Just like humans, water is the most vital nutrient for horses as well. An adult horse’s body is roughly comprised of 70 percent water that is equal to 96 gallons of water for an average 1100 lb. horse. The body of a foal even has a higher water content, around 80 percent and they consume more water than adult horses.
The daily water requirement of horses depends on various factors like age, quality, and quantity of feed, fitness, and activity level. When you consider the temperature, as well as the freshness, cleanliness, and palatability of the available water, it’s clear that water consumption is influenced by a variety of elements. Due to the lower fat in water content compared to lean muscle, overweight horses require less water than the horses in good bodily condition. At all times, all horses require clean, high-quality water.
When it comes to watering the horses, a trough is all that flashes across our minds.
Types of Horse Troughs
There are several different kinds of horse troughs available in the market. The metal water trough is a long-standing traditional through. Metals were more readily available and easier to mass manufacture in the 1800s, so they likely superseded wooden troughs. Centuries later, now there are a variety of different materials that may be used to make effective water troughs.
Specific polymers are used to make these poly water troughs, although they can be improved to make stronger and lighter plastic water troughs. They’re UV-resistant, which means they won’t break down as rapidly when exposed to direct sunshine over extended periods. Depending on the buyer’s demands, they can come in various colors, forms, and sizes.
A more conventional water trough is a metal water trough, often known as a galvanized water trough. They are usually physically stronger than their plastic equivalents, but they require extra attention and a plastic liner to ensure that the water they contain is safe for your horse to drink.
Pro Tip!Remember that not all metals expand and contract at the same rate in response to heat and cold. So, if you have a steel frame and try to attach a brass or copper valve to it in the spring and fall, it may operate OK, but in the summer and winter, it may become loose or too tight, producing fractures or disconnection.
The Automatic Water Trough provides you with the assurance that your horse will always have access to water. The automatic horse trough is simple to install on a wall or fence and is ideal to use in a barn or pasture. You won’t have to worry about water spilling over since these troughs are float-controlled and automatically replenish depending on the water level. The automatic-refill mechanism ensures that your horse has access to cold, fresh water at all times.
Maintaining a Horse Trough
Placing a shade
By erecting a shade structure over troughs, you may decrease light exposure and, therefore, slow algae development. However, this comes with a cost and may not be feasible in all trough sites.
Emptying and cleaning troughs is time-consuming yet effective. For optimum results, use a scrubbing brush or an old stiff grooming brush, then rinse before refilling.
2 to 3 ounces of unscented chlorine bleach per 100 gallons of water can be put into horse troughs. Since the chlorine will progressively evaporate in the heat, you will need to repeat this process every week or more frequently in hotter climates. Before permitting the horses to drink, make sure the bleach has been well mixed throughout the trough.
Similarly, copper sulfate can be used to inhibit algae development. Dissolve half a teaspoon in 1.5 ounces warm water for a 300-gallon trough, then pour the solution evenly.
If your horses share their water trough with other animals, keep the following in mind: Copper is extremely poisonous to sheep, but not to horses or dogs. If your horses share the water trough with sheep, don’t use this method.
Another option is zinc sulfate. If used, dissolve 1 cup in 1-gallon warm water before pouring into a 100-gallon trough.
Under the appropriate circumstances, goldfish can also assist in keeping your horses’ water trough clean. Goldfish may consume the algae that grow on the trough walls and bottom and mosquito larvae and other insects that may fall into the water. Although, in regions where there is a lot of bloom, the fish may not be able to keep up. Regular goldfish are inexpensive and effective; however, some individuals prefer Plecostomus, which are noted algae eaters.
If you’re utilizing fish, bear in mind that the oxygen supply in a trough is typically insufficient to support a large number of fish. Check your trough frequently for dead fish that might discharge poisons into the water, and keep in mind that they’re still in there when you turn it over to clean it by hand.
Although the exact mechanism is unknown, it is hypothesized that when barley straw is soaked in water and exposed to sunlight, it produces a chemical that inhibits algae development. It doesn’t seem to destroy current algae, but it does appear to stop future development. Before algae appear, straw should be put to troughs. The temperature of the water determines the speed with which it performs.
According to studies, roughly 10-25 grams of barley straw per meter of the surface area is recommended. If there are fish in the trough, don’t add any more straw since it will deoxygenate the water and kill the fish.
Fill the trough with enough water to last the pasture population for three days. Stagnant, filthy water loses its allure, and horses only drink it when necessary. Each horse consumes around 12 gallons of water per day on average, so figure out how much water you’ll need based on the number of horses you have and how much access they have to that source each day.
Fit Animal Escape Route
Your horses will not be the only ones drinking from the trough. If thirsty rats, birds, and other animals come by for a drink, they will not hurt your horse until they drown. Horses forced to drink polluted water might develop a variety of diseases due to an animal corpse in the water supply. Fit every water trough with an animal escape path to eliminate this hazardous possibility: A two-by-four board fastened to the container’s edge so that it floats at different water levels can serve as a life raft and escape ramp for tiny animals stuck within.
Explore more on Horse grooming: Do Horses Sleep Standing Up?