How To Keep Horse Water From Freezing Without Electricity? (Perfect answer)

Spread a black tarp over the top of an outdoor trough. Cut a hole large enough for the horse to dip its nose into the water. Wrap the rest of the tarp down over the sides of the trough and secure on the ground with bricks. The tarp absorbs the heat of the sun and helps keep the water temperature above freezing.

How do I keep my horses water from freezing?

Ideas to protect it including wrapping an old horse blanket, bubble wrap or Styrofoam around it. Most of us fill our troughs or buckets with water from a garden hose attached to an outdoor faucet. After watering, we know to unhook the hose and drain it completely so it’s ready to use the next time.

Does a bottle of salt water keep water from freezing?

An old cowboy trick is to fill milk jugs, or other sealed plastic containers, with salt water and place a few in the stock tank. In fact a water to salt mixture of about 3:1 won’t freeze until around -5 Fahrenheit. That’s the cold! So a saltwater bottle can easily last all night in the single digits without freezing.

How do you keep livestock water troughs from freezing?

Provide openings around the edge where animals can drink. You can also insulate the sides of watering tanks with insulation material, sawdust, or wood chips. Partially burying a watering tank, or berming it with earth, takes advantage of the ground’s warmth to prevent freezing.

How do you stop stable water freezing?

Another useful tip is to fill a plastic bottle with water and a cup of salt before putting the lid on and placing it in the water bucket. The salt will prevent the water inside the bottle from freezing and the bottle will float in the water which will stop the water in the bucket from icing over.

Will a bubbler keep water from freezing?

Sounds like a job for a bubbler: an air pump that keeps the area around the water intake from freezing. Not only will a bubbler keep the ice away, but it will help to aerate the water, says David Milligan, the senior director of Canadianpond.

How do you keep a bucket of water from freezing without electricity?

6 Easy Ways to Prevent Water Troughs from Freezing without an Electric Heater

  1. Partially Cover the Water’s Surface. The following paragraph(s) contain affiliate links.
  2. Get Bigger Troughs.
  3. Partially Bury Your Stock Tank (or Buckets)
  4. Build a DIY Double-Walled Stock Tank.
  5. Don’t Just Break Ice, Remove it.
  6. Use Nature’s Heat: Poo.

Will Epsom salt keep water from freezing?

That means the experience of Epsom salt cold plunging is more aesthetic than medicinal. Adding salt lowers the freezing point of water.

How much salt do you add to water to keep it from freezing?

Two pounds per gallon of water protects to 0° F and that is the maximum amount of salt that can be dissolved in a gallon of water.

How do you keep a pond from freezing without electricity?

How To Keep a Pond From Freezing Without Electricity

  1. Ensure Your Filter Is Working Properly.
  2. Dig It Deeper.
  3. Cover It.
  4. Use a Float.
  5. Install a Solar Pond Aerator.
  6. Try a Windmill Aerator.
  7. Install A Solar Water Heater.
  8. Combine Strategies.

How do you insulate a horse’s water bucket?

Luckily, it’s really easy. You basically wrap the bucket in bubble wrap (and in my case some packing foam too). I found it helped to duct tape some pieces down – especially around the edges – to keep things still as I went along. Once you’ve got several layers wrapped around the bucket, cover everything in duct tape.

Will a cooler keep water from freezing?

Wrap Your Water In a Towel/Sleeping Bag and Keep It In a Cooler. The cooler won’t stop your water from freezing for forever, but it’ll definitely delay how quickly it freezes so you’ll have a lot longer to get back to your car and drink your water.

How to Keep Horse Water from Freezing without Electricity

Cover your water trough with a tarpaulin that is sturdy and dark (ideally black). To secure the tarp, cut a hole in it that is just large enough for your horse’s snout to safely pass through (about 6″ by 6″), and then weigh it down with bricks. In temperate areas, the heat from the sun kept within the trough by the black cover may be sufficient to keep it frozen throughout the evening and into the next morning. Some curious or cheeky horses, on the other hand, may attempt to play with the tarp and will wind up flipping their trough over or tearing the tarpaulin completely.

In addition to encouraging your horse to drink more, the sugars in it have the added benefit of acting as a mild antifreeze.

It is possible that some horses will refuse to drink the molasses-laced water, so always double-check to be sure you haven’t mistakenly turned off their drinking water.

molasses Automatic waterers should be avoided.

  1. Those frozen pipes then have a tendency to rupture as a result of the ice swelling within them, causing a flood of water to flow everywhere.
  2. If your environment is very harsh during the winter, it is not recommended that you use these.automatic waterers Toss a basketball into your horse’s drinking trough (wash it very thoroughly first to ensure there are no harmful chemicals on the surface).
  3. basketball Incorporate your trough into a hole in the ground or into an old stock tank, then fill in the gaps with straw, hay, polystyrene foam, or dung to keep out the cold.
  4. This will not totally eliminate the cold from the water, but it may help to reduce the severity of the chill in milder climes.
  5. These polymers may be extremely hazardous to your horse if they go into his or her stomach.

The most effective solution is simply elbow grease. Even though it is labor-intensive and time-consuming, breaking the ice twice a day and providing a pail of boiling hot water is the most effective method of ensuring that your horse’s water supply is still in good condition.

Keeping Water Troughs Thawed With or Without a Heater – The Horse

Q. Winter has just just begun, and I’m already getting bored of breaking through ice in the water trough for my horses. In addition to installing a water heater, is there anything more I can do to keep the water from freezing in the future? — Via e-mail is the preferred method of communication. A. We all understand how critical it is for our horses to have fast access to water, but when temperatures drop below freezing and you are unable to utilize a water heater, things may become complicated.

Certain measures you may take to improve your situation may be beneficial.

1. Locate your trough for sun exposure.

Place your trough in a location where it will receive as much direct sunlight as possible. Despite the fact that many northern places do not receive much winter sun, positioning the tank in a south-facing location will maximize the likelihood of receiving as much sunshine as possible during daytime hours. Also evaluate whether or not a shaded place would be beneficial. Some shade, such as an overhanging structure, may provide some shelter from the cold overnight; however, it is likely that this implies less sun exposure during the day.

2. Insulate your trough.

Obviously, this serves to keep the cold from the outside and the warmth from the inside of the water in. Insulation made of Styrofoam board and/or foil-covered insulation is effective and can be put around the exterior of the trough to keep it warm. What works even better is to stack two troughs on top of each other, with a space of a couple of inches all around the perimeter. Install insulation on the bottom of both troughs as well as along the outside edge of the internal trough, starting at the bottom.

You may also construct a plywood box, line it with insulation, and then place your trough inside of that box.

It is best to use a plywood lid with insulation on the bottom of the lid.

Some people claim that this procedure is successful down to -10° Fahrenheit, according to them.

3. Place a float in the trough.

Having something float in the trough is beneficial in a number of ways. As it bobs about, it helps to keep the surface of the water flowing, making it more difficult for it to get frozen. Second, if the horses learn to compress the floating object, it will disclose an open region in the ice where they will be able to drink from the open area. Other options include filling an empty two-liter soda bottle two-thirds full with water and 1 to 2 cups of dissolved salt and sealing the bottle tightly.

There is enough air in the bottle for it to float, and because salt water freezes at a lower temperature than the water in the trough, the water in the bottle continues to move.

These techniques have had a mixed response. Some individuals swear by them, while others claim that they are completely ineffective.

4. Bury your trough.

If your ground is frozen, it is likely too late to plant this year; nevertheless, digging a hole for your trough and sinking it into the earth may assist by protecting it from the elements. Once again, this is going to be dependent on where you live and how far down your earth freezes before becoming ice. Up one instance, a North Dakota resident described how he dug a 12-inch hole several feet deep under their water trough using a fence post auger and then filled it in with sand. According to reports, heat originating from deep inside the soil contributed to keeping the trough from freezing.

5. Heat your trough.

At some point, you may find yourself having to disassemble and heat your trough. There are a variety of choices available, including rechargeable, electric, and propane heaters, among others. However, you might try spreading manure beneath your trough first before attempting them. Composting manure creates heat, and it is believed that if you place a several-inch-thick layer of manure under your trough, the heat generated by the dung will assist to warm the trough as it decomposes. If you opt to utilize a battery-operated, electric, or propane water-heating element, make sure you place it in a secure location.

You should definitely consider putting a lid on the trough since it will not only assist to keep the heat in but will also help to prevent your horse from getting his hands on the heating source.

If you opt to use any of the techniques described above, you should plan on checking the water supply at least twice a day throughout the winter months.

4 Low-Tech Ways to Fight Frozen Water Troughs

In our paddocks and pastures, iced stock tanks and water troughs pose a dehydration danger to horses and add a significant amount of extra labor to our already overburdened schedules. In order to ensure that our horses have access to fresh water at all times, we are continually breaking and removing ice, bringing hot water from the barn, and building expensive electric systems, among other things. If there was a simple and affordable, low-tech solution to eliminate or at least decrease this load, wouldn’t it be wonderful?

  • Some basic barnlifehacks that work remarkably well at keeping the water ready to drink, even when the temperature is in the single digits, without the need for regular care are included below.
  • Moving water retains its liquid state for a longer period of time, similar to how a river seldom freezes compared to a lake.
  • The solution is as easy as putting some huge floating items in our stock tanks to keep them from drifting away.
  • In addition, there is an extra benefit during really cold weather!
  • Make certain that the object you use does not lend a strange flavor to the water or scare your horse away from taking a full drink from the bucket.
  • This is an old cowboy technique that still works today.
  • In reality, a water-to-salt combination with a ratio of around 3:1 will not freeze until temperatures of roughly -5 Fahrenheit.

As a result, a saltwater bottle may easily stay all night at temperatures in the single digits without freezing.

While this scientific attribute of saltwater is intriguing, it is not especially beneficial to humans because horses cannot drink saltwater and freshwater freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit no matter what the temperature is outside of the water.


The notion that the freshwater is kept from freezing by its closeness to saltwater is a fallacious assumption.

Is a myth debunked?

However, it is not always because of the salt that the saltwater bottle is effective in preventing stock tanks from freezing over.

A halfway full saltwater bottle floats exceptionally well in the tank and is more difficult for horses to remove from the tank than a lighter-weight bottle.

What is the procedure for doing this?

Heat energy is transmitted from a warmer material to a colder substance that is next to it when the two are in contact.

The air initially comes into contact with the stock tank’s substance on the side walls, resulting in heat transfer between the two media on the sides of the stock tank.

Some materials carry electricity more efficiently than others.

If you want to avoid this sort of heat loss via the sides of your water vessel, you may insulate it to make the passage of heat to the surrounding air even slower.

Round buckets or tanks can be wrapped with foam, partially buried in earth, manure, or bedding, or surrounded by giant tires filled with spray foam to provide a protective barrier around them.

Keep in mind that when you are insulating, you should make certain that there is nothing a horse may become entrapped in or readily consume as well as that no sharp edges have been developed.

4: The Lid that Floats Wearing a hat to prevent heat loss from the top of your head is based on the same premise as doing so.

When the horse puts his interested nose against the sloping foam, it lowers a little and water spills over the top for him to drink from the surface.

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If you are creating your own, make sure to choose a structural foam that is more resistant to being chewed apart by animals.

It’s only two low-tech approaches for keeping your horse’s water available to him in frigid temperatures: agitation and insulation.

There are several methods to achieve your objectives within these two concepts, so be imaginative and have fun building your ownbarnlifehack that will keep your horse wet and your task list short!

How to Keep a Horse’s Water From Freezing Without Electricity

  • Shovel
  • Manure
  • Additional trough
  • Polystyrene foam, soil, straw, or hay
  • Water trough or bucket A tarp, scissors, and bricks are all you need. The untreated wood is a block of wood. It is made of rubber.
  • Only untreated wood should be used within a water trough to minimize the possibility of toxins from treated wood damaging the health of your horses.
  • Larger containers of water take longer to freeze, thus the larger the water trough for your horses, the better the results. In order to encourage your horse to drink more during cold weather, provide it with warm water (up to 65 degrees).

When the temperature dips below 32 degrees, horse owners begin to fret about how they will keep their horses’ water from being frozen. On a daily basis, a horse might consume up to 12 gallons of water. The inability to provide your horse with ice-free water due to a lack of energy adds to the difficulty of giving your horse with water without the use of an electric water heater. Alternative techniques will protect your horse’s water from freezing and guarantee that he remains hydrated and healthy during the winter months.

  • Remove a small amount of earth from below the trough and deposit it back into the hole you just scooped out.
  • Place your horse’s water trough or bucket inside an old stock tank to keep the trough or bucket off the freezing ground during the winter.
  • If you don’t have foam, you can use soil, straw, or hay to insulate your home.
  • Spread a black tarp over the top of an outside trough to protect it from the elements.
  • Wrap the remainder of the tarp over the trough’s sides and stake it to the ground with bricks to keep it in place.
  • Photographs courtesy of iHemera Technologies/ Images In order to move the water and slow the freezing process, place a small piece of untreated wood, such as a two-by-four, into the trough with the water.
  • This is most effective in outdoor troughs where the breeze keeps the thing bouncing.
  • Larger containers of water take longer to freeze, therefore the larger the water trough for your horses, the better. In order to encourage your horse to drink more during cold weather, provide it with warm water (up to 65 degrees).
  • Only untreated wood should be used within a water trough to minimize the possibility of toxins from treated wood damaging the health of your horses.

Photographic Credits

HORSEPLAY: Keeping water troughs from freezing is paramount

EVER FELT THE SAME AS if you’re about to pass out from thirst? It’s possible that it will happen. Water. It is essential for the survival of all animals, large and tiny. In general, both humans and horses can survive two to three days without drinking water before becoming dehydrated, at which point lasting harm begins to occur. By day seven, the vast majority will have perished. When the temperature drops to a point where our horses’ water sources ice over, what happens next? We’ve had at least two weeks of below-freezing temperatures in the last few weeks.

  • If you have access to power, it’s a simple repair.
  • The tried-and-true approach of walking out to your water troughs twice daily with anything to break up the ice and then pouring in a pail of hot water is an option if that isn’t an option.
  • Sometimes all that is required is a simple reminder or a little assistance.
  • Val Jackson and Diane Royall, the founders of the horse rescue organization Olympic Peninsula Equine Network, have a large number of horses in several pastures that they must provide fresh water for on a daily basis.
  • She is continually breaking ice, and she has something to boil water with in order to provide warm water to a trough she is standing in.
  • It is our intention to add another outlet for another heater at some time in the future.
  • If the water temperature is below 40 degrees, it can cause them to vomit (which is no little deal in a horse).

“It’s critical to keep the horses hydrated in this frigid weather,” says the veterinarian.

Even though I haven’t experimented with these methods personally, I like the notion of flavoring the water with some apple cider or combining molasses with warm water and then pouring it into the water trough to add some sweetness.

The water will become slushy but will not normally freeze, and the molasses will encourage the horses to consume more water.

Whatever works for you, go ahead and do it!

Water faucets Always do everything you can to avoid freezing water coming out of your faucet, regardless of whether it’s a frost-free faucet.

A garden hose connected to an outside faucet is used to fill our troughs or buckets, and this is how most of us do it.

A jammed hose may necessitate delaying watering until another day, maybe in the hopes that the temperature would increase sufficiently to melt it.

If it becomes clogged, simply bring the hose inside and let it thaw in your bathtub or shower to clear it.

Remember to maintain a simple white salt block near to the water trough, or to sprinkle a few teaspoons of salt into their feed once or twice a day to encourage them to drink.

According to the notion, the animal pushes down on the jug in order to gain access to the liquid.

The most effective method of encouraging your horse to drink is to keep fresh water available at all times.

Visit OPEN’s website,, or its Facebook page to learn more about how you can contribute to the organization.

Box 252, Sequim, WA 98382.

For horse events, clinics, and seminars that you would want mentioned, please send an email to Griffiths at least two weeks before the event. You may also write to Griffiths at the Port Angeles Daily News, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, Washington 98362.

5 Ways To Give Your Horse Water In Freezing Temperatures

When temperatures drop below freezing, it becomes even more critical to ensure that your horse is getting adequate water. Even in subzero conditions, your horse requires constant access to fresh, unfrozen water to be healthy. These five suggestions can assist you in providing your horse with water in subzero weather.

Haul Hot Water

If you’re fortunate enough to have access to hot water nearby, you can use a water truck to transport hot water to the barn. Before you allow your horse to drink the water, combine a bucket of hot water with a bucket of lukewarm or cold water in order to lower the temperature of the water. An important point to remember is that hot water freezes far more quickly than cold water. If you provide your horse with warm water, he is more likely to drink since horses prefer lukewarm water to icy water.

Use Heated Buckets

Ice can form in your horse’s water bucket if it is not properly protected with heat. Electricity is required to run heated buckets, and it is critical to ensure that any electrical cords are kept out of the horse’s reach. While you may see a tiny increase in your energy bill, heated buckets are rather energy efficient, and it’s worth it to know that your horse’s water will not freeze overnight if you do not use heated buckets. To save electricity, disconnect the buckets whenever your horse is not in his stall and not in need of their services.

Put a Ball in Your Horse’s Bucket

Even if you don’t have to deal with subzero weather, you may be able to get away with using a simple approach to keep your horse’s water from freezing. Fill the bucket of your horse with a floatable ball. As the ball travels and bobs about, it assists in breaking up any ice that may be forming on the surface. The key here is to pick a ball that is suited for the situation. You want a ball that is too large for your horse to swallow, but it also has to be tiny enough for your horse to be able to drink from the bucket while the ball is in it, according to the manufacturer.

Use Insulated Buckets

However, if you don’t have to deal with cold weather, you may be able to get away with a simple approach to prevent your horse’s water from freezing. Fill your horse’s bucket with a floatable ball. With each bounce and bob, the ball helps to break up any ice that may be forming on the water surface. In this case, the key lies in selecting the proper ball. If you wish to make a ball that is too large for your horse to swallow, you should make it tiny enough so that your horse may still drink from the bucket while the ball is in it, as described above.

Install Trough Heaters

It will also be necessary to keep the water trough for your horse above freezing. The installation of a tank heater can assist in ensuring that the trough water does not freeze. Make certain that you are using an extension cable designed for outdoor usage and that your horse will not be able to access the extension cord. When purchasing a trough heater, be sure to get a new one rather than a used one.

As trough heaters age, they can wear down and begin to generate electrical charges through the water, causing your horse to stop drinking. Maintaining the temperature of your horse’s water involves some effort, but if you have power available in your barn, the chore isn’t too tough to complete.

Reader Interactions

It is simple to provide water for your cattle and poultry throughout the hot months. Keeping animal water from freezing in the winter, on the other hand, may be difficult, time-consuming, and chilly. Every night, I used to look forward to the weather report with a tinge of dread. It’s unclear if the temperature will be low enough for the goats and horses’ water to freeze. Is it necessary for me to provide hot water to the hens first thing in the morning?

How much water does your livestock need?

So, how much water do you think your animals requires on a daily basis? One goat requires 2-3 gallons of water every day, and she will want much more if she is lactating. A horse requires 5-10 gallons of fresh water each day, but a dairy cow producing milk might consume 30-50 gallons in a single day! Approximately two cups of water are required by a laying hen, with meat birds requiring significantly more. Your farm dog consumes around one ounce of water per pound of body weight in a day, but livestock guardian dogs who are required to patrol the pasture will consume far more.

As you can see, it is critical to keep the water in your livestock’s drinking buckets thawed and unfrozen.

Over the course of fourteen years, I’ve learned what works best for my property, including how to keep troughs and waterers frozen and cattle supplied with water during the winter months.

It is possible that I will receive a small compensation if you purchase something after clicking on one of my affiliate links in this post; however, this will not change the amount you pay.

How to keep your chickens’ water from freezing

Chickens require access to water at all times of the day. The fact that they like to drink just tiny amounts of water at a time means that drinking frozen water will limit the quantity of water they may ingest during the day. Chickens require water in order to digest their food; it softens the dry pellets or crumbles, as well as the seeds, that they consume. The presence of water also ensures that a hen’s body systems are functioning properly: it is necessary for egg production as well as waste elimination, and it aids in the regulation of her body temperature.

  1. This will warm the water enough to prevent it from freezing.
  2. If, like me, you don’t have access to power in your chicken coop, you’ll have to come up with a different solution to keep the chicken water heated.
  3. My first step would be to empty the water pans of as much ice as possible and then replace them with hot water.
  4. As a result, I utilized black rubber feed pans to keep water over the winter.
  5. The hens would occasionally perch on the edge of those rubber pans, increasing the likelihood that the pan would tip over and spill the water within.
  6. (The pun was intended.) My search for a better solution culminated last winter, and I no longer have to haul hot water out of my house to the chicken coup several times per day.
  7. The salt water bottle keeps the chickens’ water warm enough so that it doesn’t freeze during the winter months.
  8. Pour the salt into the clean, empty bottle and fill the bottle about halfway with hot water, then seal the bottle.
  9. Place the bottle inside the waterer and secure the top with a screwdriver.

More information, as well as my other winter chicken-keeping suggestions, can be found here. Be sure to check the salt water bottle regularly to make sure it isn’t leaking into the chickens’ water. Nobody likes drinking salty water – and it isn’t good for chickens or for us.

Caring for ducks in the winter

A constant supply of water is required for chickens all of the time. The fact that they like to drink just tiny amounts of water at a time means that drinking frozen water will limit the quantity of water they can drink during the day. Chickens require water to digest their food; it helps to soften the dry pellets or crumbles, as well as the seeds, that they consume. The presence of water also ensures that a hen’s bodily systems are functioning properly: water is required for egg production as well as for waste elimination, and it also aids in the regulation of her body heat.

  • For use with metal poultry waterers, this heated base is recommended.
  • It was a daily chore for many years to get hot water from my house to my chicken coop.
  • When the water inside freezes, even though I use the typical red-and-white plastic waterers for most of the year, they can break because of the pressure of the water.
  • Alternatively, I could turn them over and smack them on the ground to break the ice inside, or I could twist them like a plastic ice cube tray to shatter the ice outside.
  • Alternatively, the excrement from the chickens would pollute the water supply.
  • Last winter, I discovered a better alternative, and I no longer had to take hot water out to the chicken coop multiple times a day as I formerly did.
  • The salt water bottle keeps the hens’ water warm enough so that it doesn’t freeze throughout the winter.
  • Pour the salt into the clean, empty container and fill the bottle about halfway with hot water to make a solution.
  • Put the bottle inside the waterer and screw the cap on tightly.
  • Please see my other winter chicken-keeping recommendations as well as more information here.

Ensure that you are routinely checking the salt water bottle to ensure that it is not seeping into the hens’ drinking water. Drinking salty water is not only unpleasant, but it is also harmful to both hens and humans.

How to keep the goats’ water from freezing

In the summer, my goats like a water tub, but in the winter, I provide them with an electric heated bucket. Although the line is encased in metal to ensure that it cannot be chewed through, I route the cord out through the fence just behind the bucket as an additional safety measure. After all, it is likely that a goat chewed on an electrical line that resulted in our barn catching fire. I don’t want something like that to happen again. If you must utilize an extension cable with a heated bucket, trough heater, or electric chicken waterer, make sure to do it in a safe and secure manner.

  • Make use of an extension cord that may be used outside. Yes, it is significantly more expensive than a standard extension cable intended for in-home usage, but it is necessary to be safe. Do not use an extension cable that has been damp
  • It is not advisable to run an extension line through snow. Don’t run over an extension cable with your car. Utilize acord-lock to protect the plugs from drying out. (I purchased one since we used a plastic bag and duct tape to keep the connection dry during the previous winter.) This is far better, and it is also significantly safer. It was installed by the Chief, who described it as “nifty,” which is great praise. In fact, he suggested that I capture the photos for this post that are included below.)
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In this article from Safety and Health Magazine, you’ll learn about additional extension cord safety considerations. Even if you don’t have access to power near your goat enclosure, there are other options for keeping animal water warm.

How to keep livestock water from freezing

It is possible to apply these suggestions for cattle, horses, sheep, and goats (although I would not recommend using a tank heater with an electrical wire in an animal water trough that goats use or that my livestock guardian dog has access to). I just don’t have faith in them). An adult horse consumes around 10 gallons of water each day. When you multiply that by the number of horses we have, you get a lot of water. During the summer, it is not difficult, but during the winter, it may be a significant struggle.

  • (By the way, this is a good time to remind you to provide a salt block for your horses so that they will drink the recommended amount of water.) I spent years breaking ice off water troughs before finally succumbing and purchasing a watertank de-icer.
  • The use of tank de-icers is recommended in this situation, but it’s a good idea to check the water every few days to make sure you don’t get shocked by an old or failing water heater.
  • My only regret is that I didn’t begin using a tank de-icer (also known as a tank warmer) sooner.
  • We had to move the trough up near to the house in order to have access to power, but it was well worth it – and it wasn’t difficult to relocate the trough once it had been emptied, either.

You should choose the tank de-icer that is appropriate for your trough from among the several options available. Our heater is mounted atop a metal guard to prevent the heating element from coming into contact with the trough’s plastic sides, which we use with Rubbermaid troughs.

Other ways to keep livestock water warm

If your animals’ water trough is too far away from an electrical outlet for a tank heater, consider one of the following alternatives to keep their water as warm as possible.

  • Shift your water trough to a more sunny area
  • And Into the water trough, pour several tightly-closed two-liter bottles of salt water (this is the same concept as the salt-water bottle in the hens’ waterer)
  • Insulate the outside of the trough with foam rubber. Assemble a huge plastic container around the water tub, filling up any remaining empty space with straw to act as an insulator
  • Cover half of the trough with a thick piece of plexiglass for added strength. This functions in the same way as a greenhouse, but it also allows the cattle to drink from the open side of the structure. Having a smaller entrance means that you will be exposed to less chilly air.

What kind of buckets keep water from freezing the longest?

I’ve tested buckets made of plastic, metal, and rubber in cold weather and found them to be comparable. Ice will form first on the water in metal buckets, then on the water in plastic buckets. The water stays heated the longest in black rubber buckets.

More tips on keeping your animals’ water from freezing

In the event that our power goes out during a winter storm warning, I store a small sledgehammer or ax beneath the water trough so that it will be readily available if I need to break ice if our power goes out and will not be buried by snow. (Our trough is built on top of bricks, allowing us to store the ax in the area beneath it.) However, if you need to supply thawed water for dogs or barn cats, a heated pet dish such as this one can be a good option for you. However, preventing rabbits’ water from freezing is more difficult than keeping them from freezing in extreme temperatures, as previously stated.

  1. My additional water bottles are kept in the home with me, and the second set is kept in the cages with their food and water bowls.
  2. In addition, the rabbits have water dishes with hefty bottoms that are more difficult (but not impossible) to flip over.
  3. My horse Ella will be overjoyed when the weather warms up and she can once again enjoy herself in the water trough, as you can see in the video included below.
  4. This winter, you can prevent your livestock’s water from freezing and keep your hens and other animals well-hydrated and healthy by following all of these suggestions.
  5. I’d love to see you there if you’re available.
  6. Following are some related posts:This article has been shared to a few of my favorite blog hops.
  7. I want to do this via my writing.

How to Keep Horse Water From Freezing Without Electricity

True, barn labor and horse care may become a burden rather than a pleasure during the cold months. The days are cold, the nights are long, and there’s sometimes the extra burden of breaking through an inch of ice in your horses’ water trough or bucket each morning before you can get to work on your chores.

Because you can’t change the environment in which you reside, we’ll look at how to keep horse water from freezing without the use of electricity in this article. Perhaps the knowledge provided here will make your barn life a little bit simpler as you endure the blustery winter weather.

Why a Horse Needs to Have Fresh Water

Providing fresh water to horses is a crucial element of any horse care routine, no matter how unpleasant it is to break through ice-covered horse water troughs during the winter. Because of the way the horses’ digestive system operates, they require regular access to clean, fresh water in order to maintain peak performance. Horse Waterers: The Best Automatic Horse Waterers (Related) Once horses go more than a few hours without drinking, they will begin to show indications of dehydration. The mildest kind of dehydration can produce colic in a horse, while severe dehydration can result in a variety of long-term health issues, including death.

Why Keeping Horse Water Ice Free Without Electricity is Best

Electric water heaters are available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes on the market today. A horse water trough heater may appear to be a simple solution for keeping water flowing in horse troughs filled with warm water, but there are several disadvantages to using one. Prevent yourself from purchasing a heated horse water trough by carefully considering the two crucial points of consideration listed below first.


When it comes to electric horse water heaters, the first and most apparent thing to remember is that water and electricity are not meant to be mingled. While your horse is drinking, there is always the possibility that an electrical fault can occur, resulting in an electric shock to your horse. If the electric heater fails and you are not aware of it, the water will freeze and your horses will be unable to drink since they will have no access to water. When it comes to watering animals, using a non-electrical method to keep the water from freezing is unquestionably the safer alternative to take.


Non-electric water troughs not only represent a serious health concern to horses, but they are also prohibitively expensive to set up and maintain. An electrical water heater necessitates a significant initial outlay of funds. Units are expensive to purchase, and you’ll have to pay for a professional to install it properly and safely. Aside from that, they require a power source to operate, which will raise your monthly electricity cost, and they will need to be checked and maintained on a regular basis.

Tips on How to Keep Water From Freezing Without Electric

The good news is that there are several low-cost and very simple methods of preventing the water trough from freezing over that do not need the use of power. Take a look at our suggestions below for some inspiration for your herd.

1. Tank Position

Placing your water trough in a convenient location will greatly assist you in reducing the amount of ice that builds in it overnight. Placing your stock tank in a location where it will receive the most daylight and sun exposure will allow the water in the tank to be slowly warmed.

The result is that the ice will take far longer to freeze overnight and will naturally melt during the day when the sun rises. You may never have to deal with an iced-up water tank again if you use the trough’s location in conjunction with the other ways indicated below to prevent it.

2. Insulation

If you reside in a very cold environment, you may want to consider installing complete insulation around your water troughs. Using two tanks is one method of accomplishing this. Alternatively, you might place a stock tank inside of a huge trough and then fill in the area between the two of them. The sides may be insulated with anything from straw to styrofoam or even expanding filler, depending on what you choose to use as a filler. It is possible to construct a basic box-type structure to put around the stock tank, if you do not already have two troughs accessible.

Take a look at theFoam Boards by Excelsis Design or theExpanding Sealant by DAP for some inspiration.

This may be accomplished by burying the trough in a hole in the ground, with the dirt acting as a natural insulator between it and the surrounding environment.

In order to do this, you may either bury them underground or cover them with a box or special pipe insulation.

3. A Cover

The use of complete insulation on your water troughs may be necessary if you reside in a very cold region, as described above. This may be accomplished by combining two tanks together. You may put a stock tank inside a huge trough and then fill in the area between the two of them with hay or other feed. The sides may be insulated with anything from straw to styrofoam or even expanding filling, depending on what you choose to use as insulation. You may also build a basic box-type structure to put around the stock tank, if you don’t have two troughs available.

Take a look at theFoam Boards by Excelsis Design or theExpanding Sealant by DAP for some inspiration!

The trough can be buried in the ground, which will function as a natural insulator due to the earth’s ability to retain heat.

For example, you may burry them underground or cover them with a box or special pipe insulation to keep them from freezing.

4. A Float

When water is left to stand motionless, it freezes more quickly. Adding a floating device to the water trough or bucket will assist to keep the water flowing and prevent the water from freezing over completely. If the water does freeze around the float, the horse may be able to push the float into the water to liberate it. This implies that the horse will be able to drink the water from the hole in the ice that has been left by the horse. Floats may be simply created from plastic bottles that have been half-filled with seawater.

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You might also put a ball in your horse’s water trough to act as a flotation device for the horse.

Larger holes are created by inflated balls, which make it simpler for horses to press them into the ground and allow your horse to drink more easily. Inflated balls are our favorite, and we recommend the Spalding Basketball for this purpose.

5. Material

The material of the trough or bucket also has a significant impact on the ability of the water to remain ice-free. It takes the shortest amount of time for metal water containers to freeze over. Thick, black rubber containers, on the other hand, are the slowest to develop ice. This is due to the fact that the thick rubber acts as insulation, and the dark hue absorbs heat when compared to cold, hard metal. Rubber buckets are often simpler to break when the water freezes over due to the flexibility of the rubber material used in the construction.

6. Breaking By Hand

Eventually, there will be days when you will have to shatter the icy water with your hands or perhaps with tools in extremely cold weather. You should wear rubber gloves if you have to do it by hand since the ice will be quite cold and will cause your hands to get very cold. Using a rock, hammer, or rubber mallet and an iron steak can be used to break through thick ice that is too thick to shatter with your hands alone. As soon as you’ve broken up the ice, toss away all of the frozen bits. If you leave them in, the trough or bucket will ice over more rapidly the next time it is used.

Carrying hot water in buckets may not be an option if the trough is located a significant distance away from the barn, though.

Keeping Water Ice Free in The Stall

Winter temperatures can drop so low that it becomes essential to de-ice indoor water as well, which can be difficult in some cases. It is far easier to keep the water from freezing over within the stall or barn than it is to keep it from freezing over outdoors. The majority of the strategies described above will also assist to keep water from freezing in your home. However, the simplest and, in many cases, most efficient type of indoor water insulation may be found right in your horse’s stable, beneath his feet.

You may build a mound of muck or soiled bedding around your stable bucket to keep it insulated and prevent it from becoming ice cold.

Place your stable water bucket inside a huge muck bucket or container and fill up the edges with a layer of manure insulation to create a more permanent feature.


We hope that this advice has answered all of your questions regarding how to keep horse water from freezing when there is no electricity available. As you can see, maintaining ice-free water without the use of power is a more safer and more cost-effective choice. Due to the large number of diverse ways available, you will be able to discover one that suits you.

For those of you who live in a very cold area, there will unavoidably be those days when you have to crush the horses’ water trough with your hands. By employing the tips we’ve provided, you can minimize such days to a bare minimum, making winter a little bit less of a burden.

How To Keep Your Horse’s Water From Freezing

Maintaining the cleanliness and capacity of your horse’s water tank is a significant undertaking in and of itself. When you include in the ice breaking required during the frigid winter months, you have a full-time job. When the weather turns chilly, your horse’s access to clean water becomes even more critical, yet providing it might be difficult in some circumstances. In order to prevent a horse water trough or stock tank from freezing during the winter, a floating tank heater that is always on is the most effective method of prevention.

Winter tasks are difficult enough when it’s chilly outside.

Best way to keep a horse water trough from freezing

Using water tank heaters or tank de-icers to maintain the water temperature in a stock tank warm enough to prevent freezing is by far the most effective technique of doing so. It’s a no-brainer to choose this choice if electricity is available. The majority of water tank heaters are simple to install. All you have to do is hook the heater into a power source and drop it into the tank. If you choose a heater that has a wire frame enclosing the coils, be certain that the wire touches the bottom of the tank before turning it on.

Almost all of the devices turn on automatically when you plug them in, so you won’t need an on/off switch.

Best types of water tank deicers

Electricity is required for the operation of three types of water tank deicers: floating deicers, sinking deicers, and bubblers. One method is clearly superior to the others when it comes to preventing frozen water troughs, but let’s have a look at each one to see which one works best for you.


When it comes to smaller water troughs and regions where winter temperatures freeze but do not drop into single digits, a floating tank bubbler may be the best option. They function by continuously circulating water on the surface of the water. Water that is constantly moving takes longer to freeze. Tank bubblers, on the other hand, are incapable of moving enough water or generating enough heat to prevent water in big tanks (300 gallons or more) from freezing solid when the temperature drops sufficiently.

Sinking tank heaters

When it comes to heating water in a stock tank, sinking tank heaters are yet another option to consider. Smaller tanks where the surface has to be kept clear for your horse to drink from are ideal for this type of product. Additionally, sinking heaters are preferable for smaller tanks since they heat the water from below the surface. The entire tank must maintain a constant temperature in order for the surface not to freeze. Regardless of whether or not ice forms on the surface, it will almost certainly be thinner than it would be if no heater was there.

Sinking tank heaters are among the most affordable types of heaters to purchase. It’s a good deal at roughly $40, and it only costs around $2 each day to keep it running.

Floating tank heaters

Floating tank deicers are by far the most effective way to protect water tanks from becoming iced over. They raise the temperature of the water’s surface level, which is where the ice develops. Unlike submerged heaters, they do not require the entire tank of water to be heated in order to be effective. One API 1500 watt floating heateris suggested for tanks ranging from 100 to 300 gallons, however I’ve witnessed instances when a single heater was sufficient to keep a 500 gallon tank clear of ice during Wyoming winters.

A floating heater can nevertheless collide with the walls of a plastic or rubber tank, causing it to burst into flames.

If the expense of utilizing a tank heater is a concern, simply keep an eye on the weather forecast and use them only when there is a potential of freezing temperatures.

You may always attempt to locate one that consumes less energy, but it may not be effective enough to prevent the water from freezing.

Water tank heater safety

The use of tank warmers can significantly reduce the amount of time and effort required for winter water tasks. Keep in mind, though, to double-check that they are in proper operating condition. You should look into why your horse is avoiding the water tank if you observe him doing so. The safety issues listed below should be reviewed on a regular basis.

  • Electrical charges in the water might be caused by a malfunctioning heater. Generally speaking, there is not enough power to kill you or your horse, but a zap on the nose when they are attempting to drink can be painful.
  • Make use of an extension cord that may be used outside. These electrical cords have been developed to provide protection against severe and moist environments. Keep it away from standing water and avoid running over it with your car.”
  • Make use of a cord-lock. Cover the connectors that link the heater and the extension cable with tape. Water and ground water are protected from the weakest area of the cables by this affordable plastic cover.
  • It is best not to use a timer. Using a timer or simply turning on the heater at night, for example, may appear to be cost-effective strategies. Because these heaters are designed to run continuously, they frequently include their own thermostat regulator. They will become exhausted if they are turned on and off continuously using a timer. It also takes longer to heat huge quantities of water than it does to keep a consistent temperature. Similarly, if the water cools down too much between on cycles, the heater will be unable to bring it back up to temperature quicker than it takes for it to freeze.
  • Make sure you don’t run out of gas. These heaters are intended to be used in a water environment. It is important to remember to switch them off if the tank is running low or when you take them from the water.

How do I keep my horse’s water from freezing without electricity

When it comes to preventing a horse tank from freezing, water tank heaters are the most convenient and effective way to save both time and energy. High power expenses, as well as a lack of access to electricity, may prevent you from using a heater in some situations. But don’t give up hope. When it comes to keeping your water troughs from freezing, there are 11 more non-electrical ways you may try out as well. Using a combination of many of these alternatives will be much more beneficial! Make use of a larger trough.

A vast tank of water is unlikely to freeze solid, despite the fact that the top layer of water may freeze.

Make use of a trough made of black plastic.

Warmer sides help to keep the water temperature within the tank above freezing for a longer period of time.

This can be accomplished either above or below ground.

It is also possible to offer some heat-retaining insulation by digging a trench and putting the trough inside of it.

A smaller water tank can be placed within a larger one, with the area between the two filled with an insulating substance such as straw or soil, similar to the way a double-walled drinking tumbler functions.

Add a floating ball to the mix.

Water is circulated more effectively and ice formation is delayed as the ball travels about in the water column.

Positioning for optimal solar exposure.

During the winter months, position your horse’s water tank so that it receives the most sunlight possible.

Half of the container should be covered with a lid.

You may either fasten the lid in place over the tank or let it to float on the surface of the water.

Bonus Tip: If you paint the top side of the lid black, it will absorb more heat from the sun than if you leave it white.

Given that your garden hoses are most likely being stored to avoid freezing in the winter, you may already be lugging water by hand in the winter.

Adding hot water will temporarily boost the temperature of the water in the tank, but it will gradually return to its original temperature.

Let the nozzle flow continually if you have direct access to hot water at your tank and there is no danger of the pipes freezing.

Ideally, you want to have enough warm water running to ensure that the drip never stops, but not so much that the tank overflows before your horse has finished drinking the water.

With today’s technology, you may design and build an unique solar-powered system to power a tank heater to meet your specific needs.

Combine the original expenditures with the replacement parts required every few years, and it is likely that you will never be able to generate as much electricity as it cost to construct.

Remove the ice from the drink.

If none of the non-electrical methods listed above prove effective in preventing ice development in your water tanks, you will have to break the ice manually.

A standard or fireman’s ax has a longer handle, which makes it easier to reach the ice in the middle of bigger tanks.

Using a rubber fishing net to remove the ice pieces is the quickest and most effective method.

A shovel or hand-held scoop can also be used, although it will take longer to remove all of the ice with these methods. In the event that you are frequently removing significant chunks of ice, you might want to consider saving them in another bucket to thaw and utilize later on.

Final thoughts

Maintaining the temperature of your horse’s water throughout the winter months does not have to be difficult. Do it if you have access to power or if you have the ability to run an extension cable for a floating tank heater. The small amount of money it will cost to operate will be more than compensated for by the amount of time you will save by not having to break ice. If your water tanks are too far away to be heated by electric tank heaters, consider implementing the suggestions above to make the most of the natural warmth provided by the sun.

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