Do you need a heated chicken watered for your winters?
We live in the Canadian mountains and our winters get to be about -20C/-4F.
We personally avoid heating our chicken coop during the winter and let our hens rest for the cold months and not push artificial light for egg production.
However it gets super cold here and our chicken water freezes so we need a heated chicken waterer.
I’ve seen posts on keeping chickens water from freezing using ping pong balls.
The idea is that water is always ‘moving’ and won’t freeze. This might work with mild winters, but if it’s not a windy day, or if your winters get really cold temperatures the water freezes fast, this method will not work.
I’ve also heard ducks are great because they’re always splashing in the pond water preventing it from freezing. Again, this might work well in some mild winter areas, but with really cold climates the pond water freezes overnight (or in a matter of hours!).
Unless you want to break ice every day (which damages the bowl) you need a heated chicken waterer.
Tips for using a heated chicken waterer
We picked up our heated chicken waterer from a local feed store, however you can also buy one online here.
One thing that’s great about this one is that it’s ‘Thermostatically controlled to operate only when necessary’. This theroretically will reduce electric expenses. However the temp it goes to is -12C/10F, and it gets colder than that here. However, it still works at lower temps, they just can’t guarantee it will.
Make sure you set it up in a dry covered area NOT close to chicken bedding and wood.
This would pose a fire risk, which is why many people choose not to heat or add artificial light to chicken coops during the winter months. (We use the deep litter method during the winter months for our chicken coop).
You also need to make sure you’re also using a galvanized chicken waterer, NOT plastic.
What is your method for keeping chickens in the winter months?
My name is Isis Loran, creator of the Family Food Garden. I’ve been gardening for over 10 years now and push the limits of our zone 5 climates. I love growing heirlooms & experimenting with hundreds of varieties, season extending, crunchy homesteading and permaculture.