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DieBlaueReiterin
Nov. 20, 2009, 09:22 AM
*i did a search on this and couldn't find anything, so if it's been done to death i apologize in advance!!!

my boyfriend (bless him) is always trying to think of ways to make things easier. rather than hauling hot water across the street during the winter, he thought maybe we could put alcohol in the water trough to keep it from freezing? his logic was, alcohol doesn't freeze and a guiness a day is supposed to be good for horses, right? :) has anyone ever done this? does it work? thanks! :D

AnotherRound
Nov. 20, 2009, 09:26 AM
Gasoline doesn't freeze either. Could try that.

AnotherRound
Nov. 20, 2009, 09:29 AM
Seriously, you've never put a beer in the freezer and forgot and came back and its frozen solid?

Maybe you can put your vodka in the freezer and it doesn't freeze, but if there was any water in it, THAT would freeze.

I am elucidating these things for you so that you begin to think logically. No, a beer in the horse trough isn't going to keep it from freezing.

You need to either continuously haul water or install a heated line. Its the way of the world. Its hard and time consuming, but its gotta be done.

I also see no reason why you can't configure your water so that you can put an electric bucket heater in your tub or trough. It always worked for me and costs about $8.00

mares tails
Nov. 20, 2009, 09:31 AM
How cold do you need to go? How drunk do you want your horse? :)

Look here (http://tinyurl.com/ydqseqw) and you will find this table (http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/ethanol-water-d_989.html).

[10% alcohol freezes at 25F/-4C]
.

DieBlaueReiterin
Nov. 20, 2009, 09:32 AM
:) all very logical considerations! thanks for your kind advice.

i can't put in electric because a) it's across the road from the house/barn and b) i don't own the field, just rent it. oh well, hot water it is. just a thought discussed at midnight :P

equineartworks
Nov. 20, 2009, 09:33 AM
I just pulled a bag of beer soaked peas out of the freezer last night :lol:

We use insulated troughs in the winter and deicers when it is ugly cold.

The only real solution is to move where it is warm :cool:

DieBlaueReiterin
Nov. 20, 2009, 09:41 AM
I just pulled a bag of beer soaked peas out of the freezer last night :lol:

We use insulated troughs in the winter and deicers when it is ugly cold.

The only real solution is to move where it is warm :cool:

gawd i wish :P

the deicers are those things that move around, right? do those things really work?

twofatponies
Nov. 20, 2009, 09:46 AM
:) all very logical considerations! thanks for your kind advice.

i can't put in electric because a) it's across the road from the house/barn and b) i don't own the field, just rent it. oh well, hot water it is. just a thought discussed at midnight :P

Paved road? Hm.

At our barn they run a heater across the dirt road to the other paddock - just dig a small trench, run the cord through a piece of pvc pipe, lay a board over it to keep tire crunching to a minimum and throw the dirt back over. I'm talking a 6 inch trench scraped out with a hoe, not a ditch.

Wouldn't work if its a public road and the snow plow is going by, etc.

What about a solar powered heater?

DieBlaueReiterin
Nov. 20, 2009, 09:57 AM
it is indeed a paved, public road. i did consider installing a solar power heater, but the whole point of renting the field is to save money. :) thank you for the answers!

deltawave
Nov. 20, 2009, 10:40 AM
I've heard of people stacking or stuffing manure in some sort of enclosure around the water trough so that the fermentation/composting and insulation effect slows freezing.

Never tried it--I would DIE without my heated auto-waterer. Or want to, anyway--frozen hoses and buckets are the WORST. :dead:

Sneekers
Nov. 20, 2009, 10:51 AM
Just a thought, although I've never tried it myself....a friend of mine uses black manure buckets set into a large black inner tube to keep them stable and insulated. She keeps them in the sunny areas of the turnout. The black manure buckets and inner tubes absorb heat from the sun. This in turn keeps the water warmer than the actual air temperature. She swears this works. She also changes the water every day. FWIW....

stryder
Nov. 20, 2009, 11:26 AM
Last year there was some discussion of filling gallon milk jugs with salt water, then allowing them to float around in the water trough. The movement helps prevent ice from forming on the surface of the trough.

Leather
Nov. 20, 2009, 11:31 AM
Solar water tank designs:

http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/WaterHeating/water_heating.htm#Animals

DieBlaueReiterin
Nov. 20, 2009, 11:42 AM
wow, great ideas/suggestions! thank you so much!

alakazam
Nov. 20, 2009, 12:06 PM
We tried just thorowing in a basket ball. The constant movement keeps the water moving, and less likely to freeze. It works most of the time, except when its like 10 F at night. But for the majority of the winter, it seems to help.

kellidahorsegirl
Nov. 20, 2009, 12:15 PM
I don't know how cold exactly it gets out there where you live. Our tanks absolutely NEED a heater when it drops below about 10 degrees (plus I have fish in one). It also gets cold enough that the heater keeps the water BELOW 'warm' but we still have to break 3" of ice twice a day (these are BIG stock tanks though)

BUT if the tank ices over...and its about 2" thick of ice....simply break a hole big enough for their noses and LEAVE the rest. The ice layer sort of insulates the water below. If you break ALL of the ice, it'll only ice up thicker.

Its perfectly fine to leave ice in the tank,,,just make sure there's somewhere for them to break through....The horses can break a thin layer of ice (like couple sheets of paper thick) but any thicker and you need to check every couple of hours.

Also, the smaller the tank, the quicker it freezes over. If you have a rather small tank,,,,scoop dirt and poo REALLY THICK all around it to give it insulating properties.

Either way, winter sucks when it comes to water troughs haha

twofatponies
Nov. 20, 2009, 02:15 PM
Just a thought, although I've never tried it myself....a friend of mine uses black manure buckets set into a large black inner tube to keep them stable and insulated. She keeps them in the sunny areas of the turnout. The black manure buckets and inner tubes absorb heat from the sun. This in turn keeps the water warmer than the actual air temperature. She swears this works. She also changes the water every day. FWIW....

Oh, duh it should. My dad used to make a section of black plastic bags full of lawn trimmings and set them on one part of the garden. Kept that area of the garden from freezing, so we could continue burying compost all winter in the fallow bed.

It was warm enough under there that the worms were active and everything.

mothermucker12
Nov. 20, 2009, 07:28 PM
we use a ball too in the tank.. ;)

Peggy
Nov. 20, 2009, 08:09 PM
Back to the OP, there's a direct relationship b/w concentration of the added material (ethanol, salt, antifreeze) and the amount by which the freezing point is lowered. Think about those handy tables on the bottles of antifreeze that tell you how much to add for a certain temperature (lowering). Vodka doesn't freeze, at least in a freezer, b/c of its relatively high percent of ethanol (or proof, if you prefer, where proof = 2x the volume percent, at least in the US).

I have personally opted for the warmer climate...

deltawave
Nov. 20, 2009, 08:36 PM
Or in other words, if you put in enough ethanol to keep the trough from freezing, your horse will be hammered. :)

Hampton Bay
Nov. 20, 2009, 09:02 PM
Or in other words, if you put in enough ethanol to keep the trough from freezing, your horse will be hammered. :)

pretty much, but that's only if you use vodka. If you use rubbing alcohol, change that to dead.

jaimebaker
Nov. 21, 2009, 09:14 AM
One of my vets swears that if you put a log in your water trough (half out, half in), that the log basically gathers warmth from the sun and acts as a conductor I suppose, keeping the water from freezing. Not sure if it's true since I have water trough heaters, but she just rolls her eyes about them saying 'That sure is a lot of electricity you're burning when a dang piece of wood would do the trick'.

deltawave
Nov. 21, 2009, 09:56 AM
Your vet would be working on the assumption that there is sunshine in the winter--definitely NOT true on this part of the planet. :sigh:

cloudyandcallie
Nov. 21, 2009, 10:06 AM
How cold do you need to go? How drunk do you want your horse? :)

Look here (http://tinyurl.com/ydqseqw) and you will find this table (http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/ethanol-water-d_989.html).

[10% alcohol freezes at 25F/-4C]
.

Stoned ponies? I think not. Get a heater, some are solar powered.

jaimebaker
Nov. 21, 2009, 11:16 AM
Your vet would be working on the assumption that there is sunshine in the winter--definitely NOT true on this part of the planet. :sigh:

Plenty of it here and since my vet's from here, that's probably why she suggested it;)

AKB
Nov. 21, 2009, 09:55 PM
We use a solar trough called the Bob Trough that we got from www.horse.com. I also have heated buckets in the barn. We had a bad colic years ago because the trough heater drew too much electricity on the coldest night of the year, causing the breakers to turn off the electricity in the barn, and the water froze. After that experience, I always have the solar trough as well as the heated buckets.

Patty Stiller
Nov. 21, 2009, 10:03 PM
Lee Marvin found out what happens if you put too much vodka in the horse trough :lol:

elizabeth
Nov. 22, 2009, 10:12 AM
OK. So surround the trough in poop and leaves and plastic bags. Insert a ball or two and a couple of jugs with salt water (to float).

Let us know how it goes.

DieBlaueReiterin
Nov. 22, 2009, 10:49 AM
OK. So surround the trough in poop and leaves and plastic bags. Insert a ball or two and a couple of jugs with salt water (to float).

Let us know how it goes.

that's my plan exactly. :D it will be an experiment in whether you can keep the water warm or at least ice free without all the store bought accoutrements :)

mhtokay
Nov. 22, 2009, 05:56 PM
If it's a trough, putting a piece of plywood (or something) over part of it will help, also. Not floating.

pines4equines
Nov. 22, 2009, 06:06 PM
I don't know when it comes to their water intake in the winter, I'd break out the visa and get the solar heated tank. Cut back on something else. Also you'll see the horses drink MORE water if it IS slightly heated in the winter. Just my two cents. But no alcohol, leave that to you and your boyfriend together on Christmas Eve in front of the fire.

Green Acres
Nov. 22, 2009, 07:10 PM
Last year there was some discussion of filling gallon milk jugs with salt water, then allowing them to float around in the water trough. The movement helps prevent ice from forming on the surface of the trough.

I tried this to no avail. The jugs didn't freeze but the water troughs did. I'm in Georgia and still didn't work for me.

Maybe I will try a ball in the water trough this year. hmmm, I have a jolly ball in the pasture that neither of my horses play with - may put that in the water trough! :lol:

HealingHeart
Nov. 22, 2009, 07:22 PM
Just wondering if those new Hot water heater blankets might work, might need 2, but wrap your tank with them, perhaps it will offer a few degrees before . If your boyfriend is handy, perhaps build a wood cover type (like hot tubs covers) with a large opening for them to drink from....

Just an idea/thought to play with along with the other good suggestions

buck22
Nov. 23, 2009, 06:21 PM
Get a heater, some are solar powered.
if you have a link, PLEASE post it, I've been looking high and lo for a solar heater (not a solar tank, solar heater). Only thing I've found remotely close is the 'bubbler' and I'm not impressed from the description.

OP, Coolers, the kind you put your beer/soda cans in, make excellent winter water troughs. They will develop a thin skin of ice, but its very thin and the horses can easily poke a nose through. Moving your water trough to a wind-free location (aka inside the run-in) gives you many more ice-free hours too.

I just had a crazy thought, and I'm gonna try it :lol: what about solar pool blankets? http://www.thesolarguide.com/solar-thermal/pool-blankets.aspx

just cut one for the size of my stock tank and cut a small hole for them to drink from.... hmmmm...... might keep the water nice and warm on those sunny 30's days...

DancingQueen
Nov. 23, 2009, 11:39 PM
Unless your horse is on pasture board, I wouldn't worry too much about it, he is designed to go a while without drinking and will make it up when he comes in at night. If you can, serve him luke warm water when he gets back in. They will drink more then if the water is cold.

If you have a horse on pasture board for the winter you will have to make sure that he can drink.
I'm not sure alcohol is the best idea though. if anything (this is not a fact, just something I thought of in the moment and something that shold probably not be tried unless a vet or nutritian said it was ok) I would think a bit of salt would lower the freezing point a bit without being too harmful.

I like the idea with the basketball. I think you could do just as well using a handball in a barn where the buckets might freeze up on a cold night.

HealingHeart
Nov. 23, 2009, 11:55 PM
Why don't someone here on this board make a custom product for troughs with these ideas and donate 1/2 $$ to horse rescues type help? Some of these sound like good ideas that are needed in the market .... and simple solutions are being offered here....


if you have a link, PLEASE post it, I've been looking high and lo for a solar heater (not a solar tank, solar heater). Only thing I've found remotely close is the 'bubbler' and I'm not impressed from the description.

OP, Coolers, the kind you put your beer/soda cans in, make excellent winter water troughs. They will develop a thin skin of ice, but its very thin and the horses can easily poke a nose through. Moving your water trough to a wind-free location (aka inside the run-in) gives you many more ice-free hours too.

I just had a crazy thought, and I'm gonna try it :lol: what about solar pool blankets? http://www.thesolarguide.com/solar-thermal/pool-blankets.aspx

just cut one for the size of my stock tank and cut a small hole for them to drink from.... hmmmm...... might keep the water nice and warm on those sunny 30's days...

Share the weath of sharing for more returns for all.

PonyPenny
Nov. 24, 2009, 12:42 AM
What great ideas for a science fair project. My daughter is always looking for some creative science fair projects that are somewhat related to horses. Of course we live in sunny So. Cal., so we would have to use the freezer.