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How can I heat my horse water trough in the winter?

Discussion in 'Horses, Donkeys and Mules' started by ducks4you, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. Dec 28, 2012
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Almost Self-Reliant

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    This is NOT an emergency, but the weather begs this question and I believe this is the best forum in which to find a solution, at least for NEXT winter. I'd like to heat my horse's water in the winter. I have heard of two horse deaths from the current products--death from electrocution, for those who don't know--and two is too many, hence I won't buy them. I currently use rubber buckets in the stalls, and very large rubber water bowls outside in the winter, bc I can always break up the ice without breaking the bucket.
    I had heard once of someone who cemented a heating element inside of a custom-made (for the water tank) cement pad with a 4 inch lip, that heated the bottom of the tank without exposing the wiring to the horses. Horses are notorious for playing with and chewing on anything if/when they are bored--like, every day. My DD suggested an alternative, using cinder blocks.
    Any ideas? It will certainly be worthy of a good discussion. Thanks, in advance. :D
     
  2. Dec 28, 2012
    SSDreamin

    SSDreamin Almost Self-Reliant

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  3. Dec 29, 2012
    ~gd

    ~gd Lovin' The Homestead

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    Not a horse man will they eat a heating pad placed under the water supply? my geese did so I wrapped heat tape around the water pipe outside where they couldn't reach and if they wanted water they had to press down on a paddle. I am fairly sure that the paddle type waterer was designed for horses and cattle in the first place. They sell a lot of thermostated heat tape here, It gets cold under a trailer or a house with a crawspace and pipes will freeze without protection. The heat usually kicks on at around 40F [measured at the pipe] and off again around 45F Lots of people cover the tape and pipe with foam or fiberglass insulation. The energy costs are in the cents/day range because the thermostat only has to heat the pipe for short periods. If all else fails check with a neighbor that is how I learned.
     
  4. Dec 29, 2012
    IW

    IW Enjoys Recycling

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    This is not a way to heat your trough but it helps. Try putting a board, like a left over piece of 2x4 (untreated) in their trough. They will quickly learn to nose it on one end and breaking the ice where the board is to get a drink. This works for us most of the winter but you have to keep an eye on the water and be sure it hasn't frozen so deeply that they can no longer use this trick.

    I have had horses all my life and have yet to find a safe, non-electric trough heater. :barnie Someone needs to invent a safe,economical heater for the stock troughs and tanks. Many folks don't even have electricity at their barns, coops, etc. They would get rich real quick around here!
     
  5. Dec 29, 2012
    Denim Deb

    Denim Deb More Precious than Rubies

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    I don't know how much work you want to do, nor how much money you can spend, but I know someone who has this type of automatic waterer. It doesn't freeze, and requires no electricity. I ever get my place, this is the type of waterer I want.

    I've heard of people putting a rubber playground ball in the water tank. The horses play w/it and that keeps the ice from forming.

    Of course, you could always get one of these.
     
  6. Dec 29, 2012
    IW

    IW Enjoys Recycling

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    Simply painting the trough black can also help by absorbing more heat too. We have automatic water floats one all the troughs but they will freeze or the pipes will freeze up on us. I WISH I could afford a $500 water trough... :gig
     
  7. Dec 29, 2012
    Blaundee

    Blaundee Power Conserver

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    Ditto. Also, take out all of the ice from your troughs every morning- otherwise your ice will just get thicker and stronger, and too hard for the horses to break.
     
  8. Dec 29, 2012
    BarredBuff

    BarredBuff El Presidente de Pollo

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  9. Dec 29, 2012
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    Now that's a really cool idea...or warm idea as the case may be! All in all, I'm glad we don't get cold enough here to worry about it though...
     
  10. Dec 30, 2012
    Denim Deb

    Denim Deb More Precious than Rubies

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    I like that. Wonder what I could find to make one with. While my tank is much smaller (70 gallons), I've been wondering how I could have water in it all winter long for just in case we lose power but w/out doing all the work that's needed to keep it ice free. Since hubby's going to teach me how to weld, maybe I can make one.
     

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