The horizontal watering nipples are a must for overwintering hens in Minnesota. Get a pail and install these nipples, then run the heater into the pail and put the lid on. Winter watering is a snap. On the coldest days, -35F plus -65F with the windchill, this method survived and the water was available to the hens. The bucket is still useful for summertime too, just without the heater.
Pro tip: Never buy a metal Double Wall Waterer
All Season Feeding:
You’ll want a system that works for you. I have tried many. I hate filling feeders all the time, and egg layers need unlimited access to feed, so find one that holds at least 40lbs, the weight of a bag of chicken feed.
I’ve used these… the 40# feeder is for adults, the rest are for chicks.
Little Giant Galvanized Mason Jar Base – this is for providing water for chicks only for the first several days of their lives, at the same time as offering them the nipples on the bucket.
Premier 1 Heat Lamp – you’ll need a heat lamp for the chicks, and for the hens come winter. This model is the best available on the market today. I have several for my chickens and goats and piglets. I recommend two right away, as you’ll have one always on with a heat lamp, and the other on only during the day for artificial light, should you choose to encourage egg laying year round.