t thing about. Our problem with water comes when there is no snow. It seems our animals prefer the snow to the cold water anyway.

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    • Bill says:

      Sometimes I’ll see someone’s yard after they’ve raked their leaves and I’ll get compost envy. I probably won’t notice the car in the driveway, but if they have a nice garden…

      Liked by 2 people

  5. avwalters says:

    Oh my, I do understand that kind of envy. I don’t yet have chickens. My sister does, though, and up here, heated chicken waterers are a necessity. The chickens cannot wait for a thaw here, because that could take months. At the moment, I envy trailers. I’m needing one for the Kubota, so we can more easily get firewood out of the back 40. Oh, and bee equipment. I’m gearing up to be a beekeeper this spring, so I scour craigslist for used beekeeping stuff. Unfortunately, half the ads are “wanted to buy” listings for wannabees like me. I guess that it’s a relief to envy such basics. Clothes, jewelry, designer home furnishings…all lost on me.

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  6. For the man who has everything. (grin)

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  7. barnraised says:

    I completely get it! I’ve been wishing for the same for our horses!!

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  8. EllaDee says:

    A heated chicken waterer makes so much more sense than a jumbo-size flatscreen TV, for example, although the heat ginormous TVs throw out would probably stop nearby water from freezing. It’s wonderful that our desires become more prosaic, one of my best Christmas gifts were the new secateurs I’d requested 🙂

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    • Bill says:

      Ok, I had to look up “secateurs.” 🙂

      If someone offered me the world’s best television, I wouldn’t take it. But a good, sturdy garden tool? Oh yeah.

      Like

  9. df says:

    Oh, I love this. We had the same envy for several years, and finally made it a priority to get one for our chickens as we do not have the time to put into farming that you do. I envy your time for farming, and I am totally on the same page about wishing for things of a different nature than what we once would have.

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    • Bill says:

      It hasn’t been a priority for us, in part because the water doesn’t freeze every day. We’d have to change our set-up too. There is no power at one of the coops. The other one has electricity but only inside the coop and I keep the water outside. If it was important enough we’d make it happen. But on those mornings when the water is frozen solid, I do find myself wanting a heater. 🙂

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  10. Take a look at our last post, and I think there is a link to the post that has a diagram of how to put them together. We use nipples attached to pvc.attached to garden hose and attached to a 5 gallon bucket. I picked up some plumbing tape and a thermostatically controlled switch that only comes on at 34 degrees. I insulated it with foam pipe wrap and some outdoor rated duct tape to keep them from pecking it.

    The pix at the bottom of this post show the switch and the setup with insulation.
    https://lepetitcanardfarm.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/small-flock-management/

    The whole setup and a diagram for putting it together is here:
    https://lepetitcanardfarm.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/small-flock-management/

    Total cost is under 20$
    Total time to do it right and learn from our mistakes about 3 hours max.

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    • Bill says:

      I did see that excellent post. I love your set up.

      I’ve been thinking about switching to a watering system like yours, so maybe this is push I need to get going on that!

      Like

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