Cookie cow and the other furry kids have a nice size water tank with a drain plug for weekly scrubbing. (For those of you who don’t live in the desert, the sun is quite the algae builder!) Winter’s are cold in the mountains of Arizona and temperatures can drop down below zero at night. When fluke cold snaps hit in the early fall, I have been seen out at the water tank with an axe breaking up the ice so the livestock could get to the water. It’s then that I typically pull out the heavy duty extension cord and hook up the deicer for the livestock tank.
This is one of those items that no livestock owner should be without, that is unless you live in Florida or Hawaii… or Phoenix, but for those of us with winter weather, a water tank deicer is imperative. Most units are thermostatically controlled and only kick on when freezing temperatures warrant the need. I slide the large tank up close to the fence and tuck the cord for the deicer through the fence at the lip of the tank. This keeps the calves from playing with the cord and either unplugging it, or worse, chewing through the insulation to the wires. Guards can be purchased if you need to keep a plastic bucket of water from freezing, but I am always nervous about a heating element and plastic. If a stock tank is too costly, go to your local hardware store and purchase a large 35 gallon metal garbage can or two. It would likely require daily filling, but would offer your furry kids a clean source of fresh water.
Do you have an electric free trick to keep an ice free livestock tank? If so I’d love to hear some of the ideas out there!!!