Heated Horse Water Trough: Essential Winter Care Tips

- The article provides tips on preventing horse water troughs from freezing in winter. - It suggests placing the trough in an area with maximum sunlight exposure, preferably a south-facing location. - Insulating the trough is recommended to keep the interior warm, with foam board, foil covered insulation, or using double troughs with insulation in between. - Online resources for building insulated troughs and using passive solar heating are mentioned. - Floating something in the trough helps to keep the water moving and can create an open area in the ice for horses to drink. - One suggestion is to use a two-liter soda bottle filled with water and salt as a floating object. - The effectiveness of these methods may decrease as temperatures decrease. The article discusses various methods to prevent horse water troughs from freezing. - Use insulated buckets or trough covers to help retain heat and prevent freezing. - Install heaters specifically designed for troughs, such as battery, electric, or propane heaters. Follow manufacturer's instructions and ensure safety precautions are taken. - Add salt to the water in the trough as saltwater freezes at a lower temperature than regular water. Seal the container tightly and ensure it floats so that the water keeps moving. - Bury the trough in the ground to insulate it from the cold. Depth and effectiveness will depend on location and the depth at which the ground freeze occurs. - Try putting manure under the trough. As it decomposes, it generates heat and may help warm the trough. - Regularly check the water at least twice a day to ensure availability in cold weather. - Keeping horses hydrated in winter is a priority. - Heated troughs and water buckets are common solutions. - Safety risks should be considered. - Get an electrician to inspect the barn's electrical system before using heaters. - Follow manufacturer's installation instructions for grounding and positioning of heaters. - Protect electrical cords from horses by encasing them in PVC or anti-chew springs. - Only use GFCI outlets for heaters. - Avoid using extension cords with heaters. - Purchase heavy-duty cords for outdoor use. - Installing electric conduit and a GFCI outlet in a covered outdoor electrical box as a safer alternative to using trough heaters outdoors. - Inspecting and replacing water trough heaters and heated buckets each year for signs of wear, such as frayed cords and loose parts. - Older trough heaters may leak current into the trough, causing horses to refuse to drink. - Unplugging and replacing a damaged heater if there is suspicion of electricity leakage. - Trough heaters and heated buckets are essential for winter horse care in cold climates. - Taking these steps yearly can help protect horses and provide water in cold weather.