Inventive Ways to Keep Water Trough From Freezing?

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Inventive Ways to Keep Water Trough From Freezing?

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    11-15-2012, 11:18 PM
Inventive Ways to Keep Water Trough From Freezing?

Hey all! I'm in Chicago, so it gets below zero around here. My horse is out in the country, so it's incredibly windy and cold. I'm moving her to a new place and I don't think there's electrical hookup for a water heater.
So... how do I keep it from freezing?
1) Goldfish. Not sure how, but maybe.
2) Buy insulation foam. Maybe it will work?
3) Do you think I can rig a solar panel to a heater?
4) ????
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    11-15-2012, 11:29 PM
Goldfish won't help with the cold, don't put them in there. Insulation... probably won't work. You can however do the solar panel! There are some you can actually buy that are solar charged. Google it :) I am thinking of buying the solar powered electric fence.
    11-15-2012, 11:30 PM
1 fish sticks
2 yes there's another post that will give you some ideas on how to build one. It won't solve all the freezing issues but it's somewhere to start.
3 no. They don't generate enough power to run a heater. There is a solar tank ($400) that works but it's only enough for 1-2 max. Mine has lasted 4 years so far.
4. Move south
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    11-15-2012, 11:30 PM
Green Broke
A basketball. :p
As long as there's air in it, it'll float. The horses will probably figure out that if they touch it the ice will break and they can drink. Horses going for water are going to nose around the trough/tub if it's frozen, and they'll inevitably hit the ball that's frozen half in/half out.
I know quite a few people that do that around here (western PA) and they've never had an issue. The layer of ice shouldn't get thick enough that the ball won't break it as long as someone is drinking relatively regularly.
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tinyliny and With Grace like this.
    11-15-2012, 11:36 PM
If your water tubs aren't black already, replace them with black plastic tubs that will absorb as much sunlight as possible. Insulate them around the outside.

Here is a GREAT project for an easy solar heated winter watering trough, if you're handy:

Insulated, Solar Horse Watering Tank
    11-15-2012, 11:44 PM
I'm in Canada, so we pretty much need a heater for water all winter.

But some people use these frost free nose pump waterers for their livestock. They don't require power, and they don't freeze (they use geothermal heat). I don't know anyone with firsthand experience, but maybe it would work for your situation.

I'm not sure what the cost would be, though. Maybe a basketball would do the job for a fraction of the price.
    11-16-2012, 02:41 AM
I also was going to suggest the basketball....we did this growing up and it really does work
    11-16-2012, 02:44 AM
Never heard the basketball before..but that's awesome!
    11-16-2012, 03:09 AM
Would a soccor ball work? Or a volleyball?

(just kidding)
    11-16-2012, 09:54 AM
Green Broke
I've used the ball trick but it will only work for another month then the tank will freeze solid. The horses are more willing to bop the ball with their noses to break the ice.
The mares I have now are more timid about busting ice so it looks like the heater goes in sooner this year.

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