Updated: Jan 14, 2021
Winter watering is turning out to be more complicated this year than we expected. In the past, we kept extra rabbit bottles and swapped them out twice a day. Chickens and geese were given warm water in a rubber bucket which could easily be stomped out.
This year though, things are a little different for a few reasons. Primarily, we now have goats. Whenever we bring a new, fresh bucket of water out, the geese immediately dunk themselves in it and - as The Husband says - wash their butts. While the chickens might not drinking the water that remains from this... hygienic experience, goats are a little more fussy and a little less durable to dirty water diseases.
Also, we have ducks. If the water freezes up mid-afternoon, everyone else will survive. Ducks, however, require a near-constant water source in order to eat or even just remain comfortable. The birds will be getting moved up to the winter quarters very shortly. I'm sure they and the goats will be delighted. *eye roll*
Secondarily, we will be having a homestead-sitter mid-winter and we would like things to be as easy as possible for him. Hauling several 5 gallon buckets of hot water from the shower in the house is definitely not easy. We have several heated water buckets from 2-5 gallons, and plan to buy a stock tank and heater.
However, the stock tank comes in 3 sizes. The 50 gallon is shallow and the geese and ducks will be in it in no time. It will need constant cleaning and refilling. The 150 is high enough to keep the geese out, but not our Amazing Flying Muscovies. It will also keep out little Petal and possibly even Clover. The 100 is the worst of all worlds and combines all the problems with both the other sizes.
We have looked into some interesting set ups on Youtube, Facebook and Mother Earth News, but nothing has been quite what we need.
So, Internet, what do you think? Is there a way to keep all the critters happy without making our homesteader sitter miserable?
Already can't wait for spring!