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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What kind of water trough do you guys recommend? I feel like the main options are plastic (which can shatter) or metal (which can rust). And I'm wondering how durable the rubber ones are, in the long run.

I'd be looking for a 100-gallon size, more or less.

If it makes a difference, this is for an area that doesn't see extremes of temperature. Usually.
 

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For exactly the reasons you mentioned above metal and plastic are never a option at my barn for large free-standing water troughs..
We use the Rubbermaid rubber trough...
Has lasted and is like new condition at 10+ years for us and we bought it used from a neighbor...so "aged" and still works great. That is for the pasture area.
At our barn we have another trough but 40 or 50 gallon size and a automatic float device on it allows us to dump, clean and fill with fresh water several times a week...the float never allows it to go empty and I know the horses always have water, period!
I think it Rubbermaid brand or may be Tuff Stuff, but...the product is the same crushable rubber that not break and goes back into shape and no injuries sustained.
Dimensions are 40 in x 13 in x27 in... my horses will drink this one to the bottom and yes, occasionally will stand in it and have a splash fest.
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This is the 100 gallon trough. Dimensions...31 in. x 53 in. x 25 in.
I have found is a real pest to need to dump and clean because of the bulk of the thing. My horses also will not go to the bottom of the thing having their head "buried" that deep inside making them vulnerable in their mind to attack from something..
From Tractor Supply the difference in price is about $30 between these respective of size.

Our float valve also came from TS...
Rectangle Fashion accessory Cuisine Event Carmine
At $12.99 in our store it was very affordable and figured if it broke or failed it was cheap enough to replace...
Only problem we had with it was when the neighbors horse came and played so hard he cracked the thing and it started to leak...it still worked but it did not shut off completely so horse had a pond till we discovered the problem.

But metal or something hard that if broken can have sharp edges... no way do I knowingly expose my animals to that kind of danger!
To each their own....and own opinion and practices.
馃惔...
 

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Rubbermaid 300 gallon is what we use. I also have the 75 and 100. Seamless construction and they have a drain at the bottom. Never had issues cleaning even the largest. I turn off the automatic waterer and let them drink it down enough so I'm not flooding the area though now that I put in a pad and have pea gravel surrounding the entire area that isn't an issue. Drain, put on its side and rinse. Scrub if needed and fill. Most are 15 years old one older than that. They will replace depending on the damage and how caused. I have had them replace one and refuse on another. The first they determined was a defect and the second my draft kicked just right and it split it down the side.
 

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Oh...the larger troughs should have a plug or valve to dump...ours does not hence a real pain to dump and clean the thing.
If you decide to purchase a larger capacity than the 40/50 gallon things, look for that valve/plug thing to make your life easier...
For the cost of our 100 gallon trough {$10} when we bought it used...I'll live with my "dumb/stupid" error... :rolleyes:
馃惔...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's great, I'll remember to get one that has a valve!
 
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My Rubbermaid ones lasted well in spite of the southern AZ sun...until Bandit. He loves to put his front feet in and play splash. A few years of that and they start to develop cracks. But I can't imagine anything else doing better, and the thought of listening to him playing splash in a metal trough...at night....

The old ones that have cracked are being turned into 100 gallon planters for my wife.
 

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Nothing is indestructible but I stick with the Rubbermaid troughs. I use 2 100 gallon troughs and a 50 gallon. The 50 gallon does not have a drain plug but is easy to tip for dumping even when full. I might not be as picky about the brand if I didn't have to use tank heaters in the winter. By also using the drain plug heater specifically made for Rubbermaid troughs it makes installation easy peasy. In the 50 gallon I have to use a floating heater with a guard and actually liked the old galvanized trough better because I didn't have to use the guard but for the price difference I can get over it. LOL
 

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When I had four horses I used Rubbermaid troughs. I put the heated troughs in storage during the summer.

Now that I am down to two horses, and I seem to have a new piece of arthritis every week, those big troughs went into permanent storage.

I use 18 gall plastic muck tubs during the warm months, and 18 gallon heated plastic tubs over the winter. I鈥檝e been doing that since 2015 and I haven鈥檛 had a busted tub yet.

I clean water tubs and buckets with Clorox once weekly during the cold months. During the summer when water turns green from spit back, high heat/humidity, those tubs get dumped and cleaned 2-3 times weekly. The 18 gallon tubs are a lot easier to manhandle than the big rubber troughs when one has physical issues. They are also less water waste during the summer馃槑馃槑
 

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I have never had the rubbermaid ones. I have quite a few galvanized ones tho. From the big huge round ones, to the smaller oval ones that still hold a lot of water. My main tank is half of a huge iron tank cut in half. The other half was in my barn for many years. All these are way over 50 years old, and still in use.
So really, what ever you feel will work best for you is what you should get. All tanks have their uses, you just have to figure out what it is you need.
 

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We use the galvanized troughs. We used them on the range for cows too, and they have never been dangerous, although all things are possible. Now I am seeing a lot more people using the big plastic troughs on the range. We even have one at the ranch. What we use mostly now though are tire troughs. They are indestructible! I鈥檓 not sure I鈥檇 like them for horses though, because they have a sort of sliver to them that if a horse was rubbing his head on might be a problem.
 
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I'm another vote for Rubbermaid ones. I have 2 150 gal tanks, 2 100 gal tanks and 6 little ones, 12 High Country Plastics 35 gal tubs for in the stalls. They each get one for water and 1 for hay. These are pretty durable but since they're plastic and not rubber, they do eventually crack and need replacing.
 

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I have a Rubbermaid trough an so far hasn't cracked, split. It's been frozen solid at 35 below zero 7 different times.

In winter it's up on blocks so it doesn't get frozen to ground. It can be hard to dump out ,if half full but not impossible with help.

Galvanized tanks always end up leaking at seams. Sealing it only works for 6 months then back to leaking. Never fails leaks happen in dead of winter.

Only pitfall with Rubbermaid tank is. Tank heater needs a guard on it, so it doesn't melt a hole in sides of tank. I use the floating tank heater.

Sinkers an drain plug ones are only good for 1-1/2 years then quit working,an usually happens when 20 plus below zero.

Floater currently in use has been going strong now 6 winter's.

I'm a Rubbermaid made fan my current trough is going strong at 10 plus years.
 

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I have the rubbermaid 100 gallon tanks. I have had to patch a couple up that have cracked over time but I don't think the weather is my culprit. I think Riley and his feet are. He likes to play in them in the summer. I also have a rubber one that is 100 gallons. I got it because he splashes so much I thought it would be safer but it's just easier for him to splash all the water out. It has been durable though.

You can alway buy a heater to put in the tanks in the winter. I used to do that but now that I have them in between the paddocks I can't get an electric cord out to them safely. I just use my ax and my sledgehammer in the winter...
 

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I've also got the Rubbermaid, but not the really big one. Mine is just big enough to hold water for three horses on the hottest of days, but small enough to be easily dumped, scrubbed, and refilled. The water regularly freezes in it - no big deal due to it's flexible material. I don't bother with a tank heater in it because I have my heated water buckets in the double run-in stall and the horses just come in to drink whenever they want. I top them up 2 x a day. It just makes more sense to me to heat water in the barn than outside. Right now we are transitioning so the horses have access to water outside and in the heated buckets. This gives them time to get used to drinking inside and to the warmer water. Soon I will put the big trough away for the winter.
 

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I have a 300 gallon Rubbermaid, a couple 100 gallon Rubbermaids, a 100 gallon poly Behlen, an IFA(which is a co-op store so I'm not sure who actually made the tank then stamped it IFA) and a small shallow High Country Plastics.

I do like the poly tanks, I use my 100 gallon ones for feeders and they haven't broke yet. Some of them are almost 10 years old. The IFA one had a hole melted into the bottom from a heater but I patched it my repeating and spraying with that infomercial stuff? Screen door in the bottom of the boat? Still holds water. I pull the plugs out if I'm using them for feeders.

My big one I use for water lasts my horses quite awhile in the winter. Less hose dragging and draining. And I use a drain hole heater because mine won't leave the cords alone with a floater or a sinker.

I used to have the big liquid mineral tubs for cows, I think they were 200? gallons they work good too but no drain plug. They were plentiful and free.

The 300 gallon Rubbermaid gets pretty scummy in the summer compared to other tanks I've used. I like galvanized ones better in the summer they don't seem to make the water as nasty like the Rubbermaid. Dumping the big Rubbermaid to scrub it out, pull drain plug, when it gets empty enough for me to lift a little I shove a rock under it with my foot which speeds up the draining process, tip up on its side to scrub, rinse.

The little High Country plastic tank I fill in the summer for my horses that like to play in the trough. I've had it for over 10 years and it still holds water.

Poly tanks are the best bang for your buck.
 

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Whatever you use, I recommend putting a hardware cloth (heavy screen) ramp on it. You can bend it to hang on any edge. It will save the sadness of finding drowned animals or birds in there.

I've worked on outfits that had galvanized and/or rubber tubs. Where I lease now, the owner is brilliant with tire tubs that have constant exchange of water from the many creeks.
 

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Uncle.... I give, uncle....

Several have now referred to "tire tubs"....
What is it you refer to??? :unsure:
I looked, I googled and came back with tire tubes for car or bicycle tires...ummm, no.
Picture please as what I am thinking is a muck bucket inside a large tractor tire...and going don't think so. :cautious:
Picture would be so welcome for my puzzled mind...
馃惔...
 

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Thank-you....
I never saw anything like that...
Those appear massive...
Heck for some that would be a welcome retreat from the heat...swimming/soaking pool of inviting refreshment.

So, how do you empty to clean?
Is there a drain on a bottom edge since a concrete bottom is rather forbidding to lift, scrub and dump to rinse and refill..
馃惔...
 

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@horselovinguy the edges where it is cut is slivery鈥 they are massive, but the big plastic and galvanized ones are too. The plastic ones seem most inviting to swim for some reason.

You use a big piece of pipe to siphon it out. With cows drinking them down and refilling often they aren鈥檛 particularly dirty, but they need drained when the cows are not in there. On the mountain they are drained in late fall and on the ranch they are drained late spring and left until the cows are home again in late fall.
 
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