Rural King was the place to shop this year for our winterizing water supplies. Here is a list of supplies that we obtained for our animals. If you click on the picture, it will take you to Rural King’s website for more information on the products. So far the heated buckets have worked perfectly with dipping temps in the lower 20’s.
The ducks and geese got a new 2 gallon heated water bucket and a 2 gallon black rubber shallow dish. The heated bucket holds over 2 gallons and is the perfect size for the geese and my larger ducks to get their whole heads in for a dip, which is important for their daily grooming needs. My thoughts behind the black rubber bowl is that it may catch some of the energy from the sun and keep the water liquid in the day time. The bowl does get ice in it at night but its easy to force out of the pliable sides and bottom and refill in the morning. We will see to what daytime temperature it is still successful in keeping the water liquid.
For the mule we purchased a 5 gallon heated bucket the actually holds more like 6 gallons. You can feel the warmth near the bottom of the outside of the bucket. The picture shows it in blue but the store only had green available which was perfectly fine for us. We chose not to hang it in her stall and placed it on the floor instead. Her other larger unheated bucket is also still accessible to her for now.
For the dog and cat to share on those icey days and nights, we got the heated pet bowl. It actually holds closer to 2 full gallons of water.
The one purchase that I was very unhappy with is the heated base that I bought to go under the metal poultry fount in the chicken house. The second night after it was installed, the water froze solid in the bottom tray. It should have been good to about 10 degrees but the temp was only in the 20’s. I had to come up with another solution given that it is only November and we have colder temps coming. My solution was to hang two heat lamps in the chicken house near the metal water fount. One has a white 125 watt heat lamp and the other a red 250 watt heat lamp. My theory is: during the day I plan to use white light in the hen house to give them extra light and warmth and in return keep the water thawed and hopefully get extra eggs to boot. At night around 8 or 9 pm, I will switch over to the red light so they have a more soothing light for sleep. With colder night time temps, the higher wattage will help keep the water thawed. We will see how this plays out. Last night was the first night with this set up and so far so good.
The heated buckets have performed amazingly even with below normal subzero weather here in Ohio. Our setup with the heat lamps and metal water fount in the chicken house did not fair as well. We removed the frozen metal fount and placed a 2 gallon black rubber water bowl under two 250 watt infrared heat lamps. This setup proved most successful even in -10 degree weather! The black rubber must have radiated the heat from the heat lamps efficiently enough to keep the water thawed. The heat from the heat lamps also took a little chill out of the coop and helped to protect frostbite susceptible combs and wattles. Thankfully, we experienced very minor issues with frost bite throughout the cold snap.