Keep water from freezing??

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Awp0302
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Keep water from freezing??

Post by Awp0302 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:37 pm

I have 2 bottle fed calves in the barn right now. There’s no power back there. Anyone know a way to keep their water from freezing? Thanks



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Re: Keep water from freezing??

Post by Bright Raven » Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:07 pm

Awp0302 wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:37 pm
I have 2 bottle fed calves in the barn right now. There’s no power back there. Anyone know a way to keep their water from freezing? Thanks
To prevent water from freezing without an input of energy you must retain the existing energy (heat).

To do that:

1. A larger volume of water retains heat longer than a small volume of water. So use a big container.

2. Conserve heat. Insulate the container. One way to do that is to bury the container to the extent possible and insulate the rest.
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Re: Keep water from freezing??

Post by Ky hills » Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:41 pm

This isn’t a good answer to your question but it’s what I have always done. I used to have bottle calves and would water them of a night and morning when I fed them. Sometimes when the buckets would freeze hard I would take them inside the house for a little until they thawed enough to empty.

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Re: Keep water from freezing??

Post by sstterry » Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:54 pm

Awp0302 wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:37 pm
I have 2 bottle fed calves in the barn right now. There’s no power back there. Anyone know a way to keep their water from freezing? Thanks
First, where are you located? It will make a difference as to whether it is a cold snap or an extended period of freezing. Also, what type of water system are you talking about? If it is a plumbed system and just a night or two of cold weather, you can leave a small stream of water running to prevent freezing.

Also, a 12volt recirculating pump can help keep the water moving and help with freezing. A lot depends on my above questions.

Third, they make a 12volt tank heater that runs on a battery. But be aware that the battery has to be changed and recharged daily. https://www.hydrogenappliances.com/stocktankheater.html

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Re: Keep water from freezing??

Post by Aaron » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:22 pm

Depending on the volume of water and the container size, insulating around the container would be a start.
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Re: Keep water from freezing??

Post by cowgal604 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:09 am

yesterday I ran 300 feet of extension cord to get a heater to some of my calves water. Sometimes I have to carry hot buckets early in the morning. Sometimes I just insulated it as much as possible. I feed my bottle calves 3 times a day and the only time they had straight frozen water was really early in the morning. So I just refill in the morning and at each feeding. But my bottle calves just do crappy when it’s super cold. I try not to keep them over winter but when I have to I blanket them.

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Re: Keep water from freezing??

Post by Awp0302 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:44 pm

I’m in northern KY. Should just be random cold snaps....not an entire winter. Only 2 calves....so we have been using water barrels. I didn’t know if there was something solar out there that was a heater of some sort. I’ve seen some for koi ponds. I have no access to power right now unless I run generator which won’t work for long periods of time.

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Re: Keep water from freezing??

Post by bball » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:52 pm

I have seen where you take a black stock tank, cut a good sized square out of it and replace with a piece of plexiglass (sealing it well obviously). Face tank to south so it picks up maximum sun exposure and "stores" heat in the water. Insulate sides and back. Have also seen where you half bury a tank, but directly beneath it, you dig down as deep as you can and place a 6" or 8" diameter pipe beneath the tank in attempts to gain geothermal energy and keep water thawed. Both looked interesting, but I suspect wouldn't cut it in my neck of the woods.
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Re: Keep water from freezing??

Post by TCRanch » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:23 am

I haven't tried it but have heard milk jugs filled with salt water will keep a relatively small stock tank from freezing.

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Re: Keep water from freezing??

Post by Bcompton53 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:53 am

I’ve seen propane powered tank heaters, but no experience with them

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Re: Keep water from freezing??

Post by Dave » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:25 pm

Move to Florida?

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Re: Keep water from freezing??

Post by bball » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:53 pm

TCRanch wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:23 am
I haven't tried it but have heard milk jugs filled with salt water will keep a relatively small stock tank from freezing.
Tried that here...didnt work unfortunately. Just too cold at night? IDK.
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Re: Keep water from freezing??

Post by sstterry » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:39 pm

TCRanch wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:23 am
I haven't tried it but have heard milk jugs filled with salt water will keep a relatively small stock tank from freezing.
This approach sadly just keeps the water moving enough to not freeze for a while. It will eventually freeze.

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Re: Keep water from freezing??

Post by TCRanch » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:24 pm

sstterry wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:39 pm
TCRanch wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:23 am
I haven't tried it but have heard milk jugs filled with salt water will keep a relatively small stock tank from freezing.
This approach sadly just keeps the water moving enough to not freeze for a while. It will eventually freeze.
Good to know, thanks. Plugged in all our de-icers a couple days ago (wind chill 3 degrees).

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Re: Keep water from freezing??

Post by sstterry » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:36 pm

TCRanch wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:24 pm
Good to know, thanks. Plugged in all our de-icers a couple days ago (wind chill 3 degrees).
I plugged one in for a steer I am feeding out tonight. The ponds should be fine even though it will be down to 12 here.

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