Throughout our daily routines, we have come across some great products. Some of these products are common, some unique, some new on the market and some old fashioned, but they are all things that we love.
Ohio can have very unpredictable weather. Earlier this week we had the largest snowfall of the winter (not much, but still the largest). Today we are expected to reach into the 60's and have beautiful sunshine.
One of the greatest challenges of the cold winter weather is keeping fresh water available for the cows. We have rigged up a winter water system with hoses that seems to work well for us...if the hoses get drained the way that they are supposed to. No matter how we get the water to the troughs, we still have the challenge of keeping the water thawed so that the cows can drink it.
In our early years of livestock, we would grab a shovel or old pipe and beat a hole in the ice each morning and each evening. The challenge was hitting the ice hard enough to break a hole but stopping the motion of the shovel before you hit the side of the tank. Most of our water troughs are plastic. Plastic becomes more brittle in the cold. Add blunt force to the cold and you have a recipe for a cracked water trough.
We finally found a much easier solution.
We usually purchase these at our local Tractor Supply. There are several different styles including the floating and the sinking tank heaters. We have had both types and both work effectively. We usually just buy whichever one is in stock.
The cows get used to the abnormal object in the tank and are not deferred from drinking at all.
We are fortunate to be able to place all of our water troughs within close enough proximity to the barn to be able to run extension cords. The electric bill does go up a noticeable amount so we try to keep an eye on the weather and only have them plugged in when the temperatures are below freezing.
Winter weather is always a challenge, but we are glad that we have found one more way to make the cold weather a little more manageable.
All of these opinions are our own. We have not been compensated in any way by these products or companies.
Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.