The Best Automatic Waterers for Horses
One of the most time-consuming and tiring chores related to horse care is maintaining water containers, whether you choose to use buckets or troughs. Filling troughs and buckets takes time, and carrying buckets can lead to injury such as back, muscle, and wrist strain. There must be a better solution!
Fortunately, science has led to the invention of the automatic waterer, a container which refills with water as the horse drinks. It requires a system of pipes, as well as a sort of sensor to detect the water level and thereby refill as the water level drops. This article is dedicated to sharing more information about different waterers, and what to consider before installing them for your horses.
What Is So Great About Automatic Waterers?
With functioning automatic waterers, horses can have constant access to fresh water. The different models available from different materials mean that there are a variety of durable options that can stand up to the most destructive of equines. They can be installed in stalls, run-in shelters, paddocks, or pastures, and they can save many hours of time and labor that were previously dedicated to scrubbing, filling, and hauling buckets, or cleaning out water troughs. Furthermore, since the water refills, there is less water standing around to attract insects and grow algae.
What Is Not as Great About Automatic Waterers?
Automatic waterers are a lot more complex than a bucket. Like any plumbing system, the pipes are at risk of bursting in the winter if they are not properly insulated. The junctions between all the pipes risk leaking, especially if they freeze and expand in the winter. The waterer must still be checked daily to ensure that it is still working, and if it is not working, it can lead to a tremendous waste of water. Installation itself is either a large amount of work or an additional expense for hiring a crew to install the pipes and the waterer. However, if these potential drawbacks are outweighed by the benefits of installing an automatic waterer, there are a number of good models available to choose from.
What Are My Options for Picking an Automatic Waterer?
The highest rated automatic waterer is the Classic Equine EZFOUNT Waterer. Polyethylene material makes for easy cleaning and long-lasting durability. Easily attached to a garden hose, these waterers can be installed in a stall, paddock, or pasture.
This bucket is available in blue and red, and it can be installed on a wall in a barn, or over a fence in a pasture. It operates on a float system, refilling at a rate of 20 or 50 psi. This comes with a female hose attachment, and fits an average garden hose. Duramate also offers a model with a metal guard for the float mechanism. They can be installed anywhere on a farm, and they could even theoretically be moved from a stall to a paddock, or vice versa. Furthermore, they do not require an extensive piping or plumbing system for installation.
The stainless steel stands up to all kinds of weather, and deters horses from chewing on the edges of the bowl. It also operates on a float level to maintain an optimum amount of water in the bowl for a horse to drink from. Amazon also sells replacement floats for the waterer. There are a variety of resources to aid in installation and maintenance for this particular model. The reservoir is a bit on the smaller side, so it is good for a horse that drinks little and often, or who has a smaller muzzle. For draft horses or horses with larger muzzles, it may not be ideal. Nevertheless, it still guarantees a constant flow of fresh water.
Like the stainless steel waterer, it can be installed anywhere. Since its function is dependent upon the horse depressing the plastic tongue, the horse releases only as much water as it wants to drink. Furthermore, being made of durable plastic, it is resistant to rust, mildew, and decay. The plumbing required to maintain this waterer is the one downside.
What Should I Consider if I Get an Automatic Waterer?
Any automatic waterer has a significant initial cost in terms of labor and finances. If you and others involved on your farm know how to install the pipes or hoses and the waterer itself, you may save money that way. However, if you are inexperienced, you run the risk of making mistakes during installation and causing more costly problems in the future. Ensuring that the waterers are properly installed is one important step, and another is ensuring that there are enough waterers for all horses in the given enclosure, if the waterers are going to be installed in a pasture or paddock with multiple horses. Location is important, as the waterer must be installed in a location where it is protected from the elements, and where horses are less likely to defecate in the water or play close to it. Finally, routine checks for cleanliness and functionality are of utmost importance.
If you want to ensure that your horse has a consistent source of clean, running water, there are a variety of options from which to choose. An automatic waterer is a large and serious investment, meriting a serious amount of research. Once the proper waterer is installed, be sure to check the waterer daily and maintain it regularly to keep it in good working order.
Which of the waterers did you like best?