The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 27, 2004
    Posts
    43

    Default Water trough...plastic or metal?

    I have my horses coming next week and I'm about to buy my first water trough ever (as this is the first time I have had my horses at my house and not boarded somewhere), and I don't know if I should get a plastic water trough or a metal one. I live in mid Tennessee where we don't get much snow but we do have nights in the teens. And then it can get quite warm in the summer. I do have some trees for shade but not enough to where the troughs wouldn't get sun exposure. What has worked for you and what do you prefer?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
    Posts
    8,258

    Default

    I like the plastic ones because the horses can't really dent them, they don't rust, and they're easier to dump over and scrub out when they get dirty.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 2005
    Location
    Ojai, CA
    Posts
    1,084

    Default

    I've used both and much prefer the plastic ones for all the above-mentioned reasons. I have one horse who loves to kick the water trough and he would regularly destroy metal tubs. To date, he has not succeeded in destroying a plastic one!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 6, 2003
    Location
    Lapeer, MI, USA
    Posts
    4,075

    Default

    I have found that the metal troughs stay cleaner longer and are easier to clean.

    But... the caulking can dry out and then you have leaks.
    They don't hold up well in freezing temps (but you don't have that much).

    I have a rubbermaid tank and it collects algae like crazy.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2003
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    578

    Default

    I have both and prefer the plastic ones, however if you need to run a tank heater in the winter (which you probably don't) certain models need a guard on them to prevent melting holes in the tank.
    Things Take Time



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2007
    Location
    Down on the Farm
    Posts
    3,056

    Default

    We have four rubber troughs, I would never go back to metal.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 1999
    Location
    Mendocino County, CA: Turkey Vulture HQ
    Posts
    14,697

    Default

    300 gallon plastic Rubbermaid tanks, with a drain in the bottom, stocked with fish, work great for us.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2005
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,712

    Default

    I've found algae grows more quickly and is harder to clean in my Rubbermaid. It sticks to that plastic like glue. And it has too many ridges/edges/whatnot to grow the algae. Very hard to clean it out of the drain area.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2007
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    1,953

    Default

    I like the plastic "muck buckets"

    they are inexpensive enough that I can replace them yearly if I need to, they are small enough that I can easily dump them out myself and easy to clean but still hold enough water.

    I've used the rubbermaid troughs and they collected algea like crazy and were too big for me to move on my own.

    The metal ones also, too big and cumbersome.
    Riding the winds of change

    Heeling NRG Aussies
    Like us on facebook!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2005
    Posts
    3,788

    Default

    The two 100-gallon Rubbermaid tanks I had weren't worth a shit. They ALWAYS leaked around the drain plug (even after I sealed them), and one of them cracked just enough on the bottom to be able to leak out 100 gallons overnight.

    The 40-gallon TuffStuff tank I thought was wonderful -- until -10*F proved too much for it and it split across the bottom.

    The other plastic one I have is some off-brand thing (not sure if it's 50 or 60 gallons) I got second hand. It seems durable enough, but it is just big enough that it's hard to dump, but not big enough to hold two days worth of water.

    Metal tanks are heavy, but a dent doesn't usually affect their ability to hold water.

    None of the tanks I spent money on were really any better than the old bathtub I got for free.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    9,041

    Default

    I like plastic. Metal can dent and eventually get sharp edges.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2004
    Location
    Sunny Sonoma, CA
    Posts
    1,292

    Default

    Here's a tip for the Rubbermaid:
    If you have a choice between the darker gray/black and the lighter gray, go with the lighter. We have one of each and the darker builds up algae more quickly in the summer...the lighter one can go several days longer.
    Founding Member of "I Kept 'Off Topic Day!' Open"



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
    Location
    Eastern Washington
    Posts
    1,641

    Default

    Plastic. Will never go back to metal!
    Unbridled Oaks - Champion Sport Ponies and Welsh Cobs

    Like us on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/unbridledoaks



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2000
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    10,518

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gabz View Post
    I have found that the metal troughs stay cleaner longer and are easier to clean.

    But... the caulking can dry out and then you have leaks.
    They don't hold up well in freezing temps (but you don't have that much).

    I have a rubbermaid tank and it collects algae like crazy.
    That has been my experience too. I have a 50 gallon rubbermaind for my mini's and it is a pain to keep clean during hot weather. Whereas my 100 gallon aluminum tub stays very tidy for much longer.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2008
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    557

    Default

    Who ever said the BATHTUB~~~I second that motion. so easy to clean.
    Proud Mama of a BOY rider



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2002
    Location
    The horse country of VA
    Posts
    3,332

    Default

    My plastic 100-gal Rubbermaid tank is going on 12 years daily use now with no problems whatsoever. No cracks, no leaks, even though my mare has a habit of grabbing the edge in the summer and dumping it over. Man, that mare must have some powerful neck muscles.

    Yes, it can quickly build up algae in the summer, but since I dump, scrub and fill all my water tubs every 2-3 days (or daily if it's really hot outside), algae/cleaning it is not a problem. I don't pull the drain plug to empty it; I bail it out with a bucket until the level is low enough that I can easily dump the rest out.

    I use an auto wheel-cleaning stiff-bristle brush for cleaning - it has a nice handle about 12" long and is angled slightly for getting into corners.

    I also use a 2nd water tub (because of my alpha gelding) which is one of those cheapie muck bucket clones from the Dollar Store/Wal-Mart/grocery store. Super easy to keep clean and when it starts cracking, it goes into its second life as a gathering pot for my bundled hay bale strings or my hay net filling "device".

    In winter, I use two heated muck buckets (coils built into the inside of the sides, so nothing is exposed). I've been using those same two for 10 years now, and they're still in excellent shape. I tried the drain-plug heater thing for my big Rubbermaid tank, but it only worked for one season, and I've never liked using tank heaters with exposed coils anyway. I do still keep my Rubbermaid tank filled in the winter as a back-up water source in case of a power outage since it never gets cold enough to freeze it entirely.

    Have fun having your horses at home - IMO, that's the best way to go!
    Equus Keepus Brokus



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    8,039

    Default

    After using the galvanized metal, the black rubbermaid tanks, muck tubs and the bath tubs, I would either try the light grey rubbermaid tank or go with the muck tubs or the bath tub. Frankly, the horses love drinking the water in the muck or bath tubs during hot weather better than drinking out of the black rubbermaid tanks. And the tubs are far easier to clean.

    Another factor that plays into this is the cost of heating the water if you are living in a cold climate. The Rubbermaid heaters work well, but cost more to run than sinking or floating heaters, which can be tossed out of the tank. The one thing you can't do with the rubbermaid tank is put in a sinking or floating heater. It they toss it out and it lands on the tank, it melts the tank down. (A friend walked out after a snowstorm and thought her tank was half-buried in snow. It was melted to half it's size due to a tossed out heater.)

    If you don't have a lot of horses pastured together, and don't need heated water, I would simply go with muck tubs. They are great for this, and easy to clean.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2005
    Location
    Id
    Posts
    711

    Default

    I have metal, and it's fine, I do need a heater in the winter, and would worry about melting a rubber tub.

    A little splash of bleach in the water after cleaning helps with algae control. There is another thread all about that. Good luck



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 1999
    Location
    Mendocino County, CA: Turkey Vulture HQ
    Posts
    14,697

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhyadawn View Post
    I like the plastic "muck buckets"

    they are inexpensive enough that I can replace them yearly if I need to, they are small enough that I can easily dump them out myself and easy to clean but still hold enough water.
    My horses knocked them over regularly (leaving them without water) and then destroyed them within a few months.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2006
    Location
    Joplin, MO
    Posts
    491

    Default

    Giant rubbermaid in the winter/spring. The larger your water source, the less you have to worry about it freezing.

    "Muck Buckets" in the summer. Muck buckets have a slicker texture and virtually no algea will stick to them. Literally dumping the bucket and splashing will remove any algea on the sides or bottoms. Plus smaller troughs = refilled more often = cooler, tastier water = more drinking. The $10 hose-connecting auto-waterers will attach and work well on muck buckets.



Similar Threads

  1. Metal vs. Plastic Stirrups
    By jmroberts in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: Jun. 26, 2012, 02:24 PM
  2. Aerating the water trough?
    By Firefilly in forum Around The Farm
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Jun. 9, 2011, 05:50 PM
  3. :) I haven't had to bust any ice off my water trough!!
    By Catersun in forum Around The Farm
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: Jan. 25, 2011, 09:30 AM
  4. Why is trough water better?!
    By dmalbone in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: May. 30, 2010, 05:14 PM
  5. Replies: 0
    Last Post: Jul. 8, 2009, 01:51 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness