Dec. 10, 2009, 12:48 PM
I was so excited, for Christmas I got a automatic waterer. Its 2 sided so both paddocks can drink from it. Its so nice in this cold weather the water is warm (about 50 degrees so its not too hot) and flowing and so nice! No I need to convince the herd to use it!

In the one paddock - 2/5 use it no problem.

In the other paddock 1/4 uses it.

I have led them up, played in the water and some get it, some don't. Today I am floating apple slices in it.

So any ideas. It has been since Monday. I have been bucketing them at night just to make sure they are getting enough to drink. Seems they would rather drink from puddles then from the new waterer.

Any ideas?

Dec. 10, 2009, 06:02 PM
ANYONE, please its 16 degrees and I thought I would never have to haul water again...better get the thermals on as I will be out there awhile....sigh

Dec. 10, 2009, 06:16 PM
apple juice maybe? most of them eventually figure it out, but it might take them a few days, when you can keep an eye on them I would leave them with just the automatic, so they dont really have a choice in the matter

Dec. 10, 2009, 08:20 PM
Sorry, with cold temps such as 16 degrees, I do not agree with the ' would leave them with just the automatic, so they dont really have a choice in the matter'. It is much easier to prevent impaction colic than treat it, and now (severely cold temperature) is not the time to risk that they do not drink enough.

Dec. 10, 2009, 09:06 PM
You might do some salt on the tongue, then take each horse individually to play with apple slices in the waterer. I don't think flavoring the water will work unless you flavor buckets regularly.

I would keep the water tank near the waterer, if possible, with water in the tank.

We use boxes with insulation around our winter water tanks. I put those in the paddocks and fill them, leave the summer tanks in too. I give the horses a couple weeks to readjust to watering at the boxes instead of the tanks. I gradually lessen the water in the summer tanks so horses will prefer the boxes, easier to drink from when full. I just removed the summer tanks on Monday, the last pretty nice day. But daily levels of water were going down in the boxes, so horses were using them, so summer tanks could now come out.

You can't expect horses to switch to a new water device in just a couple days. You have to train them to it. Sorry you didn't have time to do that before the cold got here.

You will need to be using your water tanks for a while yet, to get horses retrained. I agree that now is NOT the time to let them tough it out and learn. Colic is a big factor in cold season with water consumption.

I THINK the Nelson tanks have a water monitor, to track intake they drink. I would be checking that often, see if horses are switching over to waterer use. Can't you fill the tanks from the waterer instead of hauling it? With time, the heated waterer, should become more appealing than colder tank water.

You will have to monitor horse intake, see that "average" water level drop is reduced by intake at the waterer. I worry if horses don't drop my water level the average amount daily. They have an odd 3-day routine of two days x amount, third day less. Then two days the same, and so on. I give extra salt in the grain daily. The bad drinkers get more salt, to keep their intake up.

I really feel bad for you, but maybe they will get the idea with a few of those training sessions. Floating apples, carrots, apple wafers! Whatever you can get them to dive into the waterer for. Maybe first thing in the AM before feeding. Or later in the day, when hay has been gone a while, a time so they are hungry, bored, more likely to eat the snacks.