View Full Version : Water troughs and "swimmers"

Apr. 10, 2011, 06:55 PM
I am thinking about installing automatic water troughs in my pastures. My main question about them is how it will affect my "swimmer". She loves to paw in the water troughs. It drives me nuts. Just as soon as I get the trough all cleaned and refilled she is at it again. Splashing, making it muddy, and tipping it over. I finally raised the height of most of my troughs so she cant get her feet in.

Anyway, I am wondering about these troughs. Does anybody have experience with a swimmer and this type of trough? Will she be able to damage it if she tries to paw it? Is there a chance that a foot could get stuck in one of the floats that they push down? Never seen one in action before. Please enlighten me. Thanks!

Apr. 11, 2011, 11:04 AM
Swimmer....that's a good term. One of our Suffolk Punch's puts both of her front legs in our troughs. The kids saw her trying to get the backs in too one time. If there was a heater or anything else in the trough it would be crushed by Miss 1800 lbs. We try our best to keep it clean but she loves to play in the water and has proven we can't do anything about it.

Apr. 11, 2011, 01:51 PM
What type of automatic waterer do you have? Nelson...? or is it the type that you simply convert any tub into an auto waterer due to the valve you place in the drain?

Apr. 11, 2011, 02:01 PM
I have nelson waterers in my pastures and the "swimmers" don't bother them.
They will put their feet in tubs though. Also, they don't bother pickle barrels either.

Apr. 11, 2011, 02:11 PM
I have a Lapp Energy Free Double Bowl Drinker for my horses and own 1 "swimmer". He has never tried to swim in it, although he can't seem to stay out of a regular stock tank if the weather suits. I have had people tell me if you put the stock tank on a couple pallets most swimmers will not bother with them then.

My automatic waterer is mounted on an elevated concrete slab and does have floats in it so it may not be as attractive for swimming!

Apr. 11, 2011, 02:12 PM
I only know of one swimmer that used the auto waterer to make himself a swimming pool. This is a friends horse, so not sure of the filling mechanism, but he found a way to get it to keep running and make a mud puddle :no: I don't know of any other swimmer issues

May. 24, 2011, 08:23 PM
Ha Ha ... I know what you mean. I have a serial "sploosher" who loves to empty a trough immediately after filling it by getting as much of his head and neck into the trough followed by at least one leg! This afternoon we finished installing several Bar Bar A waterers at our farm and watched with my breath held as the offender approached for his first drink and/or swim. He tried to paw at the drinker but realized within about two minutes that his efforts were in vain and there was no way he was going to fit in it. He poked his nose in the bowl, gave a few clockwise swirls, slurped a drink and walked away. Of course we found him chest deep in the pond later....

May. 24, 2011, 08:34 PM
Ha Ha ... I know what you mean. I have a serial "sploosher" who loves to empty a trough immediately after filling it by getting as much of his head and neck into the trough followed by at least one leg!

Patrick sticks his head in and splashes almost ALL the water out!

Apparently he's just hot and itchy and wants a shower. If I go out there a couple of times a day and spray him with the hose (he comes over and stands for it) then he won't bother the tank.

Good thing I work from home so I can provide this service!

I do have a float on the tank, however I do not leave the water on. It functions more as a flood abatement device, as the minute I walk away from a running hose, I totally forget about it. This way, it will fill up and stop, and I can turn the faucet off later when I remember.

(I'm afraid if I leave it on, Patrick will figure out that he can splash *forever* and it will keep going! He stops when the water gets low enough that it's no fun anymore.)

May. 25, 2011, 02:28 PM
I had one confirmed swimmer as well, Kat. Didn't matter the water, she wanted in it. Stock tanks were fair game as are any ponds she could find. She never bothered with the automatic waterer though.

However, her orphaned filly (5 days after she was born Kat coliced and died) Cinder Ella, likes to wash her feet in the automatic waterer. Seriously I thought I'd gotten rid of the water baby. Apparently some things are herditary. :lol:

Our waterers have the float covered by a metal "box". Just the other day a friend caught them playing in the waterer. They managed to get the "box" off and were taking turns biting the float and getting sprayed in the face. :lol:


May. 26, 2011, 12:02 PM
i think your main issue is going to be the style of waterer you put in, if you put in an auto trough style you may still get some of the splashing and playing, however the ones with the floats in them are generally high enough that horses dont try to paw at them, you should set it on a concrete pad as well, which will hopefully keep them from pawing the sides of the waterer. I know we have horses that just paw constantly when they drink or eat but its more of a nervous habit. here is the selection of richit and miraco waterers the company i work for carries http://www.timcohorseandfarmsupply.com/animalwaterers.aspx as you can see you have some options lol

May. 26, 2011, 12:15 PM
When I worked at a barn with gypsy's the ones with chronic scratches would try and rub their hind legs on their nelson waterers. It wasn't a shock to show up and have pastures flooded because they managed to knock the covers off and get the float thingy pushed aside.

I don't think any "swimmers" will have issues, just if they like to scratch their butts on things you might have an issue.