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auto waterers

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  • auto waterers

    I would love to get them for my place, the only thing that bothers me is not being able to monitor water intake anymore

    with buckets, you can see how much your horse is drinking. this is important to me, I do keep an eye on how much mine are drinking.

    is there a way to monitor water intake with those waterers?

  • #2
    There are flow meters that can be installed for a lot of the waterers if you really must know how much each horse is drinking.

    My theory is that unless you keep each horse in its own paddock all the time and measure the levels in their water troughs every day, you really don't know how much they're drinking anyhow. Yes, with buckets in a stall as the only water source it's possible to monitor more closely, but my theory is that if a horse is always in a stall so its water intake can be monitored, that's totally counterproductive to its health. Horses out in a group turnout situation drink from a common trough/tub, and no one's the wiser as to how much they're drinking, right?

    All of mine share a large Varnan auto-waterer. If one is sick, doing poorly, or MUST have its water intake monitored, that critter comes inside with buckets until the problem is sorted out. Otherwise I trust them to drink what they need to drink, and the auto waterer is there to make sure they never lack access to fresh, plentiful water.

    Do you know how much your kids drink daily? Your dog? Cat? I am blessed with generally healthy horses that drink well. To me, their being outside all the time with access to water whenever they want it is better for their health (and mine) than my knowing every ounce that goes into them.
    Click here before you buy.


    • #3
      I've had auto waterers for 11 years and at first I was worried about not monitoring......but it you have a sick horse I simply tie a heavy piece of plastic over the waterer or turn the whole system off and bucket everyone and till you have the situation sorted out.

      When our foal was born we tied an old pillow to the waterer as it was at the height she could hurt herself if she was running around and couldn't get her brakes on.....plus the mare had had complications and we needed to monitor her water intake.



      • #4
        Nelsons have gauges, so you can monitor how much they drink. I had Nelsons installed in my barn and they have been a God send...
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        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by Callaway View Post
          Nelsons have gauges, so you can monitor how much they drink. I had Nelsons installed in my barn and they have been a God send...
          cool, thanks! gonna check them out.

          yea, everybody is out together on a huge pasture, and still I have a good baseline average for every horse...... im weird that way....


          • #6
            When I checked in to the Nelson they were horribly expensive compared to the ones I ended up with ......thing Nelsons were around $350.00 and my wateres are around 50 to 60 dollars.....I have 8 stalls so Nelsons were not an option.



            • #7
              I wish I'd gone with the nelson's just so I could remove the bowl easily & dump it. Hate hate hate having to stick my hand in the waterer, put something under the valve to cut it off & use a sponge to clean it. So much easier if I could just remove the top & rinse it or wash it out.
              They are pricey though aren't they?
              Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!


              • #8
                Pricey, maybe in dollars.

                PRICELESS in not having to shlep nasty, frozen, muddy hoses or to break ice and dump buckets every day.

                My Varnan was $700 and worth EVERY PENNY. It's five years old, has cost me about $10 in maintenance, and I would pay for it ten times over for the blessed freedom it gives me from hoses and buckets and worries about water.
                Click here before you buy.


                • #9
                  Behler Auto Waterer

                  This is kind of different question but maybe i don't need to start a new thread...

                  We bought a place with a Behler auto waterer installed. Its a big insulated plastic tub with a cover and weighted balls that seal the drinking holes. Love the convenience of this thing.

                  The problem is that even though we clean it out, soon afterwards the water absolutely stinks. It is so gross. Any advice for treating the water so it doesn't start growing bacteria in there and stinking? iI check the freshness of the water by sticking my hand in there. Yikes- nasty!

                  Are tablets or can you use bleach or iodine or something?

                  We are not lazy people but it is quite an enterprise to disassemble, drain and scrub this thing so I am looking for a time saving tip. There is a lot of other stuff to do here...

                  Thanks in advance!!
                  When I pull on my boots, I know who I am


                  • #10
                    Unfortunately I think that once you get stinky stuff established, it's really hard to eradicate without either a reaLly thorough disinfecting or changing something else permanently, like how much air or light or heat the water and its unwanted residents are exposed to.

                    Ultraviolet light is Nature's best antimicrobial, so (I know this is time-consuming, sorry, but it's probably futile to skip this step) I'd start with taking the thing right down, scrubbing it with bleach and leaving it open to dry in the air and sun for a day or two. BONE DRY. That will knock the population of water-loving gross things waaaay down. Then, maybe you could leave the balls out, so more air gets in there? Or remove the cover? Stinky often means the presence of anaerobes, to whom exposure to air is bad.

                    By all means you can add some bleach to the water, it won't hurt the horses and can keep the creepy-crawlies down. When I clean my waterer during the hot weather months I add a capful of bleach to the 20 gallons when I'm done.

                    They sell natural, microbial additives for stock tanks, but I've never found that they do anything in my 20 gallon waterer. Those barley balls also didn't do anything for my waterer. Probably my volume is too small and the turnover too fast to give the "good guy" microbes enough of a foothold.
                    Last edited by deltawave; Apr. 30, 2011, 10:25 AM.
                    Click here before you buy.


                    • #11
                      Nelson waters are the best. Worth every penny. They are super easy to clean and you can shut them off in each stall if necessary. If I ever build me own barn, I will get them even if I have to skip something for awhile I am doing it. Seriously best things ever!

                      I HATE the cheap auto waters. They stink, and are impossible to keep clean etc etc. I am not sure what brand of auto water my BO in CO had out in the pastures as they were not nelson's, but still awesome. Never froze even in the negatives.

                      If you are going to go with auto waters then spend the money and do it right or stick to buckets.
                      I love cats, I love every single cat....
                      So anyway I am a cat lover
                      And I love to run.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                        Pricey, maybe in dollars.

                        PRICELESS in not having to shlep nasty, frozen, muddy hoses or to break ice and dump buckets every day.

                        My Varnan was $700 and worth EVERY PENNY. It's five years old, has cost me about $10 in maintenance, and I would pay for it ten times over for the blessed freedom it gives me from hoses and buckets and worries about water.
                        Yeah but I live on the west coast so no need for heated waterers.

                        This is the waterer I have......easy to clean and no real mechanical parts to break.



                        • #13
                          To Deltawave

                          Just want to follow up with a thank you. We had been scrubbing the Behler out with just a scrub brush trying to avoid exposing the horses to chemicals.

                          But we went after it with bleach and let it dry. That has helped a lot in terms of deterring the regrowth of the scum.

                          Thanks for answering my post- you have saved us a lot of work this summer!
                          When I pull on my boots, I know who I am