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well we have built all new fences and houses and even climbing areas trying to improove my goat pen and in essence improove the lives of my goats, i am looking for new ideas on watering methods, our previouse attempts with 5 gallon buckets resulted in poo in the water, they cant all reach their heads in the big trough i was given, kiddy pool was a bust (torn up by hooves and had to be dumped all the time after mud was trapsed through it) small buckets hooked on the fence kept getting head butted and dumped, i really need some new ideas, please, tell me what you are doing and maybe i can work from the ideas of others, or if you know of a sight with ideas or plans let me know because i havent been able to find much except those expenssive systems for big farms and plans for digging a big pond which wont work in this pen, any way, thanks for the help.
 

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Here's what we use. We dump it once a day for fresh water but otherwise don't really have a problem with droppings or mud in it. Everyone is able to use it, does, bucks, kids. It has a nice wide base so the goats can't knock it over. And I really like it for the winter, because if your water freezes, it's easy to knock out of the bucket, although ours never really froze solid, even during the last ice storm this spring.

http://tractorsupply.com/detail.asp?pcID=8&paID=1039&sonID=190&page=2&productID=25357
 

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I was thinking about the water situation on my farm tonight on the way home. It looks like you could build a sturdy wooden stand with short railings to hold a small bucket. That way it could be emptied and cleaned regularly unlike a big tank.

It could be built high enough so they couldn't back up to and dirty the water. A step could be provided so smaller animals could still reach it. If need be the legs could be sunk into the ground for added stability.
 

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I bought a 15 or 20 gallon galvanized wash tub at the feed store (cost $30). It is just small enough that I can dump it if I need to. But, I leave a hose trickling in it to keep it clean, and to keep mosquitoes from breeding. I do have to clean the algae off the sides occassionally, or scoop out bugs or wisps of hay, but much of the small stuff that blows in just flushes over the edge with the tiny flow of water. The goats have only gotten raisins in it one time, and can't pee in it, because I keep it outside of the pen. I have cattle panel fencing and they can put their heads through for water. I don't have the stock panels with the staggered hole sizes or that wouldn't work. I have a medium sized goat and a nigerian dwarf, and they can both reach it. If you have kids, you might not be able to use regular cattle panels, because smaller kids can pop through all kinds of small spaces. But I'm not breeding, so this works for me and is almost maintenance free and they always have a supply of fresh clean water. Even if they do poop in it, it is continually flowing water, so it doesn't get too nasty before I check on them every day.

If you don't have a cattle panel fence, perhaps you can build a walled off area inside the pen with a hole in it big enough to put heads through, and keep the water isolated?
 

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I see you're in Minnesota, so I can't help you with winter freezing problems. But we use one of those 19 gallon plastic utility sinks from Lowes or Home Depot with the legs removed, sitting on the ground.

It has a drain in the bottom so you don't have to turn the whole thing over to dump the water when you clean it. We got one of those plugs with rubber around the bottom for the drain hole. I think they're called wing nut test plugs.

We first just put it on a slope so when you let the water out it goes down the hill. Then we buried a drain pipe for it to empty into so the overflow goes far away from the trough.

We run a hose into it and drilled a small hole in the side at the top with a holesaw and in the winter we just let it trickle all the time so it rarely freezes over down here.

It's probably too big for little kids, and I don't know what you'd do for winter, because it would probably bust if it froze solid.
 

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This is all I do, adult goats don't use cinderblock and kids use cinderblock. As you can see the trough is elavated to prevent goat berries. Trough is also positioned under a barn roof to catch rainwater. The only problem with that is, we have only had four measurable rains in the past for months....depressing.

 

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drgnldy71 said:
Here's what we use. We dump it once a day for fresh water but otherwise don't really have a problem with droppings or mud in it. Everyone is able to use it, does, bucks, kids. It has a nice wide base so the goats can't knock it over. And I really like it for the winter, because if your water freezes, it's easy to knock out of the bucket, although ours never really froze solid, even during the last ice storm this spring.

http://tractorsupply.com/detail.asp?pcID=8&paID=1039&sonID=190&page=2&productID=25357

I use the same bucket as you do and I use an automatic waterer to make sure they have water even when stepped on/in. Soon I am adding a water catch system to the goat house and using rain water to supply the goats with water. We are also going to be using rain water to water garden and allready use it to do laundry.
 

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I use the 3 1/2 gal. buckets available from your store's bakery. I snap it to the fence with double end snap. More goats, more buckets used. I refill a lot, so berries not a problem.
I also use the same method for the dog kennels.
 

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First I will tell you what you should use and then I will tell you what I really do use.
You should have your waterer on the outside of the fence with holes big enough for them to get their heads through and reach the water. Then you can have a low waterer that kids can also drink from. It can be buckets or a trough.
If your goats are de-horned a cattle panel that has the same size openings at the bottom as the top is ideal but you don't want those anywhere else as kids can just walk right through them. I know!

Now, I use buckets clipped to the fence because I have other livestock that drink from the same waterers. I have at least one clipped lower for the kids and yes, I have to empty it often to keep it clean.
They don't stay small for long though.
I can't use a trough in the pen as I have alpacas and they will swim in it.
I can't put it on the outside because they and the donkey couldn't use it.
If I made a hole big enough for the donkey to get her head through I would loose my whole goat herd through it.
That is only one of the drawbacks from letting all your critters run together but I like it that way. :)
 

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I also use the rubber utility tubs for water. I get the ones that are half the height for the winter time. You can not stomp a solid block of ice out of the 6.5 gal ones easily. I'm watering at -40 so I want to be fast. *L* I use one for each of the goats.

In the summer I just use the 6.5 gal one, but the berries and urine are a daily problem. I would like to do a setup like TN John using rain gutters. Great idea.
 

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Fleet Farm sells those really tough black rubberlike buckets. They are easy to get the ice out of in the winter or you can put a bucket heater in them.
 
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