Once the weather turned cold and the chicken waterers began freezing up, I was about to pull my hair out. How many times a day can one person be expected to tromp up to the chicken coop, get the frozen chicken water, bring it back to the house and thaw everything out in warm water, refill the waterer, haul it back to the coop? Once is plenty, thank-you!
Fortunately, I'd been sent a link for a homemade water heater, that, as it turns out, is very effective and inexpensive to make. This thing saved my sanity this winter. All that is needed is a cookie tin, some electrical stuff and a low watt light bulb; the instructions call for a 25 watt bulb, but I think we're using something lower than that. The bulb is placed inside the cookie tin, and the chicken water sits on top of the tin. The bulb, of course, keeps the water warm enough that it doesn't freeze. Amazingly simple! The ONLY problem I had with this set-up is, the chickens occasionally knocked the waterer off the heater. We simply need to rig something up that will prevent that, otherwise this works like a charm.