Keeping chicken drinking water from freezing (12 volt)

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Keeping chicken drinking water from freezing (12 volt)

Post by Stovepipe » Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:37 am

Does anyone have suggestions for keeping chickens' drinking water from freezing during winter? I've seen some 120v warmers but I really don't want to run romex out to the coop I'm planning to build (I'm not off grid, just experimenting in suburbia for now). I have access to a couple of solar panels that I'd like to rig up with a deep cycle battery. Do you think I'd be able to provide enough current to some sort of heating element to keep a water dish from freezing with a 12 volt setup?

I'm in Tennessee so we usually only have a handful of days in winter where the temperatures are extreme. But still, I'd like to rig something like this up. In addition to the water warmer the battery would also potentially power an led light in the coop on a timer. Any insight would be appreciated, thanks!

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Re: Keeping chicken drinking water from freezing (12 volt)

Post by techman » Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:45 pm

I got a heated dog water dish from tractor supply last winter that uses 18 watts I think. It is 120 volts AC but my plans are to use a solar panel, battery and cheap power inverter. The dog dish cost me $20.

Last year I simply plugged it into the tiny house power as needed using a long extension cord.

I also got a black rubber water dish that holds a couple gallons of water. I plan to try putting black painted cement blocks around it with sand in between the walls of it and around the water dish. The blocks and sand should provide some thermal mass when the sun heats it up during the day.

For cloudy nights I will probably take apart my dog water dish and use the heating coil from that under the black rubber dish. Should be very efficient like that.

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