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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.
Yes because that is very sad when you have to scoop a barn kitten out of it. I have ropes tied to my fence and they dangle in each of my tanks.
 
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Well, I used old plastic molasses tubs from my parents all last year until I got my automatic waterer. Still used them in the small pasture this summer. Next year I'll get a Drinking Post put in that small pasture.

But never had to clean any of them. NEVER. But I was also refilling them every day or every other day, so the water was always fresh. And that's why no cleaning needed!!!

But if I were to buy something more long lasting, yes, I would go with one of the sturdy Rubbermaid ones. A couple of my horses liked to throw them around when they would get empty. Toys, pretty much. I didn't bother to try to fasten them down. My parents have piles of them from the cattle and they worked slick. (and free)




Thank-you....
I never saw anything like that...
Those appear massive...
I've got one sitting in my pasture currently. Not for my horses but for the neighbor when he puts his cattle in to graze the north half of our property. Gigantic used tire. Since it's for the cows ....... never gets cleaned. ;-) but cows are a little different.

My parents have one too. Cows keep the water moving through it enough, I don't ever really recall having to clean it. Maybe once in a while but not often. Theirs actually it the full tire, in that the stop was kept as a cover, and then there are holes cut in 2 or 3 places around for the cattle to get their head in. With heavy equipment, you could lift the top off if you want. I don't have a picture. It's used in the winter too in North Dakota. The tire acts as excellent insulation, and then we can pump fresh water into it. Might have to bust open the hole sometimes when it's really, really cold. But works pretty well.
 

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Those tire tubs are something!

I get why you'd need a big tank if you have to provide water for many horses/cows, but with only three (which is what @ACinATX also has), my preference is to dump out water daily. Every morning, I dump out the previous day's water and refill. The tub rarely gets too gross this way, though I do scrub it every week or so. Another reason why I prefer to have one just big enough to hold water for one day on the hottest of days. When I was down to two horses, I even went down a size for the same reason. My pony Bella tends to play in the water, and my horses are very fussy about having clean water so I find they will stop drinking from it if it's dirty. I'd rather provide fresh clean water daily so no sense in having it bigger than necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I am not sure if I'd be emptying it out every day. I kind of doubt it. I'd think once or twice a week depending on how yucky it is.

Can someone explain -- did I read this correctly? Water troughs used by cattle stay cleaner? Why would that be?
 
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Any trough (that isn't played in or used as a rinsing station) that is in a shaded location and kept aerated with water turnover happening frequently (daily) will stay fairly clean. Add sun, organic material blown in and no aeration along with infrequent turnover rates and you get algae plus the build up of degrading matter. Doesn't matter the animal.

If they can drink it down and you are rinsing and refilling it will stay clean. If you have it in a shaded location and on an auto timer set or autofill to fill in a trough that the gallons out (drank by livestock) is not much less than holding capacity then the water stays fresh. Your problem becomes organic matter build up if your shade source is a tree. Building a cover solves that. It can be a shade cover that provides respite for animals as well or simply a cover that goes over most of the surface area of the tank. Our shade is provided by trees. We keep a net handy to clean put debris like you would for a pool.

Most algae is harmless but can get scummy and look pretty nasty. Blue-green algae which can be deadly occurs in ponds or places there is fertilizer runoff or high manure loads that leach nutrients as runoff into those bodies of water.


ETA I have horses that like nuts and will rinse the shells out in their trough.
 

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I am not sure if I'd be emptying it out every day. I kind of doubt it. I'd think once or twice a week depending on how yucky it is.

Can someone explain -- did I read this correctly? Water troughs used by cattle stay cleaner? Why would that be?
I don't dump mine and scrub them unless I need to. In the summer they get algae in them pretty bad and since Riley and Cloud play in them, they also get mud. On their side I usually dump it when it gets to the halfway point and then hose it clean (scrub if it needs it) and then refill. On the girls side I just have to refill and let it overflow to get it clean. I used to buy fish in the summer to eat the mosquito larvae. As long as you add fresh water everyday, that works nicely....
 
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My trough is big in the horse corral, and I only clean it probably monthly in the hotter months and rarely ever in the cold ones. There are fish in it, so when it gets too terrible I feel like they are city fish living in smog. Lol

It gets overflowed occasionally and drained down fairly low often. It doesn’t ever seem to get as dirty as the milk cow trough which is smaller and needs rinsed more often. Yet, since I keep her corral so clean, if I dump the trough it creates this unending puddle area right where I milk! Super frustrating and makes me clean it less often than I would…
 

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Can someone explain -- did I read this correctly? Water troughs used by cattle stay cleaner? Why would that be?
No, doesn't have anything to do with the cows. But if you are providing water to a large herd, it is going to be refilling often. The more they drink, the more it refills, the fresher and cleaner it stays. Make sense?
 

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I would question if the cement leaches anything in the water.
I prefer the rubber troughs . I have some large heavy plastic barrels that came from a farm that had food grade safe products in them. I had to wash and rinse and cut them down. Water stays cool in the 100+ heat and I do not get freezing temps so I do not have to worry. Plus I had new rubber maid type troughs with new galvanized. The galvanized all got leaks and rust and were turned into feeders until the bottoms came out , then they were changed into planters with plastic liners on the bottom on top of the loose bottom.
 

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I have several small 15 gallon galvanized with float valves. Easy to clean and everyone can reach it. We have a 16hh ottb, a 30" miniature horse, 30" miniature donkey and a baby goat. The last ranch we managed had 20 plus of the 100 gallon galvanized with fill valves. We had 40 horses including Clydesdales and 80 head of cattle and never had and injuries or damage due to the metal.
 

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My favorite water troughs for horses were at a horse ranch I worked at. The owner was very wealthy, and that is an understatement. Lol. High on the Forbes list…

Each outside corral and the indoor stalls had something akin to a water fountain. Stainless steel with a pretty base, they were little bowls which would fill with water for the horses. The water was always fresh and never froze.

I guess, before I was there, they had a short in one once. Barely able to be felt there was a little shock that drove one horse off water for a couple days. It was noticed and fixed of course. That was the only issue I had ever heard of from any of them. I’m sure they cost more than I could ever afford, but they were lovely!
 
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