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Monday, December 9, 2013

Water Heater for Hens' Water

cheap chicken or pet water heater

If you need directions for making a really cheap water heater to keep water for chickens from freezing, here are directions for my heater that I designed and exbf executed in 2009. This is the fifth year, and I still have only $3.71 invested in its construction. The post from 2010 has started to deconstruct itself!

Here are instructions for a cookie tin water heater. I think it cost about $11. I imagine that if you have an old cookie tin and the electrical parts at your house, this will be nearly free. He uses a 40 watt bulb. Mine uses a 60 watt bulb.

My water heater is sitting outdoors in the weather with absolutely no shelter. So, my extension cord must be inside the tall metal container and connected to the light socket. The cookie tin must be indoors because the extension cord has a light plugged into it and is not inside the cookie tin. The connection cannot be exposed to  precipitation. My connection is inside the metal container.

I wonder if a setup with no electricity available could use either design with a candle inside and tiny holes drilled to provide oxygen to a burning candle. What do you think?

Exbf will put it all together when he comes Wednesday.

Your turn
Do you have a water heater for your chickens or other animals? Did you make it or buy it? 


  1. Up in Indiana, my dad always just used a 40 watt lightbulb hanging from a chain. It kept the dogs and chicken warm and the water from freezing. He also put them under the crawlspace around the plumbing. (it might have been a larger wattage. I don't remember)

    1. lj,
      In an enclosed area I am sure that just a bulb would work. if I even had walls to their water area, the ice probably would not freeze. However, just basically sitting in the yard, a bulb would not help at all. I wish it would. it would work in a crawl space.

  2. Great idea. We are not cold enough to have water freeze for long so it hasn't been an issue. I replace ice with water when I get up, which has been enough.

    1. EC,
      That's great for you. Here where I live, I do get periods of below freezing during the day, not many, just enough to be annoying. On most mornings when the water is frozen, about ten ounces of hot water will melt the skim of ice. It is those days where it hovers at freezing after a hard freeze during the night that I worry. Physically, I am not capable of dealing with continual monitoring and thawing their water so that they do not suffer. Even being inside a chicken house would help!

  3. If you need directions for making a really cheap water heater to keep water for chickens from freezing, here are directions for my heater that I ...


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