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Home made base to keep waterer from freezing?

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

I know I read it here at Daves somewhere.... the directions for making a base for a waterer using a light bulb. Our metal bases aren't working, so rather than buy new, I'd just rather make something to put the plastic waterers on.

Does anyone know what link I'm talking about? It was a wooden box with a ceramic light bulb fixture somewhere in it, you put the waterer on top and it didn't freeze.

Thanks in advance

Bridgewater, ME

My dh made one for me a few years back so I could water the wild birds in the winter,now I use it in the coop for the chickens now,

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Bridgewater, ME

This is the base it has blue board on the inside to insulate it and a 40 watt bulb in it to keep the water form freezing,you could start out with a smaller watt and see if that works for you.I worked really great for me last winter and the coop was cold.

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Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

Thanks Green--

I would imagine you get far colder up there than we do, that should work. I just needed to give hubby a visual to go off of.

Thank you!!

AuGres, MI(Zone 5b)

Thanks Green ! I showed your picture to my husband and he's going to make one for our waterer. What a great idea.

Bridgewater, ME

I found that in birds and blooms magazine years ago.The round part had a round cake pan in it for the wild birds.

Joplin, MO(Zone 6b)

hmm.. any chance that you know how much your electric bill went up using that? Not to sound cheap but monies tight so if the bill goes up to much i can't do that... i'll still be breaking ice bc that is free. If it wasn't much... then i'm building one of those!

AuGres, MI(Zone 5b)

Could I ask the dimensions of the box also? How far away is the light bulb from the base of your waterer?

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

grey, it wouldn't cost any more than keeping a light on in the house. If you use a 40 or 60 watt bulb, it shouldn't be that much.

I need to pay better attention to birds and blooms Green! :)

Joplin, MO(Zone 6b)

Thank you... :)

Bridgewater, ME

The cord comes out the side of the waterer,dh said it would not cost much to run it same as leaving a light on 24-7.the measuments are 12 1/2 in. by 12 1/2 in. and 10 in. tall.He put the bottom and sides on then put in the blue board then put the top on.

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Bridgewater, ME

The bulb is about three inches from the top,and I used a 40 watt bulb all last winter and it never burned or melted the plastic waterer but like I said it gets real cold here in the winter.If your coop does not get that cold use a smaller watt bulb.He used one of those flood lights because thats what we had on hand but you can get the procelin ones at the store.He may have to make me another because I have another coop now a small one for the slikies and I got a heated dog bowl for them and will have to wait and see how it will work as far as freezing.I hope the pictures help you in making this,if you have anymore questions please ask and I will try to answer them.

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AuGres, MI(Zone 5b)

Would it work with one of the low energy curly-cue fleurescent bulbs?

Bridgewater, ME

I don't think so, they probably don't throw off enough heat.

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

exactly, the reason the water doesn't freeze is the heat from the incandescent bulb.

Thanks for the additional pictures Green... it's getting that time!!

Williamsburg, MI(Zone 4b)

I just use a cement patio block with a heating pad on top (has to be one without a timer) and then set the watterer on top. 've used the same pad for 5 years

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

What kind of heating pad? And is your waterer inside the coop or outside?

Richmond, TX

I would expect that a heating pad would cost quite a lot more to run than the light bulb type.

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

I would think so too, it woudl be interesting to do a comparison though. I think it would be hard to find a heating pad that doesn't shut off now too. The older ones don't, but I think all the newer ones do.

Portland, OR(Zone 8b)

I am going to get a heated mat before next winter. They are used for keeping piglets, and other animals, warm. The one recommended is by Kane. The cheapest I've found so far are on eBay for $79. The website is kanemfg.com. The person that recommended it put the water bowl at one end, then the ducks can huddle on the rest of the mat to keep warm.

Williamsburg, MI(Zone 4b)

There are also very inexpensive bird bath heaters, They are flat and covered with aluminium. The can go in the bowl or under the waterer. I still use the cement block under it though to hold the heat. All my heaters, and I have three waterers and a stock tank heater, cost me less than 10 bucks a month to run.

My ducks sit on top of the septic tank in the winter. It must be warmer there.

Portland, OR(Zone 8b)

Great idea! I never thought about a bird bath heater, it would be way less expensive than other options. We rarely have freezing temps more than a couple of days in a row so I've not thought about getting birdbath heaters. At night it will freeze but usually it gets above freezing during the day. I think I will get a couple to have on hand just in case. Last year was an exception, we had the worst winter in probably 60 years, I ended up wrapping the hummingbird feeder with heat tape that you wrap around pipes to keep them from freezing.

Moscow, PA(Zone 5b)

Melissa, Backyard Poultry Magazine just had a very detailed article on making your own heater out of an angel food cake pan. Looked very inexpensive and easy to do.It was in the Oct/Nov 2009 issue. I know you can buy back issues but they are $4 a piece.

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

Thanks SugarBell!

Ferndale, WA


Hi Mel! I subscribe to Backyard Poultry and saw the angel food pan heater, If you want the article let me know and I'll send it to you. OK.

Also I wanted to ask you about your hatch? I hope it went well for you. Let me know and also about the article. Howie

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

0 hatch AGAIN. I'd love to see the article. Thanks haystack

AuGres, MI(Zone 5b)

Can I see it too Haystack?

Joplin, MO(Zone 6b)

Can I see? pretty please?

Ferndale, WA

Mel I'm so sorry about your hatch. Your copy will be in the mail first thing in the Morning.

Loon and Greykyttyn I need both of you to send me and address by dmail so I can send your copies to you. Haystack

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

Thanks Howie, I swear it's the shipped eggs--something is happening in one of the post offices close to me... my own eggs hatch, it's just the shipped ones.

Ferndale, WA


Mel: One thing is for sure, it is not you. Did you crack the eggs open to see if they were fertile? I feel so ticked off for you. I'm beginning to take it personal. LOL. Really. Your article is in the mail, and so is Greykyttyns. I'm waiting for your address Loon so I can send you yours. Hay

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

I haven't cracked any of this last batch open. I just turned off the incubator today.

BUT.... LOOOKIE what I FINALLY got today!!! About 5 minutes after hubby said they were NEVER going lay! LOL

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Ferndale, WA


Beautiful: Are those your own eggs? Wonderful. I don't know about anyone else but I'm totally through with shipped eggs and the outrages cost with no assurance that they are even fertile. Hay

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

Yes, those are from MY girls.... they look like about a 6 on the scale. :) I'll be hatching my own eggs soon.... I'm done with the shipped eggs. My girls are with 5 roosters, all BC, so right now, until they all start laying, I'm just going to save what I get for about 10 days and then in they go. Bet I get close to a 100% hatch too. I got 95% on my eggs the last time, and amazingly, out of 15, only 3 were roos. They're all mutts, but I love them. :)

Ferndale, WA


Good for you Mel, I have the same attitude. I have four black copper roosters, seven black copper hens and two wheatens. Two of the black coppers and both whetens will be ready for breeding come the first of March and should be laying by the 1st of Feb. I will build from there. Black coppers, wheatens, Seramas and Cuckoos is all I will be raising by Sept of 2010. Mel we have to stay connected so we can build and exchange when it is mutually agreeable. What will you plan of raising besides the black coppers? Haystack

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

I'm only raising the BC's. I "May" get a set of cuckoos or even just red sexlink in the spring just for egg production, but as far as a breed to work on, BC is it. I'll probably continue to hatch my "mutt" eggs too, because some of them are REALLY pretty. I have a white one with a SINGLE black tailfeather, a White one with each feather laced in gold (before I sold the Buff Orpington Rooster) and I have some really pretty multicolored ones with beautifully feathered shanks. ;) SO... I know my oldest Rooster, even though he is clean legged himself, throws heavily feathered shanks... isn't that funny?

I have these 2 little white chickens, they are mean as spit, but consistently lay a HUGE white egg that is REALLY good, so I will probably continue to hatch their eggs simply for egg production hens. My adult Maran Hen doesn't lay consistenly.... so I'm not chancing it, it's not like the eggs or the extra roosters from the mixed eggs will go to waste.

I have a total of 6 BC Roosters, 18 Hens, and my "mutt babies"

AuGres, MI(Zone 5b)

Hubby and I made a homemade warmer for our waterer. I'll post pics. I don't know how to post more than one pic in a post so will have to use a few posts to get all angles.

We found an old wooden box in the barn. I think it may have been a planter at one time. Not sure. It's a sturdy old wood though. It already had a hole drilled in the bottom We also had some rollers here. We decided to put the box on rollers. We inserted a heat lamp inside through the hole. We had that already from when the chicks arrived to keep them warm. We put a 60 watt bulb in. I was afraid water might spill onto the open bulb so we cut a piece of plexiglass and screwed it to the top. We set the waterer on top. The chickens can reach to drink and were eager to try it out right away. We plugged it in last night outside the barn and put the waterer on top to make sure it was safe and wouldn't melt the plexiglass or something. All was fine this morning when we checked. The water was warm to the touch inside the bottle. Didn't cost us anything since we already had all this stuff laying around here.

Brenda

Thumbnail by Loon
AuGres, MI(Zone 5b)

Here is a pic of the inside.

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AuGres, MI(Zone 5b)

One more.........

Thumbnail by Loon
AuGres, MI(Zone 5b)

I forgot to mention that we used a large metal tack to direct the cord to one side so it doesn't get tangled underneath. We then drilled a hole in the wall of the chicken coop. It's inside the barn. We put the waterer and warmer right up next to the wall and pulled the cord through to where it plugs in. No chance the hens will be able to peck the cord at all.

I'm wondering if I should try a lower watt bulb like a 40 and move up if I need to. I don't want the water too warm. The chickens might not like it............or do they like a nice cup of hot water to warm them up in cold weather?

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