Do you ever wish you didn’t have to deal with frozen livestock water pans? When the weather gets cold, homestead chores take longer and it’s great to find ways to make life easier. Ron Cook, one of our contributing authors, tells us about his experiment in making a water pan warmer for his chickens. He wrote this just as one of the coldest spells in over a decade hit Oklahoma, so his experiment was truly “trialed by ice!”
“Sometimes one wonders “Why didn’t I do this before?”
“After all the years of hand-carrying water to the chickens, I finally built a cinder block water warmer today. I had an old chick starting heat-lamp hanging out in the barn. There was a ceramic light socket already inside there. All I had to do was take the aluminum shade and the bail off of it and place the ceramic socket down inside the webbing of a cinder block.”
” I swiped a concrete paver from my summertime charcoal grilling spot, to place over the opening in the cinder block and I was in business!”
“What took me all these years to finally do that?”
“I suppose it may have been the fact that it has a while since it got cold enough around here to freeze my water buckets all the way to the bottom. Or maybe, I was just too lazy to go look for parts to build a water pan de-icer? Now, I just place a shallow pan full of water on top of the concrete patio paver. The 60 watt incandescent light bulb does its magic!” [As temps dropped well below zero Ron changed the bulb to a 200 watt, since he couldn’t find a 100 watt bulb, which he suspected would have done the job. Be sure to use an old incandescent bulb, not an LED, as more modern lights don’t produce much heat.] The 200 watt bulb performed beautifully.
Ron’s chicken water warmer worked to Below -15 F!
“I used a 12″ inch paver instead on an 8″ inch paver. That’s all I had, but it also provides a wider platform to set a watering pan on top of. Maybe, the chickens won’t knock it off now? We’ll see.”
This water pan warmer works great for poultry water heater but would also work great for a number of smaller animals, including cats and dogs.