Winter? Water or Snow?

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Winter? Water or Snow?

This is a discussion on Winter? Water or Snow? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    10-22-2008, 12:36 PM
Winter? Water or Snow?

The last question about her horse not drinking enough water got me wondering? How many water their horses in the winter or do you let them eat Snow. I have a atomatic waterer which allows them water all year round but many people in the area think that once the pond freezes over that they can just let thier horses eat snow for water. I say tie them up in a field 24/7 and let them only have snow to drink, think they will change thier minds.. Ok sorry but this happens lots out here, and it is a pet pieve of mine.
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    10-22-2008, 12:40 PM
OMG!!! Do those people know how much snow a horse would have to eat to get the water they require???? It's mostly air. We have had people lose their animals in this area because of ignorance like that. I'm with you on that one
    10-22-2008, 12:42 PM
My horse always gets water in the winter. Both BOs put pond de-icers in it (the weird circular things that you plug in) so it will heat up the water.
    10-22-2008, 12:46 PM
It bothers me too...

We would always water our horses twice a day in the winter despite snow. We would dump about 5 gallons of water per horse in the morning and then at night. They had no problem drinking the water down...but too much water will only freeze and cause more work (dad wouldnt let me have tank heaters). I don't think snow can really give the horse the amount of water needed and without additional water it could cause dehydration

"Water Requirements

Without water, nothing in your horse's body will function. Horses will often reduce their water intake as temperatures fall. This reduced water intake, combined with increased forage consumption can lead to a greater incidence of impaction and colic. Ideally, water should be warmed so that the horse will consume adequate amounts. Water should be available at all times. Water should be maintained between 45 and 65 degrees F and any ice crystals should be removed. If you are in a area that has regular freezing, check the water supply twice daily as horses will drink eight to 12 gallons a day.

A basketball or soccer ball floating in the water trough will keep it from completely freezing over. To help prevent freeze up in the water trough, place it in the sunniest spot available, and bank dirt around its sides to help insulate it. You might want to try covering part of the top with plywood, leaving a small area free for drinking. However, if you get very hard freezes you may want to invest in one of the various water heaters that are on the market. If you use float heaters, automatic waterers, or heated water buckets, be sure to check them to insure the heater is not shorting out and shocking the water. Allow plenty of space between water tanks and fences. If the whole herd drinks at the same time, there's often some scuffling and butting around the tank, and horses might be pushed through the fence.
Some people believe horses can get by on snow. "Get by" they might, but horses require a lot of water to digest dry feed. Forcing a horse to produce moisture by eating snow is counterproductive. Six times as much snow must be eaten to provide an equal amount of water. Furthermore, calories are used to melt the snow that should be used for body warmth. Whenever possible, offer your horse warm water at a temperature of about 45-65 F. Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that a horse's water intake in winter increases dramatically if he has access to warm water. Recent research has shown a 40 percent increase in water intake when horses are offered warm water on wintery days."

Winter Care for Your Horse

    10-22-2008, 01:09 PM
Green Broke
My guys get "extra water" in the winter (read "extra soupy bran mashes" )

How lazy can you be not to go out in water in the winter!?!
    10-22-2008, 02:08 PM
Regular water year round here...i will bring warm water when its really cold.....

Snow..these people r lucky that their horses survive till the spring. What jerks
    10-22-2008, 03:02 PM
Case in point.......My Xdaughter-in-law was asked to water our stud while we were away for a week. I filled his water tub up has a heater etc so it wouldn't freeze, but as he usually has it drank in about 4 days I asked her to check his water and fill his tank if necessary. Well we got home 7 days later and his water tank was empty. I was so mad.....Her excuse was, that she asked the neighbor if our horses needed to be fed and watered as much as they did and they told her, no that our horses we just spoiled. Well so much for those neighbors....
    10-22-2008, 03:50 PM
My 2 geldings said it best I can't fix stupid! People never seise to amaze me!
    11-11-2008, 04:54 AM
People are idiots...all my horses have the pleasure of heated water buckets in the barn and a heated trough for turnout time, I know this is not a luxury of all horse properties, I was just so sick of breaking ice at the other places I have lived and owned horses that the plug ins for the buckets and trough heater was a definite must when I bought my own place and built my new barn. I actually worked out quite nicely the way we did it because the power cords are completely hidden from the horses and the buckets I buy even if they short out can not shock the horse as everything is made of plastic that the water touches. The one downside is that these are not the cheapest things to run in the winter, I know I only leave them plugged in once it gets about 20 degrees or lower because they eat electricity...even though they say they are energy efficient.
Yeah...sorry for the long rant there, it just makes me mad to think someone thinks an animal can live on snow! My question is what do they do when it freezing cold outside and they are to lazy to give water to these horses, but yet there is no snow. In Ohio, it may be cold as crap, but there is not always snow!
    11-11-2008, 10:25 AM
My horses have warm water in the winter and cool water in the summer. We have two automatic heater waters that keep the water at 10 Degrees Celcius and a trough with a heater in it that keeps it a touch warmer.

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