The bitter cold months here on the farm are always the most interesting, especially when it comes to water.
For most of us, water is prevalent and easy to obtain. Except if you are at a baseball game and they try to charge you $4.00 for a 20oz bottle! You can go broke really quick at that price!
Water is not only important for our health and well being but it is important for our cows health as well. Depending on the age and weight of the cow they can drink between 3 gallons and 30 gallons per day! Holy Cow! That is a lot of water. I know, I sometimes just struggle with 70 oz I am supposed to take in daily. I can’t imagine drinking 3+ gallons everyday. Plus, if the cow is lactating (such as a dairy cow, producing milk) they can drink up to 40 gallons a day!
The amount of water isn’t an issue for us, we have an extra well that is dug deep to allow them access to as much as they need. But in the winter…. the fresh water freezes.
When you walk outside on a cold winter morning and find the water trough looking like this (above), you know you are in trouble. It is time to grab the pick ax and sledge hammer and get to work breaking the ice out of the tank. Growing up this was a daily occurrence. My brother and I preferred to ice skate on the trough for a bit until we were forced to stop playing and get the cows some water. I will never forget the day my dad brought this amazing contraption home.
This is an electric water heater. It is designed to float on the surface of the water and keep the water from freezing. This thing worked like a charm! As a child this beauty was about to make my life so much easier. Albeit, my ice skating on the water trough days were over. I was happy that the cows had fresh water.
We continue to use water heaters like this and others that are built into the water tanks to give our cows access to fresh water all year round. We know how important water and a nutritious diet is to our grass fed cows. They spend most of their lives outside in the elements, and it is our job to keep them healthy and happy!
I hope you have enjoyed ready a little bit about our farm. Life here isn’t always easy but it is the best! Follow our blog or Facebook page to learn more.