Having a constant source of clean water is essential to the health on your animals, and anyone living in the cooler regions of our country knows that preventing water from freezing during the winter months can be a difficult task. The use of an electric heater can be quite costly or simply isn’t even an option. The mouths of curious animals may also find the cords of electric heaters a tempting snack, which certainly would lead to a bad situation.
There are many eco friendly solutions to the problem. One common solution is to wrap the bottom and sides of the water container with reflective bubble insulation. This can be done on water buckets in stalls and used for transportation of water, as well as on larger tanks. The foil will act as a radiant barrier to assist in maintaining a higher water temperature. It often helps significantly to fashion a lid with an opening for large tanks.
Another option is an on demand water system that keeps the water line and fittings below the freeze line. This system utilizes double bubble foil insulation to keep the line from freezing above the frost line. Frank Frodsham at Bar Bar A, invented his own automatic waterer after finding out a faulty tank heater was shocking his horses.
There are also many designs of water systems that utilize solar energy to keep your horses’ water from freezing. These are essentially standard stock tanks which are painted black, encased in an insulated box with a plexiglass window which faces south, and a lid. These can be purchased or made on your own.
Whichever method you choose your horse will be happy to have easy access to fresh water all year long!