Keeping drinking water cool in pastures during extreme temps?
Looks like about 1/3 of our nation is amidst a heat wave. It is currently 28 degrees above the average normal temp here! The water tanks all had to be emptied and refilled because the water inside was hotter than I like my bath water to be!
What can I do to keep the water cool? Insulate the outside of the tank, partially cover the top, or? What do horse people do in extremely hot climates to keep drinking water cool?
Seriously, though -- we usually have at least a couple weeks of triple-digit temps in the summer (already had them ) and really, I don't do anything except make sure the tanks are full and the salt blocks are available. It's *nice* if you can place the tank in the shade, but not always possible.
Originally Posted by HuntrJumpr
No matter what level of showing you're doing, you are required to have pants on.
I have Miraco waterers in the pastures... the black tanks with the blue balls on the top. Yeah, I know, they have their critics... but I've had them for over a year now and the water is very cool and algea-free in the summer and warmer in the winter. Granted the winter down here is cold to us, but not like in other areas! But we sure have the heat & humidity.
When I had regular troughs.. what a PIA in the summer. The water was like a bath-tub and I regularly dumped 50+ gallons on the ground trying to keep it clean several times a week.
Don't know of anything to do with regular tanks - you could insulate them I guess. I didn't do anything except dump water, scrub, bleach, scrub, fill tank and repeat twice a week. It wastes a lot of water, but didn't have a choice.
We have NOT had any challengingly hot temperatures yet this summer...it stayed above 80 yesterday, which, I think, is a high for the year...argh...
But in hot, hot summers, we make the switch to daily half-full fills of the tanks just before they go out at night. (They're stalled during the day for heat/flies.) Cold as it gets, just before they go out, keeps them pretty tasty comfortable through the night. They'll drink it down to three or four inches deep, which is a reasonable amount to dump the next evening.
But I'm not certain it's the temps that bothers them; I think with ours, it's the tasting like hot metal/plastic.
I only have to water one field. I usually only fill the tub enough for two days, and test the temp of the water in the late afternoon or early evening. If it is warm, I dump and refill with fresh cold water. You really must refresh outside water almost daily if it is hot. A tub of water will heat to almost bath temp just sitting in the sun. On the flip side, I have a tub that I fill near the barn when I know I want to do a good soapy bath and let it sit in the sun a day or two...presto, my solar powered water heater. You can also leave 5 gallon buckets in the sun and the sun will take the chill off the water if you don't have hot water for bathing.
Several years ago my barn went to the 4-H Southern Regionals in Alabama. It was SOOOO hot that the water was coming out of the hose warm/ no quiet cool. They had to put ICE in the water buckets to help cool it down.
We get pretty danged hot here in the Midwest...I only fill the tank half full. Every night, I dump the warm water and refill it, half way, with cool water from the well. Seems to keep the horses happy.
I live in FL, and it doesn't get a whole lot hotter save the deserts in the west. I keep my tanks in the shade, or in enough shade that they are at least in a shadow half the day. Because we also have hurricanes occasionally, and I live in the country with a well and finicky power, I have two HUGE tanks that stay full all the time. I don't want them to run out of water if we lose power.
I don't empty mine. I have some minnows in there to help keep things a bit cleaner, and I overflow the tank at least a couple times a week. It stays pretty clear. Though mine all prefer the less-clear tank than the brand-new spotless one. My big mare refuses to drink from the newer one. She will only touch the algae-fish water.
Our hose water is warm too. Soaks alfalfa cubes in about 10 minutes in the summer.
Salt blocks are your friend too. As are fans in the shelters.
If possible try using a plastic 50gal barrel.
Just cut off the top - easy to do with a hacksaw - instead of cutting in half to make two.
I have a white one right outside my barn that never seems to get too hot for drinking & both horses prefer it to the buckets inside their (shaded) stalls. They have free access to either.
When we get temps above 90 the water will feel warm but they still drink down about 1/2 the barrel daily.
I think the depth of the barrel, rather than the length of a standard trough & the white color help keep the water cooler.
If I think it's too warm I just dump 1/2 the barrel & refill, but the horses don't seem to mind the warmer water.
maybe get some of those blue gel freezer-packs and sink them in your trough?
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
I have a refrigerator in my barn and I freeze water in rubbermaid boxes that are the approximate size of a shoe box.
During the hottest part of our summer, when I get home from work, I dump the hot water out of the trough and add fresh water along with 2 "ice chunks". The water will stay coolish until around noon the following day.
I have a freezer and freeze gallon jugs of water. Put 4 or 5 or 6 (depends on the size of your water tank) gallon chunks of ice. Horses also like playing "bob the ice chunks". Keeps cool enough to drink most of the afternoon and a toy to play with when they're bored.