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TonyMan

12 Posts


Posted - Dec 02 2015 :  10:42:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey Fellow Cow Lovers,

How do you keep water for your sweet and loving animals, especially our cows?
Here in Northern Idaho, we have had 5-6 days of the temps not getting above freezing. After getting off a 8-9 hr work shift, I have had to hammer chip the ice so that the cows and bull could drink. Even with heated water in the metal trough, it still manages to freeze over solid a good 2"-2.5". The barbar A waterers are looking more like gold these days and high on next years farm goals. Are there any short term quick fixes to keep water thawed in the cold winter months?
To get through winter this year any thoughts or suggestions on ice free water quickies would be greatly appreciated.


Blessings

TonyMan

Proud owner of one Jersey Bull, Sir Anthony, nickname Tony. Happiest owner of Flossie, my Jersey cow.


Smart Farmer Pledge:
“Each Day, I will consider new ways to generate income- even if it is a dime or a dollar-without spending a cent.” Forrest Pritchard

maryjane

7001 Posts


Posted - Dec 03 2015 :  12:21:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When it got so cold, I had a couple of animals in areas where I didn't have a BarBarA so I had to keep on top of frozen water, especially for cows in production. If a cow giving milk can't get water when she wants it, her milk production will be affected.

Rather than use the big galvanized water troughs, I use 10 gallon plastic tubs that I switch out every few hours. When one starts to freeze, I dump what water is in it and bring it in to thaw and then give a new bucket full of fresh water.

To fill my buckets, I run a hose from a frost-free that I unhook after and either drain by walking down a hill until the next time I need it or coil it up and bring it inside.

Outside my milking parlor, my hose was freezing within ten minutes, so I used it to clean my cow's hooves, then I coiled it and brought it inside until I cleaned the next cow. Definitely, a cold snap creates more work!!! Hang in there. Someday you will have a BarBarA.

I should add that the reason I couldn't just plug in a submersible tank heater is that I have a limited amount of electricity on that side of my farm (next summer's project). Even if I ran extension cords to tank (cords not recommended), I'd be tripping my breaker box.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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Ron

4666 Posts
Ronnie
Peever SD
USA

Posted - Dec 03 2015 :  05:07:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some of the range water barrels use a small propane gas flame under the tank..more expensive to run than power but works good...

I use the MJ method here...small pans changed out often...when I'm gone I hire a neighbor to do it...price I pay for having cows..

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.
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TonyMan

12 Posts


Posted - Dec 03 2015 :  06:39:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Ron and MaryJane. I really appreciate it.
Blessings
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Dec 03 2015 :  08:21:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Any particular brand of submergible water de-icers that any one would recommend? We've also had some electric water de-icers but they just can't keep up with the freezing water.

I'll be trying to get more and check on the cows' water as well ... coming home for lunch, TonyMan?

And, spring is HOW far away? Ron ... don't answer that one! :-) Just kidding 'cause I know your response "Winter's coming".

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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NellieBelle

11132 Posts


Posted - Dec 03 2015 :  08:50:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
www.ranchtanks.com solar operated livestock tanks. Just a thought.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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NellieBelle

11132 Posts


Posted - Dec 03 2015 :  09:01:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Or perhaps a Solar DC Circulation Pump Topsflo used with solar panel to keep water from freezing. Found on Amazon.com. Or you could make your own solar tank. Some sites show how it can be done.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Dec 03 2015 :  09:01:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Solar operated livestock tanks ... TonyMan, do we have enough sunlight to operate one of these things? Great idea as I love the idea of no electricity, no cords, etc.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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Sydney2015

1156 Posts


Posted - Dec 03 2015 :  09:11:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We use automatic waterers. We have a BarBarA for our horses, here in MN in freezes just about every year, this year we finally built a little roof over it so hopefully it won't freeze this year. For my cow, we have a ten gallon tub, we just make sure there is a lot of water for her.

A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing - Laura Ingalls Wilder

I live on a small farm of seventy acres called Green Forest Farm, with 10 horses, a donkey, 5 beef cows, 2 beef heifers, 3 Hereford heifers, around 60 chickens, 8 dogs, my amazing cow, AppleButter, and her little Jersey calf HoneyButter!
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Dec 03 2015 :  09:47:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sydney, BarBarA waterers are on our list, but just haven't had the finances yet to purchase and install those waterers. It will happen in time ... just doing a bit at a time and it makes one super thankful for every step of progress!

Janet, thank you for your suggestions.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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farmlife

1413 Posts


Posted - Dec 04 2015 :  07:15:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We have a 300 gallon tank with a heater in it. Last year we had some issues that we had to resolve with the heater etc. Our GFI outlet kept tripping, so over the summer my husband put in a new outlet and relocated it to the side of the pole complete with an enclosed cover. The cows can't get to it now and it doesn't get wet. Plus now that it is on the side of the pole instead of the front the tank can butt up against the pole and the cows have less room to mess in between the back of the tank and the fence. Elli was famous for causing issues with moving the heater and playing with the cord, so Jeremy also rigged up a piece of plywood that covers the back part of the tank and limits access to the heater and cord. So far this year it has been good. We just have one submersible heater with a wire guard on it for the 300 gallon tank and our water is totally thawed, so I would start by checking your heater. We went through a few very quickly. If you plug it in inside and it won't melt an ice cube it's not working.

The solar tank might work well for us in Elli's pen though. We had been keeping Elli in overnight after milking, with access to her own water tank and separate feed. When it got really cold, we had to open the gate to let her out overnight so she could have access to water because we couldn't keep up with the ice. It's a smaller metal tank and it froze hard very quickly.
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