Automatic waterers

Hi guys! You all were so helpful with my last question regarding barn layout. I have another for you :slight_smile:

We are going to be installing automatic waterers. We live in Indiana, get gets cold here but not like some parts of America. :wink: (I am originally from Nebraska, that’s COLD) I would like recommendations for waterers that resist freezing, but won’t break the bank. This is our first home and we will likely be there 6-7 years. Therefore, I am not wiling to spend $500+ on the best waterers, we won’t take them with us.

I am either thinking insulated, pump/pressure type, or taking a basic waterer (see attatchment) and throwing in a float heater for the one month a year it gets below freezing.

Probably not this exact one, but something like this:
With this type of heater:
Again, probably not the same one, but you get the point.

What do you all think? Thanks in advance! :smiley:

I have a Miraco Lil Spring waterer in my pasture and am very happy with it. The heating element works well, so it does not freeze. I hate frozen water, frozen hoses, and carrying bucket of water in the winter. If your barn stays warm in the winter, insulated buckets might work. Otherwise, I would spend the money and get heated automatic waterer. I don’t lock my horses in the barn, so my automatic waterer and the backup of a solar trough, work well.

I would use a heated bucket instead of dropping a heater in a regular bucket. Horses pull out heaters. Also, the heater you linked to uses a huge amount of electricity. Your barn electric may not be set up for several of those heaters. The hose going to those buckets will freeze, so you will be filling them by hand after draining the hose.

I could be wrong but I don’t think there are auto waterers that cost less than $500 installed that will not freeze in the winter, if you include the cost of plumbing and electricity.

I don’t think you can use the Fortiflex one you linked during cold weather because even if you have a heater in the bucket, the hose will freeze. AKB is also correct that those heaters use a lot of electricity. I suppose you could use that one for the rest of the year and use a heated trough during freezing weather, but it doesn’t get very good reviews so I don’t know if I’d bother.

I used this heated trough my first two winters: It was enough for 2 horses and a mini-donkey who were out 8 hours a day. If your horses are using it full-time you might need to check/fill it twice a day, or have two.

I do love my Bar Bar A as well but it costs almost $500 and needs plumbing and a large drainfield so I’m not sure it’s worth it to you for 6-7 years.

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Thanks guys for the reply!
I am thinking $500 for just the unit. We have a good friend who is plummer that will help us with install. How about those waterers that drain everything back, to prevent freezing? That’s what the place I board at uses. I am just unsure of pricing/good examples of those

My friend has a basic stand pipe and electric outlet by her field gate. She uses a muck tub in the summer and a heated muck tub in the winter. She only has 2 horses. The tub is easy to fill and easy to clean.

How about those waterers that drain everything back, to prevent freezing?

That’s how the Bar Bar A (that ChocoMare and I both mentioned) works! Super easy and my horses love it. Drinking Post is another brand with the same concept but I don’t know much about them.

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I installed the JUG waterers and LOVE them! I have them in the stalls and outside. You might spend the money on heated ones for outside and if they spend the majority of time outside, you are covered for winter and might have to worry about 8 hours overnight with a bucket in the stall freezing for three or four months of the year. I had the silver waterers and would not go back to them for any amount of $$. PM me if you want more information.

Hi I was wondering if you still like your JUG waterers or if you’ve found any pros or cons to them?

BO at my prior barn installed heated Nelsons outside about 15 years ago. We are in southern Maine. They are great - reliable and well made. We had a stray current problem once and the company was very helpful with what to check, including having the electric company check their equipment. Every once in a while the heating element needed replacement, but we had parts on hand. The DH and BO’s brother did the installation. They run off the original dug well with a hookup for a generator.

I moved to a new barn last November and they have heated Nelsons in the stalls. They never froze. My horse moved from pasture board to a stall with an oversize attached run. We are in heaven. Stalls and runs are picked daily. The bowl in the waterer is dumped out and wiped down daily. He loves the accommodations. I love the entire place starting with unlimited blanket changes. My favorite day was when I asked the BO which blanket she wanted for overnight. Medium without the hood and it’s hanging on the stall door. At which point she got up and put it on my horse.

I did a lot of chores years ago dragging hoses all over the place. Fixing the floating heaters. Extension cords. Pounding ice. Who wants to drag themselves out of bed at 6 am and -10 degrees to do water? Not me.

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