This thing worked GREAT ALL WINTER LONG and we had a brutal winter this past year in Illinois than we've had in decades. The windchill was -20 and -30 many many times. Now mind you I kept this indoors as i did my girls all winter long and I did use my homemade insulated cover .... It's that gray looking huggy cover you see in the below photo. I think that is what really helped this product work so well when the temps where way below zero. It helped keep all that goodness that the built-in defroster gives off. I totally recommend this product as it really kept my girls in drink and saved me ALOT from having to trek out in the snow for daily water hauling ! I have only four girls and this amount of water lasted well more than a week before it needed refilling. The only thing I would do different is I wish there was a cork hole on top so I could easily stick the water hose down in to refill it. And I'm thinking that will be an easy fix to work-around. The way you normally have to refill it is unscrew the red base, turn the white tank upside down in the sink and fill it, and while it is upside down rescrew the bed base on and THAN real quick like flip it back right side up... and if your not a spring chick yourself that puppy is heavy when full of water ... leastwise it is for me because I have muscle weakness from MS... so yea I'm seriously thinking about cutting a hole on top for easy refill, and than use a cork to plug it back up. But where am I going to find a 3" diameter cork that's at least an inch thick ?? Other than that issue I still L O V E it.
Only one day did it have a small thin layer of ice starting to form and my girls were able to break that open with their pecking.
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Its a 3 gallon heated poultry fountain bought at from local Rural King farm store $32.99 Description on label says: Thermostatically controlled to operate only when necessary, keeps water from freezing down to zero degrees. Simply plug in an extension cord to the electrical connection. Ideal for year round use, and guaranteed for one year. Waters 25 adult birds. Am really hoping this works!
GUESS WHAT ?!? IT DOES WORK!!! last night it was -2 degrees and their water was still free flowing! very happy bout that. i'm sure it also helps that i have their water located inside the coop which keeps it protected from the wind. Today I went one step further and made an insulated huggy that slips down over it because quite often it does goes below zero here at night and the paper work does state this product really only good to zero degrees. What I did was I had saved the insulation blanket that my old kitchen dishwashing machine was wrapped in and used that. It was quite long, 4 ft. i think so I cut it in half . The insulation was encased in thin plastic like a garbage bag. I took duct tape and covered the entire one side of it with strips of duct tape (so chickens wouldn't pick at the insulation) and took it out there and wrapped it around and fastened it with more duct tape. I think this will work quite well for me.
Up until now I had been refilling their water every single day and when it froze changed it out three times a day. Even though I only have four hens am really glad this bucket holds 3 gallons of water so I only need to carry water out there about every fourth day now! It's becoming increasingly harder challenge for me to carry items and walk any distance doing both at the same time so this is really going to make a big happy difference for both me and my girls!
Also want to share an idea that i found here. This gal is so clever. Never would I have thunk this up on my own. It's a Cookie Tin Waterer Heater by Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick® !! If I hadn't already just bought my heated poultry bucket I definitely would have made this. Still might just for heck of it ! Always can use a back-up plan. Please visit her site. She's got photos and an instructable all ready made up on how to do this clever idea!