Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cold Snap Chix

It got down to around 12 degrees last night...the coldest so far this season.  I took the chickens' water in last night to avoid freezing, and when I brought it out this morning, I set to work installing the cookie tin water heater I made.  The internet can tell you how to build this thing.  This is it's maiden voyage, and another 12 degree night is due tonight so we shall see how it works.  I used a bigger tin than suggested, so I might need to switch from a 40 w to 60 w bulb.  Guess I'll find out.

Covered area outside the coop with homemade water heater
cookie tin water heater with heavy duty outdoor extension cord
The heavy duty outdoor extension cord runs to a thermacube, a temperature control device that turns on when the temperature hits 35 degrees, just so the sucker is not running when not needed.  Does combining electricity and water make you nervous?  Me too.  I used electrical tape to cover connection where cord runs into tin just in case any water gets spilled or the hoop cover gets ripped off and the whole thing gets rained on.  Should be alright in a covered setting, though.  And chickens need lots of water in winter, so I am happy to have something that should keep it frost free.

40 w bulb heats the tin
hot mash!  getting warm with a carb-filled breakfast.
coop temp stayed 3 degrees above outside temp
winter chickens in fall


  1. Another solution would be to use an aquarium heater. The kind that look like a floating dairy thermometer that clip to the edge of the container. You'd just have to find one meant for a very small aquarium and then use a larger volume of water in order to keep the temperature from being too warm.

  2. Yep, I considered that. It's another commonly used way to keep chicken water from freezing. Good suggestion!