Quality water is a critical component of animal health. It’s a requisite nutrient for most major body functions, including body temperature regulation, digestion, and growth. Because of its impact on these processes it’s economically sensible to provide the best quality water to animals on a regular basis.
There are several options available for keeping water in front of your livestock during the winter. Automatic waterers are probably the most popular option. While they require an upfront investment of a few hundred dollars or more they last a long time, generally require little maintenance, and save a ton on water costs.
If you already have automatic waterers installed, be sure to check your thermostats and heating elements in the fall each year. Parts are readily available and easily changed out to keep your waterers working for years. We suggest setting the thermostat at 32 to 34 degrees. Keep in mind that power outages will stop your waterers from working so it might not be a bad idea to look into backup generators.
Tank de-icers are a good option if you have a large metal stock tank and a nearby source of electricity. This option is usually the most economical. There are countless sizes and types of tank de-icers. The most popular models are sinking de-icers with cages and the floating tank de-icers. Several models have a built-in thermostat so they’ll shut off automatically when the weather warms up.
Heated buckets are especially popular among our customers with horses. The plastic buckets work like the tank heaters but the element is built into the bucket. There are also heated pet bowls available for your outside pets.
And, of course, there is always the option of breaking ice out of tanks every day. But with so many labor-free options available why would you want to?
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