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Discuss How do you keep your hoses and troughs from freezing?? at the Horse Health forum - Horse Forums.

We go out and break ice a couple times a day. There is no way ...
  1. #21
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    We go out and break ice a couple times a day. There is no way to heat water tanks for cattle that are out on pasture 20 miles from electricity around here. There are solar heaters, but they're pricey.

    Just try to time your ice breaking right. Also try to make the horse empty the tank. Don't leave the horse without water, but also don't put 100 gallons in the tank, knowing the horse will only drink 10.

    I used to go out morning and night with an axe and pitchfork to break ice. Be sure to scoop the ice chunks out of the tank or they'll refreeze. Pitch the chunks away from the tank.

    Sometimes a piece of foam thrown into the tank will leave a hole for stock to drink.
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    Extension cord with tank heater. They make 200' cords. Last year my whole water line froze SEVEN FEET underground! Now, THAT's cold. I had no water to my barn or my cabin. Only my house had water and we had to bucket it from the house to the barn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmjarabians View Post
    Only my house had water and we had to bucket it from the house to the barn.
    I had to do that last year. Thought the water line to the barn froze, but the spicket was malfunctioning.. thank god

    I went a LONG time w/out water to my barn... I DO NOT like to carry water from the house now that I DO have it lol
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    We have a John Deere Gator so we just filled buckets and drove it slowly down there. It's like I dunno, 100 ft maybe from the house. Not far.

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    I wouldn't rely on breaking ice regularly because water that is cold enough to freeze usually isn't well accepted by alot of horses. If it is too cold some horses won't drink enough, especially at a time when they are on a dry forage (hay) and they require water so essentially.

    In our area my vet has mentioned to me that when the weather gets cold enough to freeze water sources, and before people start preparing for winter by plugging in stock heaters, he has more colic calls. I know my horses don't like sticking their noses in ice cold water even if it isn't frozen.

    I would recommend a stock heater and extension cord, that's really the only way to guarantee water at a temp that all horses will readily drink. (unless you have an underground automatic system)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Purpledomino View Post
    I wouldn't rely on breaking ice regularly because water that is cold enough to freeze usually isn't well accepted by alot of horses. If it is too cold some horses won't drink enough, especially at a time when they are on a dry forage (hay) and they require water so essentially.

    In our area my vet has mentioned to me that when the weather gets cold enough to freeze water sources, and before people start preparing for winter by plugging in stock heaters, he has more colic calls. I know my horses don't like sticking their noses in ice cold water even if it isn't frozen.

    I would recommend a stock heater and extension cord, that's really the only way to guarantee water at a temp that all horses will readily drink.
    True, but sometimes there is no other way. I use heaters when I can, but break ice when I have to
    In no other department of human knowledge has there been such a universal and persistent habit of misrepresenting the truth of history as in matters relating to the horse. -John H. Wallace

    Where would we be without AGRICULTURE? Naked and hungry. Go thank a farmer.


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    Yeah I catch my mare eating the snow and not drinking the fresh water...I always wondered WHY she did that....even eats the ice I bust OUT of the trough she will eat that instead of drinking the water....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Purpledomino View Post
    Yeah winter is tough, just ask anyone who lives in the northern Canadian prairie provinces just how tough it can be.

    When it gets well into the deep freeze here our outdoor water spigots freeze and the only way to really get water out to the horses is to carry jugs out from inside the house.

    Running hoses is not an option, just too cold usually and the water will freeze in them even if they are drained. The winter months for me involve carting 7 gallon jugs from the house down to the trough that is kept ice-free with a floating stock heater.

    It's usually too cold to start the quad to haul water, so a couple trips a day with water jugs from the house keeps my trough topped up. I am seriously thinking about buying a heated water hose though...but if I do I will lose my winter workouts.
    Yeah its not that bad here, but my spigots froze a couple of times last year and I had to haul buckets. But the horses were right behind the house then. We bought the neighboring parcel with a barn and moved the horses there last month but now I don't have them close enough to think about hauling buckets. Hope my spigots don't freeze this year!
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    I had a tank heater in the trough last year when the horses were closer to the house. I just worry about running a cord 200 feet. I'll go to Home Depot and check out what they have. It would be running over grass and through my riding arena to get to the barn too so I am not sure about that. I try and drain the hose and roll it up but it still seems to freeze, or the spigot freezes. So I end up hauling buckets anyway. Someone needs to invent a cheap cure for this problem and they would become very wealthy!
    Trey- 10 year old Black Thoroughbred
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    Prince- 10 year old Quarter Horse
    RIP- Aspen 11 year old Morgan

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBandRio View Post
    New York, Minnesota, Colorado, the Dakotas, any of those Northern States, get cold enough at times to freeze even large rivers. Even the NC mountains have large icicles hanging off rocks because the running/dripping water froze. It doesn't have to be the Arctic

    If it's city water, it's one thing - just costs you a lot. If it's a well, it's another thing, as even a trickle, if constant, means the well pump is going to be working on a regular basis.

    Can it be done for short periods? Sure. But it's not something I'd do all Winter. Having a regularly overflowing tank, or whatever the water is dripping into, just makes for a big lake of ice eventually.
    Yep!

    My all-time favorite road trip last year was to Northern MN, we stopped at a HUGE set of 3 waterfalls that were frozen solid. Coming from further south where we're lucky to have small ponds freeze, it was AWESOME!

    Check it out: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...1t:429,r:3,s:0

    And I have no advice about the water trough issue... we always put a heater in ours. You could put some electrolytes in the trough too in order to lower the freezing point (but that could get expensive!)
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