Winter water for stock

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by flannelberry, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. flannelberry

    flannelberry Pure mischief

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    Hi everyone

    I was curious to know what you do for winter water? We have lots of snow and freezing temps - and ducks. So, preferably we need some sort of trough system that will work for the sheep and the ducks....

    Any thoughts? Any photos?

    From ds:
    :Bawling: :hobbyhors :help: :flame:
     
  2. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I haul two buckets of warm water to the sheep and donkeys every morning in the winter. The thirsty ones drink from the bucket. By the time the top of the water freezes, they've had their drink. They will eat snow, and some of my sheep prefer snow to fresh water. Ducks get their water in a shallow dish. They will wash their faces in the snow once the water freezes.
     

  3. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    I pack water, too. No ducks here, so I don't have to worry about them floating about in the sheep water.
     
  4. flannelberry

    flannelberry Pure mischief

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    Well, although that doesn't give me much to work with it certainly helps me feel like at least I'm not alone in lugging buckets out to the flock!!! My MIL has a great watering system for the horses - and we have started one here which should simplify things. I bought a floating heater that's plastic safe and put it in one of the really heavy duty big Rubbermaids. It's tall enough that the ducks can't get in (well, they could if they really put their minds to it but they haven't - thank goodness).

    It's a start! I'd love to have something a little more automated for when other people have to watch them for us. It doesn't happen often but...

    Thanks you guys!
     
  5. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    I lugged buckets my first year. Ugh! Now, I move all the stock to the pasture closest to the pumphouse. Since I have a heat lamp in there, I keep a hose rolled up in there, too. I unroll the hose, fill the water tubs, roll the hose up and put it away. The hose is long and heavy, but not as heavy as the water...and it's Dry...and I'm dry when I'm done, not wet and frozen! I do leave the nozzle open to roll it up, so the water in it can drain out, and that lightens the load!

    Of course, I'm in NC, where it doesn't usually freeze in the middle of the day. Once I've watered for the day, it's good until the next day.

    Meg
     
  6. GrannyCarol

    GrannyCarol Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't have sheep (yet), but I do have ducks. They have a 3 gal metal bucket that is wide and rather low (but it seems small enough they don't jump into it generally). I have a bucket de-icer hooked up to it. We have a freeze proof faucet and a short hose that will de-ice quickly in decent weather. In really cold weather, I'll be carrying warm water to fill their bucket with. Fortunately it's not very far.

    That's one reason to hold off on sheep right now - I don't have a good water delivery system for where I intend to keep them and I don't want to haul water for larger animals. We have cold, but rarely snow. My back isn't too great and hauling water is something I am very careful with. I take two or three trips and use a one gallon container.
     
  7. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Setting it inside a shelter certainly helps keep it from freezing. My problem is getting the water to the animals, though. While dh installed a pump out that way, it's not right alongside the fenceline so I still will need to pack it.
     
  8. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    I carry water out too, and I use a blue water jug - the ones for putting on top of the water cooler. I put it in the sink, reach the sink faucet up to it (it's on a cable, the pull-out kind) and fill it with warm water. Put the cap on, grab it by the handle on teh side and haul it out to the pasture (not too far - if I was feeling wimpy I could put it on the sled and tow it too - a kid's sled is a great thing in the winter!). Once there, take lid off and pour into a large rubber bucket just purchased this past weekend (rubber ones are good cause you can kick them over and knock the frozen stuff out w/o breaking the bucket). It's got solid thick sides and doesn't seem to freeze up too quickly.

    The dogs have a rubber bucket in their feeding station as well. I may try to put both buckets up on some straw to keep them from freezing so quickly, as well. I haven't got power out there so a bucket heater is out of the question - although I'm dreaming up ways to hook one up to solar power ....
     
  9. xoxoGOATSxoxo

    xoxoGOATSxoxo when in doubt, mumble.

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    We have a couple of stock watering tanks, with the big heaters in them. The kind that look like a skinny post with a circle at the end. These keep the water not only de-iced, but also warm to the touch. Everybody drinks more when the water's warm. Works excellent, except when the power goes out... Rather expensive though. I think its well worth it, because the large animal barn is quite a distance away. :)
     
  10. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    Just in case....since everyone else seems to be lugging water...
    If you meant my comment, the water tubs aren't under shelter. I keep the HOSE under shelter, so it can't freeze. Then I unroll the hose to reach the water tubs, fill them, and put the hose away. I need about 150 feet of hose, which is heavy, but not nearly as bad as toting water!

    Meg
     
  11. heritagefarmer

    heritagefarmer Belties are Best!

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    All our stock have barn access in winter, although they prefer to stay out.
    having the water in the barn helps, but being in eastern canada means we do have days (weeks!) where it stays below freezing even during the day.
    The cows and pony have a small automatic waterer with a trace heat on the feeder pipe, it only fills when they touch it with their nose, so there's no water in the bowl to freeze.

    The sheep have access to the other side of the barn and they have heated water buckets, but as they are only 20 feet from the heated tap, its no big deal to haul water to them. They prefer snow anyway, and drink very little unless they're shut in for a storm, which happens a couple of times each winter.
     
  12. flannelberry

    flannelberry Pure mischief

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    I'm curious about your heated tap. I'm in the Canadian Rockies (just west of) and we have weeks of below zero day and night so any tips I can learn about simplifying my water chores are good ones... do you use a heat tape to keep it warm?