I’m looking for some ideas please. My two horses are pastured 24/7 and have been drinking out of the auto waterer for years. This summer they suddenly stopped wanting to drink from it. I noticed one day my mare walk up to the waterer, put her head down, but then not drink and noticed my gelding doing the similar thing a little later. I brought out buckets and they drank from them. I figured the waterer was maybe too dirty for them (large crows have been leaving all sorts of strange things like vertebrae in there but I have been cleaning it). Anyhow, the next day after I had cleaned I noticed the same thing, they didn’t want to drink out of the waterer. I took a bucket and yogurt container and took the same water from the waterer to the bucket and they both hungrily drank it. So i’m quite sure it’s not the actual water that is the problem. I tasted the water and it tasted fine to me. I have since been filling large troughs from them but where I live it gets to -30 in the winter and this soon won’t be an option.
My initial thoughts to why they won’t drink out of the waterer were either the heating component had malfunctioned and it was shocking them somehow. I kept testing my hand in the waterer and didn’t feel any shocks and I had someone come out to look at the waterer and he thought everything was fine. My other thought was maybe they accidentally touched the fence electric wire while drinking one day but I find this doubtful.
I really need to figure this out before winter. I will replace the waterer if need be but would prefer not to if there isn’t anything wrong with it - and I’m not sure they will ever drink out of the new one if I do go that route.
Anyone have any ideas? Have you seen this happen before?
Thanks in advance.