We had one of those heated base chicken waterers that plugs in and keeps the water unfrozen. I say had, cause I broke it. It was a pain in the ass anyhow. It did it's job and worked great, but in order to put water in it, you had to flip the thing upside down, unscrew the plug in the bottom and fill it turned over. Screw the plug back in and then try and flip it back right side up without splashing water on yourself and carry it back over to the coop while water is trying to drip down your pant legs from the base. It only held three gallons of water, and with 18 chickens, they were going through it every few days.
Back in the summer I ran into Chicken Nipples at D&B while I was in buying chicken feed. I saw on pintrest where you screwed these nipples into the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket and hung it up and voila, chicken waterer that fills from the top. So I got five nipples, and they sat around in the garage gathering dust. The rubber bucket I was using to water the birds was working fine, and we never got around to building the nipple/bucket.
And then I broke the heated waterer. I had broke the handle off the top a few days before (It was over a year old and only plastic in my defense) so I was trying to carry this three gallon waterer between my legs, by the base, doing the penguin walk across the yard. I got back to the coop, managed to spill a minimal amount of water over my pant legs. In flipping it back over onto it's base, it slipped just a little in my hands and smacked the ground. It was pretty cold that morning, like 14 degrees, and the whole blasted thing shattered, spraying me with water up to my thighs. .../sigh.
Scotty to the rescue. We'd bought a new heat tape before he dug out the frost free water hydrant. Pintrest again showed us a design for a bucket in a bucket with the heat tape in the middle.
|Inner bucket with chicken nipples in the bottom|
|Cutting out the bottom of the outter bucket|
|Wrapping the heat tape, top cut off outer bucket|
|Finished heated chicken waterer|
|Using the chicken nipples|
I've been getting a couple eggs every few days. The older black hens have been taking a break, they molted pretty hard. Only one of the easter eggers started laying before the daylight cut back, and she went on strike when they moulted a little around the head and neck. Last week I opened the box after not looking for eggs the evening before, and found EGGS! All colors. One of the other easter eggers is laying an olive colored egg. I've got creams, tans, pinks, green, olive and almost orange. I'm still missing the pink with grey speckles, but egg production is on the rise.