Even though this made me feel like I was getting into the nitty gritty of being a chicken-mom. I decided this is not what I want to do every morning so, I splurged and bought a heated pan.
I really wanted to try a DIY heater, but my hubby advised against it.
The new set up is NICE. The water is actually warm.
HOWEVER now I'm dealing with high humidity in the coop. I bought a new thermometer/ humidity combo to measure the temps. I have not been able to get the levels down, but I'm experimenting. It reads from 70% to about 90%.
I've read that high humidity in the cold is what helps cause frostbite. My concern is Pearl's massive comb. I put petroleum jelly on it because I read that this helps prevent frostbite. All it seems to have done is make her extremely dirty and unhappy.
Anyway, here's a good link from Backyard Chickens on WINTER COOP TEMPERATURES
One more thing: I've noticed their laying schedule changed when this cold snap started. Ginger skipped a day and this morning I saw Pearl in the nest box before the sun was even out...