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In Reply to: Cold, Snow and Water posted by kari on November 24, 2001 at 20:09:58:
Nat and Diana have some good ideas about this. Something I have also seen used around here in Missouri is an aerator - similar to the units they use in fish aquariums. It seems that the air bubble action will keep an area in a water tank or trough open just enough for the livestock to drink from. Of course it doesn't do much for heating the water like an heater would but the tradeoff is less of an electric bill.
I haven't tried this myself but one of our neighbors uses this method for his sheep on a 75 gallon stock tank. The aerator (or large aquarium air pump) sits outside the fence in a wooden box and he has the airtube rigged into the tank and connected to a heavy airstone. When I saw this last year (working), it was down around 5 below zero and there was a hole in the ice about the size of a coffee can.
I've also seen a tractor engine block heater attached to the side of a livestock tank - about halfway up the side. When the water in the tank begins to freeze, it will only partially freeze on one side of the tank. Now I'm wondering, if a person used both a heater and an aerator - maybe none of the water in the tank will freeze.
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