Water in the winter

Discussion in 'Goats' started by tduerson, Dec 15, 2004.

  1. tduerson

    tduerson Well-Known Member

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    This is my 1st winter with goats. I hav a good barn for shelter plenty of hay on the ground for bedding and for them to eat as well as their grain. I only have 2 pygmys and 1 boer and I use a 5 gallon bucket for their water. I am trying to find a way to keep the water from freezing solid. I know I can by one of those heater things to put in their but I do not have any electric in the barn and it is to far to use a extention cord. I take hot water down there 2-3 times a day, but it is so cold right now that every time I go down there it is frozen again. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
     
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Last year I swapped buckets three times a day. It gets COLD up here. I used smaller buckets, too - the 2 1/2 gallon ones. Take the frozen one inside to thaw and replace it with a warm-water one. With only two does, a ewe and her two little lambs, that worked. THIS year there was no way it was going to work for me...six sheep, a holstein calf, and four goats... We installed a double-sided automatic waterer and ran and underground electric line to the shed where we had to re-wire everything to *get* electric to the built-in heater.

    But the only thing I can think of for you this year (assuming you'd rather not install a $1000+ automatic waterer) is to do the swap several times a day. Or find a really really good outdoor extension cord and make sure you don't hit it with the tractor or snow blower when it gets buried with the snow... :no:

    -Sarah
    (not much help, am I? :rolleyes: )
     

  3. susanne

    susanne Nubian dairy goat breeder

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    you could put the bucket in a styrophorm block. depends on how big your barn is you could insulate the walls with hay or straw. bring the ceiling down and put some insulation on top. than maybe your goats can prevent the freezing with their body temperature. don't make it too airtight though :)
    to use a bigger bucket would help a little too. 2 1/2 and 5 gallon are frozen faster than 10 gallon. still ice on the top but not solid.
    susanne
     
  4. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    If it is only goats, and no milkers in the lot, you can just provide them with a good drink of warm water once a day and they'll be fine. Goats and sheep can actually go without water for up to three days and do fine (I don't recommend you go three days with milkers, though, and don't do it with non-milkers if you can help it). Before anyone flames me for suggesting this, remember that these animals originated in desert mountain regions, and in the wild would never have had water available to them all the time. They would have gone to water maybe once a day, and done fine that way.

    I take *hot* water down to my animals in the morning in five gallon jerry cans, and by evening it may be starting to freeze around the edges, depending on outside temperatures. It's been down to around five degrees at night here so far, so not really all that cold. But even in really cold weather, hot water will stay open long enough for all of them to get a good drink. I use the black rubber buckets, as you can bash ice out of them without breaking the buckets. Now, if you have other animals, such as cattle, poultry, horses, and so on, you should probably take water to them again in the evening if the day water has frozen. But none of the animals really need to have water in front of them all the time, except for waterfowl. And even they don't need water at night, because they are asleep then. Our farmer ancestors used to take the animals all out to water twice a day, rather than bringing water to the animals, and that is another practical alternative.

    Kathleen
     
  5. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have the same problem....I mound the sides of bucket with scattered hay, take hot water morning and night, add a little tablespoon of molasses to each gal of water to train them to drink while its warm. My goats steal the styrofoam and lay on it (so would I) but we have managed this way for 6 years so I guess it works. It was 7 degrees this morning
     
  6. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree with the previous post. I only water everything once a day & I have never lost any yet. Even in the coldest of weather.
     
  7. Honeybee

    Honeybee Well-Known Member

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    Although we still have some buckets we're trying to switch to the black soft rubber variety to avoid splitting and cracking when it freezes.

    As for the watering, this sounds like more work than it is. It's really quite easy. We save and fill plastic milk jugs, fill them with HOT tap water, put the lid on and load up a sled. I just don't have the strength in my arms that I used to so dragging out big buckets I avoid unless my son is here to help me. If my younger teens are watering they like the smaller containers too but will also use some 2 gallong buckets we have that also have lids. We drag it out to the barn and pour the hot water on what ever water might be left and frozen from the day before.

    It melts the ice, depending on how much ice was in the bucket the water is usually a little warm when we're done. It's a drinkable temp and takes longer to freeze back up. It also helps you get any frozen cooties out if you need to rinse a bucket ;)

    It's not perfect but so far it's working pretty well for us.
     
  8. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

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    I use honeybees technique too. but I use a large coffee pot (20 cup size) to boil the water a carry it.
     
  9. elly_may

    elly_may Well-Known Member

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    I think we just need to get rid of the cold weather !!!

    I have no need for the snow and ice - haven't since I was about 8 years old. Back then, we looked forward to it to not have to go to school. Now that I'm 48, have to drive to work and all that responsibility stuff . . . I don't care if old man winter takes a hike and never comes back !!! :D And it's not even winter yet according to the calendar, ugh.

    I cart warm water like everyone else, twice a day in their stalls and three times in the main yard.

    Those black rubber buckets are great, they take quite a beating so you are not replacing them all the time like the plastic ones. I keep the plastic ones for the summer.
     
  10. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

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    I take hot water out to the girls twice a day, and pour it into buckets that plug in, so they are nevr with out waterm, and they drink it down fast.
     
  11. JAS

    JAS Well-Known Member

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    Same as honeybee. Use the black rubber buckets! One thing I do is not to fill them all the way, that way if the goats don't drink I can still put hot water in or break up the bucket easier than trying to break five gallons of ice.
     
  12. tduerson

    tduerson Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, everyone! There is some great ideals that has been posted. I am going to try the out and find the best one for me.
    Thanks Again
    Tina
     
  13. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am so spoiled now, we FINALLY have electricity in the barns this year. :) I was the queen of the extension cord for a long time!

    My buck barn isn't finished yet, so they are still in their outside pens with little sheds. I too, use those soft black rubber buckets. I love those things! We just give them hot water morning and night. On bad days it will freeze up in the middle of the day, but the bucks are usually in their sheds then anyhow.

    I still have one extension cord running out to the pasture that the young does are still out in. I don't move them to the barn until I absolutely HAVE to. I think this is probably the longest they have ever been out there.

    I use those heated 5 gallon buckets for the milkers and the pasture. The Anatolians slobber in the water and then the goats don't want to drink it, so the smaller size is more manageable. I may buy one of the 16 gallon size ones when they all freshen and are in the barn.

    But back to the subject, I don't think you have much choice but to just haul out water a once or twice a day if you don't have power and don't have the big $$ to put in one of those Miracle fount type waterers.

    Tracy
     
  14. MoBarger

    MoBarger Goat's Milk soap for sale

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    Another vote for black rubber buckets here.
    And you know, nothing warms you up quicker than hauling those 5 gal buckets of water :D
     
  15. havenberryfarm

    havenberryfarm Well-Known Member

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    Another trick is to get the goats to drink the water right away, before it freezes. I add kool-aide, molasses, or nutri-drench to the hot water and you should see my girls come running for it! They usually drink most of it immediately because they think I am bringing them a treat. I have a pregnant doe so it is important for her to get enough to drink. dehydration can be serious in a pregnant animal. I don't give them a ton of sugar, tho. I try to dilute the kool-aid by half. They drink it fine. They don't like the molasses or the nutri-drench as much as the kool-aide, but I mix it up and only give kool-aide once a day. They get molasses, nutri-drench or plain water rest of the day.
     
  16. havenberryfarm

    havenberryfarm Well-Known Member

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    Another good thing is that my dogs hate the sweetened water and drink out of their own bowls. NO dog slobber !!!

    I love those big rubber bowls too. :D
     
  17. deetu

    deetu Well-Known Member

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    I've burned out so many heaters from using extention cords that my husband and I finally put an outlet near the out pens. I now have two heaters and a heated bucket there and life is sweet!

    Someone I know extended their pastures close to the house so their cattle have to come in to get water. Not sure goats would be thrilled doing that but it would get those preggers excercising. Humm, is shoveling paths to the water easier then dragging down water? Hey, you know it's really cold when you spill a bucket on you leg and you don't feel it because it froze before it could soak through.
     
  18. Stacy Adams

    Stacy Adams Well-Known Member

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    No such luck.. my LGD thinks he is one of them, and if the water's good enough for them, then it's good enough for him.. :no: I"ve even seen him take hay out of their mouths an chew on it.. of course he has a look on his face like "It has no flavor! why do you eat this??" lol

    and Deetu, where are you located??
     
  19. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

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    my girls have buckets that plug in , in each goat house. and they drink warm orange kool aid , all winter long. are the yspoiled? yupp they are , but I carry the wamr kool aid to their buckets.