Winter is coming! And you still don’t know what to do to keep your birds hydrated throughout the winter.
We got the best heated chicken waterers here for you! Once you get a heated waterer, your life will get easier and not to mention the chickens will live a much better life.
Buying a heated waterer is not much complicated. But you still need a guide that will help you to understand certain features of a waterer and why they make it the best.
Let’s get started!
Why do you need a heated chicken waterer?
Water is everywhere! In the eggs, in the chicken and so chickens need lots of water to remain hydrated. But here’s why you need heated waterers:
- Keep the water from freezing: At winter when temperatures can drop to zero, the water might get frozen. And you don’t want your chickens to be deprived of water. They might even drink more during the winter when there is less humidity. Heated waterers keep the water free flowing and easy to drink.
- Healthy for chickens: Heated waterers are healthy for chickens. It keeps contamination and germ build up low. So, your chickens remain healthy and in good shape.
- Saving your time and minimizing workload: You don’t want to run every now and then to the coop to check if the water is frozen and break the ice manually. That’s totally tiring and will keep you thinking every hour. So, you need to replace your old non-heated drinkers with heated drinkers.
Best Heated chicken waterer review
What do you want to see in the best heated chicken waterer? Quality, ease of use, durability, and convenience is what all you need, and this chicken waterer from Farm innovators has it all.
It’s the best automatic chicken waterer and capable of feeding lots of chicken at a single time. Gone the days of running every day with water to your chickens. It has 2-gallon capacity, and for 10 chickens it will last for at least a week.
For plastic waterers, there is a lot of concern regarding the durability and possibility of cracking. But this waterer is sturdy and has thick walls that can last for a season at least. The hanger is strong enough to keep the drinker suspended without drops.
As its a heated chicken drinker, you should be happy to know that the heater does an excellent job in keeping the water flowing even in very low minus temperatures.
We are satisfied with how the nipples fit in, and there’s no sign of leakage. The only issue we found was that 1 day old chicks might have a hard time picking the metal nipples.
- Heating works automatically depending on the outside temperature
- Easy refilling courtesy the removable lid
- Quality build with strong plastic
- Feed up to 15 chickens at a time
- Free flowing warm water at freezing conditions
- Nipples are hard to pick for 1-day old chicks
The overall set up is budget friendly and is good enough to last a season or more. If you need an automatic heated drinker with easy refilling options, this is the perfect drinker for your chickens.
However, some chickens might not get used to an automatic drinker. In that case, you need to look for other options.
The K&H waterer might just be the best heated chicken waterer that is easy to clean and prevents water from freezing at low temperatures.
The problem with many gravity type drinker is that chickens roost at the top and makes the water dirty. But this gravity waterer has a top design that prevents the chicken from sitting at the top.
The most beneficial feature of this drinker is got to be the filter that sits inside the water tray. So, if you need to get rid of any large debris and particles inside the water, you can just lift the filter and clean it. This makes the job of cleaning easier and decreases refilling counts.
Carrying this unit in and outside the coop is made easier with the handle. What made us satisfied was that there was less spillage of water when carrying the unit by the handle.
The heater is pretty straightforward, and you can expect it to keep the water free flowing up to -20 °F. You can expect the best results at up to zero degrees.
You might need to refill the tank elsewhere outside the coop. In that case, no need to take the entire thing with you. Just get the tank and refill. There’s a little cap inside that will prevent water from spilling. And when you put it back, the cap automatically opens.
- Spillage proof refilling with the aid of an internal cap
- Thermostatically controlled heater
- The drinker material is rust-free and durable
- No roosting design
- The filter inside the tray makes cleaning easy
- Small tank mouth makes it hard to remove ice build up
If your chickens hate automatic waterers, you should definitely look for this waterer as a life saver.
The unit is sturdy and with lots of small but essential features makes it a good buy. Might be a bit expensive but will pay back better.
Heated chicken water bowls are good alternatives to the gravity types. But finding a good one with a heater is tough.
One of the most common problems with such drinkers is that chickens can tip over the drinker and spill water. But this one is quite heavy. If rabbits cannot shift them, we bet chickens can never do so.
The bowl is large enough to hold 1.25 gallons of water. That’s quite a lot considering it’s just a heated bowl. It’s 4.8” deep with 12” along the sides. The square shape allows lots of chicken to drink at the same time.
The heater is simple but will do the job of keeping the water free flowing in zero temperatures. Sometimes you can find ice at the edges but no problem with the water.
The cord is covered with coiled wire making it chew proof. You can safely use it outsides in the snow as well.
Now coming to the area of concern is your birds pooping inside the bowl. There’s nothing included with the bowl that you can use to solve the issue. However, you can make a wooden table that can fit around the bowl.
- Large water holding capacity
- Heavy and stays in place
- Chew proof cord
- Easy to clean
- The major issue with this drinking bowl is that the bottom can melt or break. But this is common with heated bowls.
Heated chicken bowls are easy to fill and keeps the water warmer. But you need to consider the fact they become dirty quickly. This one over here might last at least 2 years to make your money count.
If you have already bought a metal drinker and now you just want to heat the water, this heated base from Farm Innovators will make the job easy.
Kiss goodbye to those old heated bases with wires hanging from the bottom. Before you know it, rats get the better of such heated bases. But not happening in the case of this unit.
The bottom is completely sealed, and so no rats or insects can get inside and play with the electrical parts. This also helps to prevent the unit from getting destroyed by water.
This heated base will keep water normal during cold winters. But it doesn’t get too much hot to burn the waterer. This happens a lot of time with cheap heaters.
The heater consumes very low power, and it’s also thermostatically controlled. So it turns on when the water needs heating.
One small but significant issue is that there’s no indicator light to tell you if the machine is on or off. It can be a minor flaw, but we are not happy with this.
- Completely sealed bottom
- Durable and long lasting
- Low power consumption
- Thermostatically controlled
- Electric cable looks cheap and not so much durable
If you ask us to pick a heated base, we will pick this one every time. Though it has some flaws on its own, it’s durable enough to last for years.
Just make sure heated bases can sometimes burn your chicken’s feathers. And if you are buying it, try to put it on a ventilated and non-flammable surface.
The Harris Farm heated base is almost similar to that of the Farm Innovators. The only major difference is that it can also be used to heat plastic drinkers along with metal drinkers.
The bottom of this base is completely sealed. This is what you want from a quality heated base. So you don’t have to worry about any water going into the system or rats biting the wires inside.
This is unit also consumes very less power as it uses only 125 watts.
You can use it to heat drinkers up to 6.5 gallons. Anything more than that, this base can’t support the weight.
The problem with the heated base is the same here. There’s no indicator light to tell you it’s off or on. If this problem hadn’t been there, this could have been the best heated water base.
The heating is up to the mark, and you can expect free-flowing water in freezing temperatures.
- Expect it to last for more than 1-2 years
- Consumes less power
- Thermostatically controlled
- Completely sealed with no electronic parts hanging outside
- Heats plastic and metal safely
- No indicator light
This is a sturdy heated base that you can put in the coop for years to last. The ability to heat both metal and plastic makes this unit very useful.
Buying guide for heated chicken waterer
Type of container
Open/ dish type waterer
Open waterers are the worst type of waterers you can get for chickens. We are not a great fan of these. But it can really save your cost if you still want to use them.
The major issue with such waterers is that chickens can easily get into the waterer and leave their dung and lots and lots of dirt. So, before you know it all the water becomes enriched with bacteria and debris.
You can lift the dish off the ground to minimize such activities but won’t’ really make a big difference.
Automatic waterers are the best. Sure they cost a little more, but in the end, your chickens will be getting fresh water 24/7 throughout the year.
All the chickens have to do is to peck on the nipples, and water will drip in their mouth. It will take some time for the chickens to learn, but they eventually will. So no wastage of water and very low refilling counts that can save a lot of coop time.
Gravity water is just like open waterer, except the fact that water drips slowly into the bottom tray from a bucket.
This slow dripping of water keeps the water clean, but the chickens still can get inside the tray and make the water dirty.
Type of heater
There are three types of heater, and choosing one of them will depend on the type of heater you choose.
Base heaters are just simple heaters that you can place underneath any waterer and maintain the water temperature.
If you already have a unit and don’t want to buy a whole new unit for just a heater, this is a good idea.
Look for base heaters that have a concealed bottom so that there is no risk of rats biting the wires and water going inside.
Built-in heaters are put inside automatic waterers. They remain inside, and there’s no need risk of any exposure of the heater elements to outside.
Water bowl heaters
Water bowl heaters are an advanced form of the open waterer. The heating element remains at the bottom. If you are buying this, then look for a bowl that’s heavy, and your birds can’t lift it up.
The material of the waterer
Chicken waterers are made of metal or plastic.
Metals waterers are super durable and eliminate the risk of breaking, cracking, or even melting due to the heating element. But they are prone to rust, especially when you put Apple cider vinegar in the water.
Most chicken people go with plastic. Plastic is totally free from rust. But you need to look for strong and sturdy plastic that will remain in shape for years.
Number of chickens
The number of chickens you have will affect the size of the waterer you should be buying.
So, for a large flock of chickens, you might want to go for a waterer with large capacity. This will decrease the number of waterers and also the refilling counts.
Your buying decision is also likely to be affected by the position of the waterer you want it to be in.
If you are going to place it on the ground, open waterer or gravity waterer is what you should be buying.
If you are hanging the waterer, then automatic waterer is the best option. Some gravity drinkers have options to hang them also.
Almost all heated waterers are thermostatically controlled. This feature helps to turn off the heater when the temperature is high. So, you don’t need separate waterers for winter and summer.
Taking care of heated chicken waterer
Do you think you need to clean the waterer? It might seem that cleaning a waterer is unnecessary. You can just dump the water and fill it up with new water.
But the reality is dirt, dung, algae and even rust can form a thin film inside the water tray. This will contaminate the water and also make it taste less appealing to the chickens.
You just need to wash it only once a week. The process is super easy and inexpensive.
What you will need are vinegar, water, and a scrubber. Baking soda will do just fine. If you can, you should use Apple cider vinegar that will leave better tasting water for the chickens.
Here’s how you clean the waterer:
- Dump all the water in the drinker
- Pour some vinegar and let the unit sit for a few minutes. You can also sprinkle baking soda alternatively.
- Scrub it up nicely
- Rinse and repeat if you need to
Heated Chicken Waterer FAQ
Q. Can chickens drink dirty water?
Chickens hate dirt water. They will probably drink it when they are thirsty but will not get enough for hydration.
Q. Which system of watering is better for chickens?
The best system of watering is the automatic waterers. These types of waterers save water and also time for refilling, again and again, every day.
Q. How many chicken drinkers should I buy?
As a general rule of thumb, you should buy 1 drinker for every 10-15 chickens. This will give equal chances for all the birds to stay hydrated.