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Wildlife Escape Ladders for Water Troughs

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  • Wildlife Escape Ladders for Water Troughs

    Last year I had an unusual number of wildlife deaths (a raven, a few squirrels, some birds) in my water troughs. In winter we only use one by the barn, but in the spring/summer/fall I have three. I've tried a piece of wood and a notched PVC pipe in the troughs, but my monkeys (a.k.a. horses ) won't leave them alone, and I usually find them out in the field.

    Any products or self-inventions you've used that might work for toughs in pastures with overly mischievous horses?
    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
    <>< I.I.

  • #2
    Maybe try supergluing some plastic dowels to the side of the trough in a pattern which would give trapped critters a foothold. The horses might be less likely to pick at the critter ladder if it was firmly anchored with superglue and didn't move entertainingly when they lipped it. You should be able to clean plastic dowels well enough with a scrub brush. Nylon rope would provide more traction for the critters, but it would probably accumulate slime.

    Comment


    • #3
      http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OfdglwXva1...s1600/frog.jpg

      Look at that look and those little toes!!!
      Julie
      www.equusvilla.blogspot.com
      www.ridingaside.blogspot.com
      www.miniaturecheviot.blogspot.com

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      • #4
        I braid several pieces of plastic twine into a loose, thickish rope. I either drill a hole in the rim of the tank to tie it to or tie it to a post if the tank is by the fence. This has worked well to save our wild critters and the horses don't seem too interested in it. It will just float on the water making it easy for a gritter to get a hold of.
        Patty
        www.rivervalefarm.com
        Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts

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        • #5
          This is what we use:

          http://www.nm.nrcs.usda.gov/technica.../bio/bio55.pdf

          Comment


          • #6
            I just leave the garden hose in the trough. I never have any accidental drownings if the hose in left in. My husband likes to move the hose when he mows though and doesn't always put it back in time to save a poor hapless squirrel or bird.
            "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by PRS View Post
              I just leave the garden hose in the trough. I never have any accidental drownings if the hose in left in. My husband likes to move the hose when he mows though and doesn't always put it back in time to save a poor hapless squirrel or bird.
              Sometimes, hoses left in tubs may syphon the water right out of the tubs.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                What a good design... thanks Bluey
                Nevertheless, she persisted.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It is also possible to position the tank so that some of it is out of reach (on the other side of the fence) from the monkeys.

                  This would require removing the bottom fence rail.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                    Bluey beat me to it.... this is what I was going to suggest too.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      After finding two suicidal squirrels in two weeks in one of my tubs, I put a small tub of water next to the big tub (out of reach of the monkeys) and - knock on wood - no suicidal squirrels.

                      Of course, now that I typed that I'm going to go home and find another squirrel belly up in the tub.
                      Honey badger don't give a sh!t.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                        Sometimes, hoses left in tubs may syphon the water right out of the tubs.
                        Very true and I have had that very thing happen once. I do have a valve at the end of my hose that I close when the trough is filled.
                        "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by justdandy View Post
                          After finding two suicidal squirrels in two weeks in one of my tubs, I put a small tub of water next to the big tub (out of reach of the monkeys) and - knock on wood - no suicidal squirrels.

                          Of course, now that I typed that I'm going to go home and find another squirrel belly up in the tub.
                          Many of our water tanks have an overflow to a small pond, the ones watered by windmills a big pond for storage water.
                          Wildlife generally drink in those, so rarely drown in the tank.
                          We still provide those ladders in these tanks also.

                          We used to just throw a 2"x6" by maybe 10" in the tanks, so they could get on it, but the ladders are much better.

                          As a wildlife preserve, we always try to do what works best, as soon as someone comes up with something new, like those "bird ladders".
                          A neighbor makes them.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My mom has used a small "net" bag that her tennis balls come in. She puts a rock in the bag for some weight and attaches the strings to the fence. Works well. Haven't found critters since... although we often have a labrador and several tennis balls inside the trough. Silly puppy
                            Proud owner of Belle- 17.2h PerchxTB-wannabe dressage horse & Fayah 14.1H arab-trail horse extroidinaire!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I use a section of ski rope, tied to the adjacent fence post. I did that after saving one squirrel (who was exhausted and just lay there after I fished him out with a large stick) and finding a drowned squirrel a few days later.
                              www.hollyrunstables.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                We've used braided twine tied to the fence post with a heavy fishing weight tied at the other end.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                                  As a wildlife preserve, we always try to do what works best, as soon as someone comes up with something new, like those "bird ladders".
                                  A neighbor makes them.
                                  Yep, the common thing was always to throw a 2x4 in the trough or maybe attach something to the side that extended into the trough towards the middle. Then people started to realize that the ramp has to run along the edge of the trough and make contact all the way down. An animal that falls into a trough tends to swim until it hits the side of the trough then follow the trough wall around and around.....so if the ramp doesn't make contact with the wall the animal either swims under it, or won't find it if it is floating around in the middle.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Thanks for the guidance guys! I think I'll braid some of our plastic twine today and put it against the trough (great idea to drill a hole!), and use that until I have the time to make the ladders in Bluey's post.

                                    For those of you that have make the USDA ladders, what did you use? Did you paint them? With what? Just want to make my Home Depot list!
                                    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
                                    <>< I.I.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Expanded metal. No need to paint. Here is example of another design. A little more simple but still effective.

                                      http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...e/P1030075.jpg
                                      http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...e/P1030074.jpg

                                      I have some more pictures I am uploading, hang on.....

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Here are a few more examples, different design on the attachment to the trough:

                                        http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...e/P1010873.jpg

                                        http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...e/P1010874.jpg

                                        http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...e/P1010876.jpg

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