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Winter-Proof Water Sources: What Works For You?

22331_1193667130737_1500180050_30536976_809350_n.jpg Winter is in full swing, and the National Weather Service reports that there's snow on the ground in 49 out of 50 U.S. states – including Hawaii! Excluding Florida, 70.9% of the U.S. is covered with snow. So, I know I'm not alone in this group having to feed hay in the cold, keep water sources from freezing up and gearing up for calving season to get underway at the end of January.

tire-tank.jpg At our operation, we utilize stock dams, electric waterers, creeks, tanks and, our favorite, a rubber-tire water tank. Although it looks pretty frozen up in this photo, this tank is an energy saver that is hooked to a well and is insulated by the rubber to deflect extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. We installed one a few years back in the pasture where we winter our cattle, and it was an investment that quickly paid for itself.

energyfreetank.jpg Here's how ours works: First, the bottom is sealed with cement. A float valve is located in the center. Options for water sources differ, but our tank is connected to a pre-existing well.

The tire is recycled and makes a freeze-proof watering system. Although we love our electric waterers, this is great for a remote winter watering system. In the winter, we insulate the top with additional rubber mats, and at times, we have to take out the center covers, and chop out the thin layer of ice that builds up around the float. Other than those few times when the float freezes up, we rarely have trouble keeping the water open and available for the cattle.

What water sources do you rely on at your operation? How do you winterize your available waterers? Have you had to chop a lot of ice from your watering systems this winter? Here's your chance to provide a customer review of products that work for you. These reviews will help other producers make sound investments for their ranches in the future. Thanks in advance for your reviews. Stay warm out there!