The temperature plummets. Your chicken’s water has frozen. Not good.
Keeping your flock hydrated and ensuring they have access to water has just become much more challenging.
But in the colder months of the year, regularly checking and changing the water is just not a practical solution.
And in some cases, not even that would be enough…. Even if it were possible.
Thankfully, there is a range of heated waterers on the market designed for this very situation.
Waterers that ensure that water is accessible regardless of how cold it gets. Waterers that ensure all of your flock are able to drink the water they need for optimal health.
But what are the best options exactly?
I spent some time researching the different brands and products; looking precisely at functionality, cost, ease of use and customer experiences.
Here are the top picks:
Best Heated Waterers For Chickens
Heated Chicken Waterer Details
Premier Heated Poultry Waterer
- KEEPS WATER UNFROZEN – 100 watt heating element is controlled by a built-in thermostat. Turns on when ambient temperature is below 40°F and off at 60°F. (Note: Water does not get hot, or even lukewarm.) The heating element keeps water from freezing so poultry have access to a source of unfrozen water.
- QUICK-FILL CAP – During extreme cold, the insulated lid may freeze to the basin. To ensure water can be added even during inclement weather, we've added a hinged cap to the lid which is just the right size for a hose or watering can. Refill without removing the lid!
- WATER STAYS CLEAN – Nipple drinkers are popular for good reason—water stays clean and fresh until consumed. Birds drink from (3) recessed nipples. Over time, dirt and debris may clog a nipple, causing it to slowly leak. (3) spare nipples are provided with the unit. (Read tips below for training birds new to nipple waterers.)
- SUITABLE FOR HANGING – Heavy-duty handle can be used for carrying and hanging. Tip: Place a rubber pan underneath a hanging waterer. Rubber doesn’t freeze (or crack!) when ice builds up, so the coop floor stays dry. It also helps to catch drips that hens or roosters might flick off the nipples and onto the bedding.
- 3-GALLON CAPACITY – Suitable for up to 35 adult chickens. Ducks can drink from this waterer, although we recommend having another source of water nearby so they can submerge their heads.
What we like about the Premier Heated Poultry Waterer
- Very durable, strong, and well-made.
- Keeps water liquid and flowing in temperatures as low as -20°Fahrenheit.
- Heavy-duty handle for carrying and hanging.
- Detachable cord for non-winter use,
- Drip-Catch Nipples make it easier for your birds to drink
- Hens reported to take to it, and drink from this product, very quickly.
What we do not like about the Premier Heated Poultry Waterer
- Most expensive option.
Farm Innovators Heated Poultry Drinker
- Year-Round Clean Water: Prevents water from freezing, even in subzero temperatures so your chicken can have clean water year-round
- Capacity of 2 Gallons: Chicken waterer features reservoir with a 2-gallon capacity so your farm friends can hydrate all day; Removable top allows for easy refilling
- Maximum Efficiency: Chicken water heater for winter is thermostatically controlled to operate only when necessary for maximum efficiency
- Accommodate 15 Chickens: Side-mounted drip-free and freeze-free nipples of the chicken water feeder can accommodate up to 15 chickens
- Durable Construction: Chicken water heater is constructed from durable plastic that can withstand harsh weather conditions; Dimensions are (L x W x H): 12 x 12 x 11 inches and weighs 3.25 pounds
What we like about the Farm Innovators Heated Poultry Drinker
- Simple and effective design; can be hung or placed on the floor.
What we do not like about the Farm Innovators Heated Poultry Drinker
- Spring compression mechanism cannot be compressed or nipples leak water
K&H Pet Products Thermo-Poultry Waterer
- Thermostatically controlled to keep ice free water for chicken all winter long
- Shape eliminates roosting
- Spill proof cap for zero water spillage when carrying and replacing onto base.Hand wash the base with mild detergent as needed. Rinse thoroughly
- Water filter ring easily removes debris from trough
- 2.5 gallon tank is easy to fill
What we like about the K&H Pet Products Thermo-Poultry Waterer
- The design prevents chickens from roosting on top,
- Lift out filter is easy to remove and easy to clean.
What we do not like about the K&H Pet Products Thermo-Poultry Waterer
- Mouth of the tank is small and challenging to remove
How Much Water Do Chickens Drink Per Day?
The average chicken will drink between 500ml to 1 liter, depending on the temperature and their diet.
In warmer weathers, chickens will naturally drink more (and will gravitate towards the 1 liter per day amount).
And free ranging chickens will drink different amounts of water depending on their activity. It depends on how much they forage, and how much water they intake naturally through these pursuits.
Sick chickens have also been known to drink much more, or nothing at all; the difference can be quite dramatic.
With all this in mind its essential that you have a constant, fresh supply of water available for your flock at all times.
And just remember the more birds in your flock, the more water (and waterers) you will need.
How Do Heated Chicken Waterers Work?
Heated chicken waterers are operated via electricity. When the internal thermometer registers that the water temperature drops below a certain threshold, the heated element will turn on and heat the water. This prevents any of the water from freezing.
A fully working and operational heated chicken waterer will only keep the water at a drinkable temperature. It will not, nor should not, ever heat the water to the point in where it cannot be drunk.
Electricity operated, it is therefore essential that you have access to a main power outlet or suitable alternative to power the waterer.
Benefits Of Heated Waterers For Chickens
There are two primary benefits of getting heated waterers for chickens; ensuring your birds have access to water at all times and reducing the need to routinely check and replace frozen water.
And any temperature under 32°F (0° Celsius) can result in water freezing.
It does not take much of a drop in temperature.
In fact, depending on where you live and your geographical location, you may spend numerous months of the year under snow.
And in such conditions – your flocks water will freeze. Especially over night.
Getting a heated waterer will prevent the water from freezing. Once the temperatures drop, it will kick in and keep the water liquid.
And this means less time replacing frozen water.
Of course, you will still need to monitor, check, and fill up the water. But a working heated waterer is going to require 1-2 visits per day – not 4, or 5 like can be the case without one!
The benefit of time.
And the reassurance your birds will be able to drink, whenever you are away.
How Many Heated Waterers Do Your Chickens Need?
How many heated waterers you need will depend primarily on how many chickens in your flock, and the water capacity (size) of the waterer itself.
Nevertheless, knowing that a chicken will consume between 0.5-1 liters of water per day, it is safe to assume that a flock of chickens will need:
|Waterer Capacity (Gallons)
Just remember, its always good to allow some leeway.
Consider that chickens have a natural pecking order, so you need to ensure that those at the bottom of the social hierarchy get enough to drink too.
And for this very reason, it is generally better to provide more than you may think you need.
Its all about easy access.
Particularly for vulnerable birds.
That goes for feeders too.
Where To Put Heated Waterers
Due to the fact that the waterer is powered by electricity, you need to ensure that they are placed undercover and in a completely dry area. At the same time, they are going to need to be at a relative distance to a power source to power them.
Inside the coop is generally best, so long as there is enough room to do so.
Heated waterers are not just of benefit to your flock. They are in many ways for you, the keeper, as well.
Besides, water is just as essential to the health of your birds as it is a high-quality feed.
And chickens consume a deceivingly high amount of water each day.
For you, time is of the essence.
And there are plenty of others things that you need to do to care for your chickens.
Why not take some of the pressure off?
But when it comes to the best-heated waterer on the market, there is really only one option.
The Premier Heated Poultry Waterer comes out on top. Just look at the product listing over at Amazon and the reviews. You’ll soon see for yourself! ????
Looking for other products for keeping chickens? My following guides could be of help:
- Best Chicken Feeder To Prevent Rats
- Best Chicken Run Flooring
- Best Calcium Supplement For Chickens
- Best Layer Feed For Chickens
- Best Bedding For Chicken Nesting Boxes
- Best Nest Boxes For Chickens
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.