Automatic waters

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pricefarm

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Getting ready to install some auto cattle waters which brand is best? Do they need the heaters in them I now the answer is different for different parts of the country
 

blacksnake

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I have a Cobett installed and really love it. I got the one with the short earth heat tube. Requires no power, easy to install. This winter was the coldest we have had in many, many years. Never had the lines to freeze up. Did have about 2 inches of ice on the bowl when it got down to -10 degrees. Just a couple of whacks with hammer and ice came right out since the bowl and float are round. Most mornings when there was an inch or so of ice the cows pressed the ball float down with their nose and got the water flowing that melted the ice. Thinking of installing another one.
 

Fire Sweep Ranch

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We have a Mira Fount out in the big pasture, the two hole. No heater, and has not froze IF you have enough cattle using it. Our first year, we only had a handful. Since then, we have at least 10 and it has never froze. This year, like Blacksnake, was the coldest I can remember, and it never froze.
We also have one with a heater.... like a Ritchie, but blue. We like it... you just need electricity to keep it from freezing.
 

torogmc81

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We have Mira Fount also. One is a single ball. installed it on the south side of barn and put a 12-inch, 3-foot long plastic culvert pipe for heat well. works great. Also have a two ball that sits under fence line out in open. same size heat well. We didn't have any problems the first bad negative freeze (early Jan.), but when the ground temperature was lower and we hit those negatives in February it started freeze up. Had to drain all the water so I could use the wife's hair blower to pump hot air for 30 minutes. It eventually worked itself loose. After that any night below 5 degrees I would use my irrigation siphon hand pump to cycle some water through the lines since the cows weren't drinking enough to cycle it for me. I would go out at 10pm, 2am, and 6am. The cows took care of the day shifts for me.

Other than the pain in arse winter that I had to deal with recently, I love my Mira Founts, well worth the investment. Just from now on I'll know to give the next one I install a north wind break. Makes all the difference
 

Workinonit Farm

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At the farm where I used to work, they had Mira founts for most of the cattle and horse pastures. The ones for the horses would freeze during extended cold snaps. BUT....that was due to the fact that not enough animals were using them. At that time it was 2 horses for each one.

The ones for the cattle didn't freeze, as there were a minimum of 30 animals per waterer.

Another place I worked at years ago had the Ritchie waterers that had heaters. If the power went out, it was a problem. It seems I was forever working on those things.

If given a choice I would choose the Mira Founts.

Katherine
 

dun

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Oyther then in a building I prefer the concrete ones that are buriedin the gound. Unless we have multiple days in teens and no sun during the day they never freeze enough that the cows can;t break the ice just by getting a drink
 
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pricefarm

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Thanks for the info I will probably go with the mirafount. Where Iam going to put it I only will have 10 cows with calves using it if I get the one with only one ball do u think alll the cows and calves will drink from it? Seems like now that they all come up to drink at the same time and if there's only one spot to drink would that be ok
 

J&D Cattle

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pricefarm":3mzan0kr said:
Thanks for the info I will probably go with the mirafount. Where Iam going to put it I only will have 10 cows with calves using it if I get the one with only one ball do u think alll the cows and calves will drink from it? Seems like now that they all come up to drink at the same time and if there's only one spot to drink would that be ok

They will butt around a bit but end up figuring it out. I have two 2-ball Ritchie's and like them very well. It got down in the negative teens here this winter for a couple of days and I had a valve freeze. This is roughly 20 degrees colder than it ever gets here so on a normal winter they are good. No heat with mine only the thermal tubes.
 

torogmc81

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pricefarm":xc9byr4j said:
Thanks for the info I will probably go with the mirafount. Where Iam going to put it I only will have 10 cows with calves using it if I get the one with only one ball do u think alll the cows and calves will drink from it? Seems like now that they all come up to drink at the same time and if there's only one spot to drink would that be ok
Yes they will all drink from it, but from experience, it's worth the extra dollars to get two balls, you'll be glad you have them.

As for learning to drink from it.
1. find out how smart of cows/calves you have and just leave ball in there till they figure it out
2. BAll out day one, ball in day two, ball out day three, ball in day four. most will figure it out day two, whoever didn't figure it out day two will defintitley get the hang of it day four. Some are real jumpy with the ball pushing back at them if they've never seen a waterer like that before.

Our farm record holder for quickest newborn calf to figure out Mirafount is this year, heifer calf at only 3.5 weeks old. I've seen others take at least two months. Usually the most docile ones that observe momma and apply the quickest.
 

CKC1586

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Fire Sweep Ranch":103r16ey said:
We have a Mira Fount out in the big pasture, the two hole. No heater, and has not froze IF you have enough cattle using it. Our first year, we only had a handful. Since then, we have at least 10 and it has never froze. This year, like Blacksnake, was the coldest I can remember, and it never froze.
We also have one with a heater.... like a Ritchie, but blue. We like it... you just need electricity to keep it from freezing.
The brand I used as well, no heater needed as stated by Fire Sweep if you have enough cattle to use it , it won't freeze. Good unit, was worth the money spent.
 

Ohrmundt Simmentals

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We have 2 Mira Fount's and a Ritche ( newer stlye similar to the Mira Fount). The bigger Mira Fount and Ritche we only use in the summer cuz the lines aren't buried but the smaller Mira Fount (2 sided rectangular opening) runs all year round. Ares has frozen when it get below zero with out a heater. We put a 250 watt ring in it in the winter and heat tape on the water coming from the ground. -30 the surface might ice over a little but no big deal. Really only had the water valve freeze up twice in 7 years in central Wisconsin. We lik'em
 

rRandel

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just installed 3 cobetts last summer really like them easy and simple to install, we have the bigger ones and have 2 of them in lot fence rows
 

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