Cheap to Build & Operate DIY Freeze Proof Chicken Waterer

Posted on: April 1st, 2016 by
2

LFF Homemade Freeze Proof Chicken Waterer

Here it is, my homemade freeze proof chicken waterer. Cheap to run, hygienic, easy and inexpensive to build. Using a bucket, a Thermo Cube, an electric stinger, some styrofoam board, wire and a roll of duck tape I built a homemade freeze proof watering bucket. I have thought about doing such for years but finally set down and did it this winter.

Testing

During several weeks of testing it has performed flawlessly, using very little electricity and keeping the nipple on the bottom frost free down to single digits. It never got any colder than 8 degrees during my testing so I am not sure how cold of weather it can withstand. That stated I have no doubt it can handle much colder weather.

Commercial Heated Waterer

Commercial Heated Waterer

There are some commercial alternatives that run $40 or more, but I find them lacking. Without insulation they cost much more to run, are more expensive initially and are not user serviceable. I am equipping my tractors with this homemade waterer for next winter, ending the sport of ice bowl chucking at my farm. I also prefer a chicken nipple to the open water design of other styles which creates a mess and isn’t hygienic. The homemade bucket waterer also holds a lot more water.

The backbone of my simple design is a Thermo Cube that controls the water heater. The Thermo Cube can be purchased at many stores and online for around $12. Anything plugged into the thermo cube comes on at 35 degrees and turns off at 45 working as an inline preset thermostat.

I will jump straight into the meat of the matter, here is how I built it:

Tools I used:

11/32 Drill Bit For Chicken Nipple Hole

11/32 Drill Bit For Chicken Nipple Hole

7/16 Paddle Drill Bit For Adding a Fill Hose

7/16 Paddle Drill Bit For Adding a Fill Hose Hole in the Side

A Drill Of Course

A Drill Of Course

A Adjustable Wrench

A Adjustable Wrench

A Hot Glue Gun For Gluing Down Stuff

A Hot Glue Gun For Gluing Down Stuff

Small Drill Bit For Support Wire Holes

Small Drill Bit For Support Wire Holes

 

 

 

 

 

Materials:

Duck Tape

Duck Tape

Wire

Wire

Chicken Nipple Waterer

Chicken Nipple Waterer

Bucket & Lid

Bucket & Lid

Short Piece of 2" Pipe

Short Piece of 2″ Pipe

Styrofoam Board

Styrofoam Board

Thermo Cube

Thermo Cube

Stinger/Water Heater

Stinger/Water Heater

Holes for Stinger Support Wire

Holes for Stinger Support Wire

I started by drilling small holes in the top corners of the bucket to attach the wire. The wire supports the stinger, keeping it in the center of the bucket directly over the chicken nipple. This location ensures the chicken nipple does not freeze up, and also keeps the stinger in the water.

Side Fill Hole

Side Fill Hole

I also drilled holes in the side of the bucket for adding a fill hose and a hole for the power cord for the stinger to exit the bucket. Then a hole was drilled in the bottom for the chicken nipple.

Bucket Bottom

Bucket Bottom

 

 

I then wired in the stinger, I cut from the overflow hole to the outside edge of the bucket so that I could slip the power cord for the stinger into the hole. I then wired the stinger from the corners of the bucket supporting the stinger and keeping it in the center towards the bottom of the bucket.

Stinger Cord Exit

Stinger Cord Exit

Stinger Supported in the Center of Bucket

Stinger Supported in the Center of Bucket

 

 

 

 

LFF Freeze Proof Chicken Waterer Homemade

Putting Insulation Around Thermo Cube

With the power cord for the stinger now on the outside it could be plugged into the Thermo Cube. I glued the Thermo Cube to the bottom of the bucket before putting any foam board on the bucket. By positioning the Thermo Cube towards the bottom of the bucket under the layer of Styrofoam it was perfectly positioned to control the waters temperature.

Thermo Cube Glued to Outside of Bucket

Thermo Cube Glued to Outside of Bucket

 

I put a small piece of pipe around the chicken nipple at the bottom of the bucket. This helps to shield the nipple from wind, and also protects the insulation from curious chickens.

Pipe Protecting The Chicken Nipple

Pipe Protecting The Chicken Nipple

 

I then just started cutting the Styrofoam to size and gluing it to the bucket on every edge.

Glue For Foam Board

Glue For Foam Board

Lid

Lid

Edges

Edges

 

Bottom

Bottom

 

 

 

 

DSCF2117 LFF Freeze Proof Chicken Waterer Homemade

LFF Freeze Proof Chicken Waterer Homemade LFF Freeze Proof Chicken Waterer Homemade

Once all the sides and edges were covered in Styrofoam I put a layer of clear tape over everything. Then I tested the design.

Testing

Testing

Proof of Concept, No Frost After 24 hours 9-15 Degrees

Proof of Concept, No Frost After 2 days at 8-15 Degrees

Nipple Protected From Wind.

Nipple Protected From Wind.

 

 

 

After Several weeks of testing the concept was proven. The setup uses very little electricity. On a 8-15 degree day it used less than a third of a kilowatt, or about 3 cents. When I put the killawatt meter on a stock tank heater it was running $1.50 a day in electricity usage. Not a fair comparison, but that gives you an idea.

Obviously Well Insulated.

Obviously Well Insulated.

 

With that done I needed to protect the styrofoam from ingestion by my chickens. About half a roll of duck tape latter I had a darker colored covering that should help keep the water warm. I should have sprung for black tape. I don’t think the tape will survive much more than a season or two, but until I devise something better it works.

Bottom

Bottom

Adding Anti Chicken Skin

Adding Anti Chicken Skin

Almost Complete

Almost Complete

 

 

 

 

My Youtube Video

Materials Links affiliate links:

Ebay Thermo Cube $12.20 With Free Shipping

Ebay Stinger $7.84 With Free Shipping

Ebay 11/32″ Drill Bit $3.49 Free Shipping

Ebay Glue Gun & 25 Glue Sticks $5.95 Free Shipping

Amazon Links:

Amazon Thermo Cube $10.49 Prime

Amazon Stinger $7.64 Prime

Amazon 11/32″ Drill Bit $6.48 Free Shipping

Amazon Glue Gun & 10 Glue Sticks $3.99 FS

 

I had purchased my stinger on Ebay for $3 but cannot find it at that price any longer. These links are affiliate links for the lowest prices I could find.

New Books Added to the Free Book Page:

Dairy Farming 1862
Dairying Exemplified 1787
Facts for Farmers; Compost, Animals, Buildings, Crops, Irrigation 1865
Disease of Domestic Animal and Poultry
Dairy Farming 1912
Dairy Farming 1911
Farm Appliances a Practical Manual 1913
How to Begin and Survive a Commercial Gamebird Farm
Feeds and Feeding 1916
Managing Cover Crops Profitably Hairy Vetch 2007 Pamphlet
Farm Implements and the Principles of their Construction 1859
Forage Crops Oter Than Grasses1900
Farm Economy A Cyclopedia of Agriculture for the Practical Farmer 1915
Farm Buildings With Plans 1917
Fertilizers How to Make Them -1885
Dairy Farming What Cows to Buy How to House Feed….. 1912


Updates:

I have updated my for sale page to reflect the current season and having hatching eggs available. Eventually I will have these breeds available this year:

Chickens:

Black Jersey Gaint

Rhode Island Red

Easter Eggers

Lewis Barnyard Mix

Ducks:

Muscovy

Khaki Campbell

Coturnix Quail:

Texas A&M

Jumbo Brown

Brown

Midget White Turkey HenAfter three years of trying to get Midget white turkeys to work for us on our farm we have given up. Our remaining trio had two go to auction and one ended up as Easter dinner. I really wanted the turkeys to work on our farm, but after a disaster with black head and infertility problems as well as character problems with the turkeys killing chicks and beating up on chickens we have had enough.LFF, Midget White Turkey, Muscovy Ducks, Original PVC Chicken Tractor


2 Responses to Cheap to Build & Operate DIY Freeze Proof Chicken Waterer

  1. Becky had this to say about that:

    Thank you for the step by step directions on creating a chicken waterer that will withstand below freezing temperatures. We hovered a heat lamp over buckets last year, but it was a real pain to keep those clean and filled. I’m going to check out the books on your page next.