Have you every thought about watering animals in sub zero temperatures? Most people don’t. Unless, of course you live where winter is 5 months out of the year. Here’s how we do it.
We are below freezing everyday now so summer water troughs freeze solid. You can get floating and submersible water heaters and we do use one. I think that is the usual solution for most farm people here. We took it a step further and hubby built an insulated water trough out of a plastic storage bin. Last winter, with just one calf drinking from it, we kept it full by carrying 2 five gallon pails of water every few days. This winter, that one calf is a yearling and we have a milk cow. Milk cows drink a lot of water! The trough is emptied daily by these two. How to keep the trough full? (not hauling 2 five gallon pails 3 times a day!) Hubby built a sled for it so we can slide it to the barn, fill it up and slide it back. This we do everyday. A lot of work but a solution until we come up with something better.
We had a really cold night already this week. It dipped to -30C (-22F). Inside the barn kept quite warm but during the day while Happy was outside, it cooled down to the point that there was ice on the water bowls and the lines were frozen. Now, the decision is made, do we drain the waterlines and haul buckets of water to the cows? Or do we install a heater and keep the barn warm? Already filling the outside water trough daily, you can guess which option we chose.
I already have a heater in the chicken part of the barn to keep the waterline from freezing. We opened the door between the two areas to help keep them both warm. Not too warm, just warm enough. We blocked the doorway so the chickens and ducks stay where they belong but air can flow.
How do you water your animals when it’s freezing out?