How do I keep my chicken's watering system from freezing?
Hi! I just found this site and can imagine I will be spending a lot of time here! What brought me here today is a concern from last winter. I raise chickens and developed a winter watering system that ALMOST works... It involves 80' of PVC piping that is circulated with an aquarium pump and was heated with a bucket heater. The water is stored in a Coleman Cooler. The birds access the water using 10 "Chicken Nipples" (http://www.avianaquamiser.com/chickennipple/) and here in lies the problem. Even though the system flows in cold weather, the small amount of water in the nipple tends to freeze. I imagine I could heat the system more, but I would rather have the heat directly on the nipples to keep them warm. I could use a light bulb on each but I would rather be more efficient. I am hoping for a way to heat a bracket or coil around each one and have it turn on periodically as needed (maybe using a timer and a ThermoCube). All the heat coils I find tend to produce too much heat and I am afraid of melting the plastic around each of the nipples. I have spent countless hours at Home Depot, Radio Shack and electric supply stores trying to solve this. Any help is greatly appreciated! ---Regards Alexander