How to heat your chickens’ nipple waterer in the winter

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Heater for poultry nipple waterer

Just a quick post to share what we did last winter to keep our chickens’ nipple waterer from freezing. We bought an immersible birdbath heater (see our Buyer’s Guide for more details). Because the element rests at the bottom of the bucket, near the nipples, the warmth not only kept the nipples from freezing, but also kept any drops that formed on the outside of the nipples from freezing. 

This particular heater has a built-in thermostat that kicks in when the water temperature dips below 40 degrees, so it’s not necessarily running all the time, which is good for conserving electricity. You just have to make sure there’s always enough water in the bucket to keep the heater submerged.

Here’s how I installed the heater in our 3.5-gallon hanging bucket waterer:

Set the element in the bottom of the bucket, near the nipples. . .

Chicken waterer heater for winter
Trim a small opening in the lid edge near the lip of the bucket. . .

Keep chickens' water from freezing
Secure the cord there with the provided hardware and run the electrical plug safely out of the way and connect it to an extension cord or directly to a power outlet.

Electric birdbath heater for keeping chickens' water from freezing

It was well worth the cost and minimal effort to install it. Which reminds me — time to do that again right now!


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3 Responses to “How to heat your chickens’ nipple waterer in the winter”

  1. Dior Kelley says:

    Does anyone have any experience plugging these heaters into some sort of solar powered outlet? If so can they recommend the solar set up to use?

  2. Andrea Manfredo says:

    Great idea, I am using this right now! No more lugging warm water out for the chickens every day.

  3. Zetta (Zetspets) says:

    Good idea. Thanks for sharing. Back in Florida now, but we have been down to 11 before here. Hope you will have a warmer winter than you’ve had the past few years. We lived in Otto, NC since ’93 until this year and found out how really cold you’ve gotten.

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