Already Registered?      Or Please Register to Post a New Message

Login Register

Complete Message (link)

Never had this problem before because ALL my pastures but one have spring water tanks. Unhappily, the pasture where my new barn sits has no spring water source. I ran a line from the house to the barn and, of course, had to install a heater in the tank to keep it from freezing in our Wisconsin winters. To my chagrin, I found that on really cold days, the critters would back up to the tank (for the warmth) and then let loose. I found poops floating in the tank almost every morning last winter and had to drain, scrub and refill, which is a LOT of work! Has anyone prevented this from happening by installing some kind of barrier around the tank that would enable the critters to drink but prevent them from backing up close enough to poop? How have YOU addressed this problem?

Klaus Karbaumer says 2015-11-08 08:55:12 (CST)

I am very sorry, Nora, I do not have a perfect solution for this particular predicament, but I certainly had to laugh.
Maybe you cold install a kind of metal railing ( metal would stay cold) around the tank that is close enough to let them drink, but keeps their butts away from the rim of the stock tank.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

NoraWI says 2015-11-09 07:01:04 (CST)

Thank you Klaus for your response. I would have laughed as well, had it not happened repeatedly on many consecutive frigid days last winter. I, too, thought that a metal railing of sorts would be a solution. I was hoping someone would have already addressed the issue and would share thoughts of how to design and attach the railing or barrier. I also have critters of different size using the tank... everything from Standard donkeys to horses that are 16.2hh. Very frustrating situation. I had installed a Bar Bar A nonelectric drinker in the same area but one of the donks insists on pawing at it and constantly fills it with dirt and manure. Even more frustrating because the drinker and its installation cost me a bucket. I do welcome all thoughts and even snickers.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Jonathan Shively says 2015-11-09 08:49:11 (CST)

Nora if I were heating the water, I would insulate the tank as well as put a cover on it. This could be as simple as a plywood lid you slide back to allow access or a hinged lid that can be opened. I know this limits access to a degree, but it could be opened for daytime or a couple of hours in the morning, afternoon and evening. With insulation around the tank less heat should be emitting from the tank creating less "hanging around the water" so to speak. If your heater runs continuously, this will allow you to put it on a timer and save some money also.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Michael Sills says 2015-11-09 10:55:01 (CST)

what about an old round bale feeder to keep them back a foot or so

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

NoraWI says 2015-11-10 05:36:06 (CST)

Two great responses from Jonathan and Michael! And I do have an old round bale cattle feeder that is not being used, as well as some aluminum backed bubble wrap that could be used. Thanks for these ideas! I would welcome any additional ones as well...

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Klaus Karbaumer says 2015-11-10 08:02:38 (CST)

Nora, I didn't want to sound calloused, but I had to laugh since something similar had happened to me. One of my horses insisted in pooping into the feed buckets which are hanging along the partition in the barn. And I know it is a nuisance, especially when I poured oats into the buckets from the other side without looking first , only to find out that they wouldn't eat it! But he gave it up on his own .

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

NoraWI says 2015-11-10 13:50:24 (CST)

Glad to have made you laugh, Klaus! Life is better all around when we can laugh at things instead of cry or whine. I guess your horse decided he wanted oats more than he wanted to rattle your cage! :)

A bucket or two I could deal with but emptying, scrubbing then refilling a 6' long water tank daily in cold weather was more than I could handle. I did try to just put out several water buckets but they got overturned and were not enough water for the 10 critters (5 horses and 5 Standard and Mammoth donkeys). I am afraid of colic when they eat hay and don't drink enough water. So I emptied, scrubbed and cursed my way through last winter but I sure don't want to do that again!

Thanks for any additional ideas you can send my way.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

So. Oh. Bill says 2015-11-13 22:10:53 (CST)

Nora, Since on horses the drinker part is several feet in front of the front feet and the pooper part is only inches behind the rear feet it seems that they allowed to stand too close to the water tank. Put something like a 16 inch log against the tank or set several fence post 1 1/2 from the tank that are 15 inches apart, This will allow the horses to reach between the post and drink from the edge of the tank DONT USE T POST, ONLY WOOD..
On the Bar-Bar A drinker, Put scrap tires over the drinker. You may have to cut the beads off the tires to get a good close fit. Large truck work best and will give a lot of protection to the outer shell of the drinker
Good luck,
Bill Lemar

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

lc says 2015-11-15 16:32:58 (CST)

Maybe need to deworm the guilty party. I notice mine want to rub their butt's on anything the appropriate height. After a good rub they feel so good they forget where they are and poop.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

vince mautino says 2015-11-15 22:11:30 (CST)

I sure don't have an answer, but I had an old mule 30 or so that would stand near the tank to keep warm. He never left a deposit, but I finally put two heavy blankets on him I felt so bad. That pretty much fixed the problem. He seemed to enjoy them but he did look like Ralphie's little brother in that Christmas movie about the BB gun , when he was all tucked in his winter clothing.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Geoff says 2015-11-23 15:03:13 (CST)

I don't know what to do about your water situation. I know one very well respected teamster who doesn't allow free-choice water. He waters them 2x/day just like feeding and says then he knows if one is off. Seems like a lot of work but it might fit in with his routine - not mine.

I have the issue of the horses using the water tank to "get my attention" when it's feeding time. They see me feeding the calves and start either kicking the water tank or using their nose to try and tip it over. Sort of like small children. Arrrgh.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

NoraWI says 2015-11-24 06:22:18 (CST)

I think I may have a solution! Wide used tires secured to the front and sides of the water tank with a ratchet strap. The tires add more than a foot of space before water can be accessed, which seems to be enough because I found manure ON the tires but not inside the water tank. It has only been a few days since I rigged it up and the temps have been really cold for only a couple of nights. How long it will continue to work remains to be seen...

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Cheri says 2015-11-24 21:58:45 (CST)

I've only had this problem when space is an issue. Too many in the same lot, or I inadvertently put the water tank, bucket or feed pan in what that horse deems as their latrine area. Can you relocate your water tank?

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

forum rules icon

Forum rules
Read these first

forum monitor icon

Uncle Joe
Forum Moderator

Search forum
Search the forum ARCHIVE

Banner Ads

Available on-line
Rural Heritage
The December 18| January 19
edition of Rural Heritage
is now available at
Tractor Supply Stores
throughout the US.
Check out a preview in our Reading Room.

calendar icon
Rural Heritage
Calendar of Events
Home of the webs most
extensive Draft Horse, Mule &
Oxen Calendar of Events.

Wagon Train

Behind the scenes
of a wagon train in
the Black Hills of SD

Visit RFD–TV for the
Rural Heritage scheduled
times in your viewing area.
  • Copyright © 1997 − 2018 Rural Heritage
    Rural Heritage  |  PO Box 2067  |  Cedar Rapids, IA 52406
    Telephone (319) 362-3027

    This file last modified: Aug 13, 2018.

    Designed by