Though the winter is setting in reluctantly, we have had a few cold nights where the chicken’s water iced up. A quick check at the feed store, Tractor Supply, and Amazon found chicken waterers like this:
Unfortunately, the cost of one of these babies is between $40 and $50. That’s a lot of chicken feed! So, to the farm cycling pile I went for inspiration.
Materials I discovered were already on hand: Old cookie tin, incandescent lightbulb, silicone sealer, electrical tape. I purchased another $4.50-worth: Rubberized light socket ($2.49) and two-pronged plug ($1.99).
Tools required: Tin snips, screw driver, wire strippers, and caulk gun.
How-to is simple: cut a hole in the side of the tin, poke the socket through, caulk it with silicone, and install the plug on the wire ends. I unintentionally left a bit of room around the hole where light escapes and shines through the silicone, making it easy to tell if it’s on or not.
Even though the store-bought heaters I found were 100 to 125w, I used a 60w bulb because I had one on hand. It worked like a champ down to 20 degrees last week, but I think a 40w or even 25w would be sufficient.
End result: Same effect at 10% of the price!
EDIT: My wife made an excellent suggestion this morning. Cookie tins aren’t as common as they once were, but you can find them inexpensively at craft stores (Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, etc). She noted that they were 60% off this week at Jo-Ann’s Fabric, and since they were in holiday themes you could easily use them to add some decorative cheer to the coop!