stock tank ice ideas

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Anonymous

I'm interested in hearing how other people keep stock tanks open. I'm too cheap to just run electric heaters. Thanks.
 
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Anonymous

Cheap solution: go out to each tank twice a day and break out ice with a sledgehammer...works for us and no expensive underground wiring runs! Fortunately, our ice doesn't last more than 3-4 days at most before another warming spell before next freeze.

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Anonymous

Here is SE Nebraska, we normally stay real cold for extended periods and I haven't found anything that works as well as having stock tank heaters in place. I'm not one to bust ice twice daily, I have enough chores to do already, and since the cows are "mine", I am expected to do ALL the work they entail, and I'm just not physically able to swing that sledge -- besides, those oblong 100 gallon stock tanks will freeze into a solid block of ice up here. The stock tank heaters -- we use 3, one for the cattle tank and 2 for duck pools (kiddie swimming pools) -- don't cost that much to run and in my opinion anyway, the savings in work is well worth those few cents. I look on it as a trade off -- my time and what I can accomplish in that time, compared to the cost of running heaters. My main thing is show rabbits, not cattle -- I only have 3 dairy cows, a yearling beef heifer, and 3 butcher calves. I have a 100 cage rabbitry though, and thawing water crocks 3 times a day takes a large chunk of time, so I've decided that I'm putting in a heated automatic watering system for them, too. Approximately $300 to set it up, but after that it takes 5 minutes daily and 30 minutes once a week to maintain -- nothing like the 4-6 hours I'm spending on watering now. And will take no more electricity than an aquarium pump.

Ann B

> I'm interested in hearing how
> other people keep stock tanks
> open. I'm too cheap to just run
> electric heaters. Thanks.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Keeping stock tanks open in the dead of winter either will require manual labor or a source of heat.

Out here, a 300 gallon stock tank will freeze solid if left alone. Manually breaking and removing ice just doesn't cut it. The ice that's removed just piles up until spring, and the sledgehammer would have to be wielded several times a day.

There are some setups that use air or propane bubbles to keep the water moving and ice free, but that wouldn't work here.

We use electric de-icers in stock tanks, or propane burners under stock tanks to keep the water open and available here. Next summer we hope to start installing Nelson waterers.

If you put a 2 or 3 foot long chunk of 2 x 4 or thick tree branch in the stock tank, and hit that piece of wood with a hammer, it will break up the ice more easily.

Many folks don't understand the necessity of having fresh water available to their stock at all times. Both cattle and horses can bloat, colic, or have other digestive problems if fed dry feed when they don't have access to water.

> I'm interested in hearing how
> other people keep stock tanks
> open. I'm too cheap to just run
> electric heaters. Thanks.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> I'm interested in hearing how
> other people keep stock tanks
> open. I'm too cheap to just run
> electric heaters. Thanks. you can also turn electric heaters on an off if the weather should get above freezing thereby saving some money on the electric bill.

[email protected]
 
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A

Anonymous

Those Nelson waterers realy soound like the best solution to the ice situation if you have electricity. On the new farm there are several that have a small reservoir and a steady stream running through it and the overflow drains underground, they're really effective. I've seen these ones working at a high of the teens for weeks on end and not freeze, but they do use a lot of water.

dun

> Keeping stock tanks open in the
> dead of winter either will require
> manual labor or a source of heat.

> Out here, a 300 gallon stock tank
> will freeze solid if left alone.
> Manually breaking and removing ice
> just doesn't cut it. The ice
> that's removed just piles up until
> spring, and the sledgehammer would
> have to be wielded several times a
> day.

> There are some setups that use air
> or propane bubbles to keep the
> water moving and ice free, but
> that wouldn't work here.

> We use electric de-icers in stock
> tanks, or propane burners under
> stock tanks to keep the water open
> and available here. Next summer we
> hope to start installing Nelson
> waterers.

> If you put a 2 or 3 foot long
> chunk of 2 x 4 or thick tree
> branch in the stock tank, and hit
> that piece of wood with a hammer,
> it will break up the ice more
> easily.

> Many folks don't understand the
> necessity of having fresh water
> available to their stock at all
> times. Both cattle and horses can
> bloat, colic, or have other
> digestive problems if fed dry feed
> when they don't have access to
> water.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> Cheap solution: go out to each
> tank twice a day and break out ice
> with a sledgehammer...works for us
> and no expensive underground
> wiring runs! Fortunately, our ice
> doesn't last more than 3-4 days at
> most before another warming spell
> before next freeze.

the easier way to keep a stock tank ice free is start with a energy free tank

we use two styles #1 a closed tank with one or two balls they sit over a 12" hole 4ft deep into ground heat heeps the water warm

#2 is a bathtub like tank (same idea for install) only a couple of inches of water open to the air and never freezes the tank is 2x5ft and waters 200 head

the mfg is RITCHIE

[email protected]
 
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A

Anonymous

Everyone has good ideas. Yes, if you live in a cold climate area with extended periods of sub-freezing weather, stock tank heaters are an excellent solution--electricity is just part of raising livestock. Or, if you know how to design/build one, might try a homemade solar collector with recirculating pump. Could bury a 55 gal drum in ground for reservoir and all. Would just have to make sure the collector was well insulated and the re-circulating pump didn't stop causing everything to freeze up.

Thank God I live in Texas with only a few days of below freezing weather at a time. Lived in Denver area about 10 years and also in Illinois, SD, KS. Had enough of that! :)

[email protected]
 
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A

Anonymous

The Ritchie closed tank works pretty good here where above freezing is not the norm.During extended periods of sub zero weather we have to check them and pop the balls free when nessesary.Also our 12 inch pipe goes down eight feet and hopefully will hold out this winter.We also have a Brower energy free waterer that has flip up doors like a hog waterer and through the last ten years it's really worked good.In colder weather, zero and below both need about twenty full grown cattle to work good.Above that temp they don't require many head. > the easier way to keep a stock
> tank ice free is start with a
> energy free tank

> we use two styles #1 a closed tank
> with one or two balls they sit
> over a 12" hole 4ft deep into
> ground heat heeps the water warm

> #2 is a bathtub like tank (same
> idea for install) only a couple of
> inches of water open to the air
> and never freezes the tank is
> 2x5ft and waters 200 head

> the mfg is RITCHIE

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> The Ritchie closed tank works
> pretty good here where above
> freezing is not the norm.During
> extended periods of sub zero
> weather we have to check them and
> pop the balls free when
> nessesary.Also our 12 inch pipe
> goes down eight feet and hopefully
> will hold out this winter.We also
> have a Brower energy free waterer
> that has flip up doors like a hog
> waterer and through the last ten
> years it's really worked good.In
> colder weather, zero and below
> both need about twenty full grown
> cattle to work good.Above that
> temp they don't require many head.
> > the easier way to keep a
> stock

yesterday was -16c windchill -28c today was -14c no wind

the ball tanks we had to kick the ball every 2-4 hrs, never touched the tub tanks

sometimes when it hits -20c+ the tubs skim overnight

[email protected]
 
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A

Anonymous

> yesterday was -16c windchill -28c
> today was -14c no wind

> the ball tanks we had to kick the
> ball every 2-4 hrs, never touched
> the tub tanks

> sometimes when it hits -20c+ the
> tubs skim overnight

I would guess that your ball tanks are not installed correctly. -16c is not cold enough to have to break open your waterers. We have had a ball tank in one of our lots for about 5-6 years and I can only recall having to knock the ball loose one or two times and that was when it was -10F for a high for a couple days in a row. I'm not exactly sure about the conversion between C. & F. but wouldn't -10C be about +18F?
 
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A

Anonymous

There used to be a lot of problems with water tank balls freezing until folks strated adjusting the water level to the point that the ball had about 1/8 - 1/4 inch clearence from the sides. It seems that the theory is the cows drool/slobber/runoff after drinking gets on the ball and it freezes from the outside, not the inside

dun

> I would guess that your ball tanks
> are not installed correctly. -16c
> is not cold enough to have to
> break open your waterers. We have
> had a ball tank in one of our lots
> for about 5-6 years and I can only
> recall having to knock the ball
> loose one or two times and that
> was when it was -10F for a high
> for a couple days in a row. I'm
> not exactly sure about the
> conversion between C. & F. but
> wouldn't -10C be about +18F?
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> There used to be a lot of problems
> with water tank balls freezing
> until folks strated adjusting the
> water level to the point that the
> ball had about 1/8 - 1/4 inch
> clearence from the sides. It seems
> that the theory is the cows
> drool/slobber/runoff after
> drinking gets on the ball and it
> freezes from the outside, not the
> inside

> dun

got a e-mail direct from ritchie you are right on the money

only he was more blunt (read the instructions if all else fails) was his reply

thanks it works Art

[email protected]
 
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A

Anonymous

I find it hard to believe that I was actually more tactfull then the manufacturer, or anybody else for that matter

dun

> got a e-mail direct from ritchie
> you are right on the money

> only he was more blunt (read the
> instructions if all else fails)
> was his reply

> thanks it works Art
 

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