Author Topic: Chicken water cup heater  (Read 344 times)

John W Blehm

  • Administrator
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1576
    • Fowl Stuff
Chicken water cup heater
« on: January 15, 2018, 06:39:28 PM »
I bought some 12 volt, 10 watt submersible heating pads/elements to place in the pint size hanging water cups, inside my chicken barn.  I wired them into 14 gauge stranded 2 connector wire that gets power from a 12 volt battery charger.  The charger is plugged into a thermostat that kicks on at 35 degrees and off at 45.  I've got a dozen hooked up for the test run tonight.  I could feel the heat when I touched the heating pads with my fingers.  I believe it will be enough to keep the water from freezing unless there is extreme cold.
After many internet searches I couldn't find a purchasable heater for something like this...small water cups for chickens.

Some items purchased online for this project...
> Waterproof Silicone Flexible Heating Pad 60*60MM DC 12V 10W
> King Electric IFC12 Ice Free Cube Plug in Fixed Thermostat 120 Volt 15 Amp, 35 45 Degrees, White
> 14 gauge Red / Black 2 Conductor stranded wire
> T-Tap Wire Terminals Blue: AWG:18-14; with Male Spade Connectors

olimoo17

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 3
Re: Chicken water cup heater
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2018, 09:41:15 PM »
I'll be interested to follow this thread and your trials for those heaters!  Nice indoor set up!

John W Blehm

  • Administrator
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1576
    • Fowl Stuff
Re: Chicken water cup heater
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2018, 08:06:00 PM »
10 out of 12 worked great!  The two heater pads that were in cups of frozen water were either defective or my wire connectors weren't making contact.  I replace the two pads and they felt warm, so I believe they are all working now.  I also wired up a dozen more for another rack of individual bantam coops.
It was really neat to have water in the cups rather than ice this morning.  ;)
This isn't just to make life easier on me.  In believe the birds will put out the most hatching eggs with water always available (free choice). 
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 12:59:33 PM by John W Blehm »

John W Blehm

  • Administrator
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1576
    • Fowl Stuff
Re: Chicken water cup heater
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2018, 01:35:02 PM »
My battery charger is about 40 years old and I've used it as a 12v DC power supply several times over the decades.  The newer ones won't work though, without a battery between the charger and heat pads since the new chargers at "too smart" and don't put out juice unless they detect a battery that needs charging is hooked up to them.  Putting a battery in the mix would power the heat pads continually, since it would be hooked in after the 110v thermostat.
Since I have about 40 or more of these 10 watt heat pads to power up my old battery charger isn't enough for the job.  I ordered a DC 12v 16.5a power supply, online, that will handle up to 200 watts and hooked it up to 15 10watt heat pads in water cups yesterday.  It seems to be working fine and I'll order a couple more to complete the project.  Due to all the poultry dust in my chicken barn I'll try to cover the power supply to keep the dust out and since it should only operate when the temp is 45 degrees or cooler it shouldn't overheat...I hope.  ;)
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 01:42:03 PM by John W Blehm »

Beth Curran

  • Administrator
  • College
  • *****
  • Posts: 439
Re: Chicken water cup heater
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2018, 11:15:28 AM »
Very cool! I could have used these a couple of weeks ago!
Beth Curran

John W Blehm

  • Administrator
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1576
    • Fowl Stuff
Re: Chicken water cup heater
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2018, 06:19:57 PM »
When I looked for more power supplies I found a bigger model (more amps) for less money.  It also has a cooling fan.
I bought clear plastic shoe boxes to put the power supplies in.  I cut holes in the bottoms of the boxes to bring the wires out and to allow air flow with a minimum of dust.
I also used scrap pieces or plastic as terminal blocks to make wire connections.

John W Blehm

  • Administrator
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1576
    • Fowl Stuff
Re: Chicken water cup heater
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2018, 01:16:27 PM »
I've switched to thermostats that come on at 20 degrees and off at 30 degrees to save on electricity.  We are having a warm spell here right now, so I'm not sure how well these will work but I'm assuming the water wouldn't have much more than a thin layer of ice on it before these kick on and warm it up again.

I ordered these thru Foy's Pet Supplies.
2188 Thermo Cube 20-30 Degrees

Suki Paolini

  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 726
Re: Chicken water cup heater
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2018, 02:52:52 PM »
  The two heater pads that were in cups of frozen water were either defective or my wire connectors weren't making contact.  I replace the two pads and they felt warm, so I believe they are all working now.
 In believe the birds will put out the most hatching eggs with water always available (free choice). 

I agree with the free choice of water makes a difference.  As for the picture of the pads what is their size?Thanks

John W Blehm

  • Administrator
  • Ameraucana Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1576
    • Fowl Stuff
Re: Chicken water cup heater
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2018, 04:17:41 PM »
I agree with the free choice of water makes a difference.  As for the picture of the pads what is their size?Thanks

Almost 2 3/8" square.