Just in time for the onset of real winter weather — when the water buckets starting freezing solid overnight — M put together this spectacular winter watering station for the goats.
The 100 gallon tank has a submerged heater (far out of reach of goat noses) that is thermostatically controlled to turn on when the water temps reach about 35 degrees F and to turn off again at about 40 degrees F. This should keep the water from freezing, though it will still be cold and I imagine I’ll still be carrying out buckets of warm water for Willow’s “afternoon tea” most days.
As with anything new in the goat pen, the goats were instantly investigating the new setup, climbing all over the new platform, nibbling it and sniffing it. Wellesley tried to claim it for her own, butting everyone else off at first, but the boys figured out that M made it just for them.
It makes us a bit uncomfortable to think about how much electricity it might take to run this for the coldest months of the winter, but it’s our only realistic option right now to keep ice-free water available to the goats. What we’d really prefer is to use a solar-heated stock tank like this one, but at those prices, we’re going to try to either find a used one or build our own. A project for next winter, I think.