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rditz 02-24-2011 09:03 PM

well with e coli and horses
New here and not much of a horse person. my wife and I have a hobby farm and have recently put some paddocks in a back field. Farm used to have a chicken barn (long gone) but the well (which has been open to the elements for who knows how long) was tested and has some ecoli.

we were carting water from the house well out to the paddocks, but would like to automate this and use the well.

my question is about the horses "sensitivity" to water with e coli... we were going to put some javex down the well in the spring and pump it out a couple of times...

my concern is, of course, the horse's health.

are horses sensitive to e coli as we are?



Cherie 02-24-2011 10:49 PM

Generally, horses ingest so many enteric bacteria like e-coli and enterobacter, that they are OK with any of them. I have seen calves and foals (I lost one just weaned foal one time) get sick and / or die from Salmonella and Coccidiosis. I have not seen these sicken mature horses on the same pasture where calves and foals died.

The colt I lost was eating where Canadian Geese were coming in an picking up grain the horses dropped. He tested positive for Salmonella when we did a necropsy.

Since then, I have not let geese come in and graze or pick up grain.

rditz 02-25-2011 06:58 AM


thank you for your thoughts... I was hoping to get this well going this season as we were carrying water up to the paddocks last year with a 250 gallon tub, generator and pump about every 3-4 days. not fun in the dark

Cherie 02-25-2011 07:58 AM

Also, if it is a good well, you can pump the heck out of it and keep runoff water from going near it, and it should clean itself up a lot. Corrals and other livestock facilities should be downhill from it and drainage ditches should be dug well away from and around the well so as little surface water as possible goes to ground near it. These things really help keep a well from becoming contaminated and heavy pumping will dilute anything that is in the ground water near it.

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