Low (no?) tech winter watering

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by frazzlehead, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    I was hoping to find something different in the other thread on winter watering ... but rather than drift that thread I thought I'd start one with my own questions.

    This is my first winter watering animals (well, last year we watered the bunny - we kept one water bottle inside and when the one outside froze, we swapped it for the thawed one from in the house).

    Now I have a few sheep, who need more water than a bunny. :) I will have to carry water from house to pen, because I haven't got any power or running water where the animals are (I have a garden hose, but that'll freeze and burst in no time flat, so I'll have to just use the faucet).

    I am considering some ideas I read about ... putting an old tire down (up off the ground would be best I am thinking), filling the rim with rocks, shoving a black rubber bucket in it and putting water in that (the sun warms the tire, rocks hold the heat, and all that helps keep it all a little warmer and not freeze up quite so fast) ... then I also thought, if I'm running the wood stove in the house at night, maybe put a couple of rocks on top of it to heat during the night and in the morning drop them in the water bucket along with the warm (fresh) water brought from the house, to add some warmth and keep it all liquid a bit longer.

    I've heard floating a stick/log in the water helps keep the surface from freezing ...

    Anybody got any other low (no) tech ideas for watering animals in winter? (and I mean real winter ... note where I live ;))
     
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Getting the water bucket out of the wind helps a lot. If you can't put in inside out of the wind, build a little three sided box around it. I wouldn't use the rocks. When they get frozen down to your winter temp at night, they will never get thawed out all day. How long will it take your flock to drink the rubber bucket dry? If you refill it with warm water during the day and dump it before dark it should stay open for them. Setting it down in an insulated box with a wind break should work.
     

  3. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I use a five gallon bucket. In the morning, I fill it 3/4 or more full with warm tap water. Some of them will drink this warm water. The others will come back and drink when the temperature is to their liking. It freezes up more slowly if you use warm water, and those that prefer warmer water will drink more. Some of my sheep drink the water, and some of them will only drink the water if there is no snow. They will stand right beside the water buck and eat snow. Those that prefer water will eat snow if they get thirsty and either they don't want to walk back to the water bucket, or the water has frozen. You don't really need to keep the water bucket full because those who are thirsty will make sure they get a drink before the water starts to freeze.

    You can buy a heater, but your water has to be within a few feet of an outlet.
     
  4. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    I would be worried about putting rocks in a wood stove. There might be moisture in them that might explode when heated. Ive heard about that happening. Ive never seen it happen, but I would be carefull.

    What I do about watering in the winter is I carry 5 gallon buckets to the animals twice a day, and let them drink all they want twice a day. I dont keep water in front of them all day that can freeze in the winter.

    I just thought about this. Native americans would take the coals from their fire, and wrap them in buffalo hide that was lined with dirt when they moved from place to place. I wonder if you couldnt take a small pile of coals from your wood stove, place them in a shallow hole, put some dirt over them, and set a steel watering bucket on that.
     
  5. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Animals can go without water all night without any problems. If you dump any water in the buckets in the evening, you won't have to thaw them out in the morning. Using warm water makes much sense.
     
  6. mandyh

    mandyh Well-Known Member

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    You can check out jeffersequine.com. I think they have electric heated water buckets and tubs.
     
  7. popscott

    popscott Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My buddy had a 5 gallon bucket buried up to the rim in his dog lot. I thought it was to keep it from tipping over, but he claims its less likely to freeze when its buried like that. But as I'm thinking a baby goat (I've got pygmys) could topple into it and drown, maybe? They'd also probably kick in dirt during use? Just a passing thought.

    Thanks,
    Scott
    http://www.justkiddinfarm.com/