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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 31, 2004
    Upper Peninsula, Michigan

    Default Heated water buckets or alternatives?

    This is the first year I'll have horses at home AND be putting some of them in at night. The pasture puffs stay out 24/7 and their outside water tank gives them water available at all times.

    Now, inside... it gets COLD here. As in, FREEZING. So I think my only option is heated water buckets... DH isn't so keen on the potential electricity bill, and while the barn can definitely handle running 3 heated water buckets, the electrical hookups are not convenient for the stalls so I'd have to do something amazing with extension cords.

    I'm definitely not opposed to doing the heated bucket thing but wondering if there are any alternatives? I vaguely remember a barn from my youth having their water buckets insulated in some way and then they put styrofoam on the top. The horses just pushed down the styrofoam to drink. The buckets were not heated but they poured in hot water. I have NO recollection if this eventually froze or not.

    Would building an insulated box for the heated buckets allow us to use less electricity?

    I would like to explore all options before I commit to The Heated Bucket. I do like to keep DH happy when possible... he does a lot for me and my horses!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
    Upstate NY


    Our electric bill is not substantially higher during the winter with three heated buckets as it is during the summer with three fans.

    But the running of lots of extension cords thing does sound scary.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Douglasville, Georgia


    Here are the Thermal Bucket Holders with styrofoam floats you remember (and not at a HORRID price either)

    I'm getting two this year for sure!
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2008
    New Hampshire


    I have the same issue... except it happens during storms when my 24/7 beasts decided getting to heated outdoor tub is too much effort. Then I have to provide stall buckets (they have 24/7 access, in and out) and they freeze within an hour it seems.

    I am definitely investing in these this year!!!! Should be OK for MOST of the winter storms here!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005


    I have a solar Bob trough from and am very happy with it. I keep that in the pasture and heated buckets in the stalls. Our barn is open all the time so they have plenty of access to water. I don't panic when we lose power because I know at least the trough will be available if the buckets freeze.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2004


    My boarding barn uses heated buckets...each stall has a proper plug-ins.
    I wouldn't use extension cords...better to hire an electrician and get proper outlets.

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