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 Metals were more readily available and easier to mass manufacture in the 1800s, so they likely superseded wooden troughs.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.

Tuff Stuff Plastic Horse Trough

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.

What’s Best About It
They’re lightweight and easy to mold, making them simple to set up and relocate if necessary
They can adapt to any metal or polymer
It is made of UV protection, which stops the plastic from becoming brittle in the sun
Since it’s made of plastic rust, corrosion does not affect it.
It is self-cleaning, hence less expensive to maintain than metal water troughs
It’s made of food-grade polyethylene and supplies the cleanest water possible
Since plastic conducts less heat, it can often keep the water at considerably lower temperatures
Flaws But Not the Deal Breakers
They have the disadvantage of being less durable than metal water troughs. However, they are still more impact resistant. If anything heavy falls on them, they are more likely to break or crack, but they are less likely to dent if dropped or hit
It’s also more challenging to make them in large sizes like metal troughs. You may, however, utilize two troughs to cover the same area as a single bigger metal water trough

Achla Designs Galvanized Metal Horse Trough

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.

What’s Best About It
Compared to plastic, the majority of the advantages of metal water troughs are connected to their physical strength and durability.
They are, in fact, stronger and heavier than plastic water troughs and they can be produced in larger sizes
It can resist heat and weather if cleaned regularly to avoid rust and corrosion
It is a galvanized horse trough hence less prone to cracking or breaking but are more likely to dent
It is made up of galvanized steel that has a protective coating of zinc, which prevents rusting hence increasing the durability of these metal troughs
It is available in a variety of shapes and sizes
It is compatible with a folding floor stand

Flaws But Not the Deal Breakers
The most prominent flaw of metal water troughs is their susceptibility to rust and corrosion
It can also contaminate the water with zinc and other minerals, which can make your horses sick
You need to clean your metal tank regularly and examine all seams that may have exposed screws or bolts to avoid rust and corrosion, as well as the contaminated water that follows. Improper maintenance might lead to a tank that is irreparably ruined
Since metal transmits heat so efficiently, you may need to offer a way of chilling the water in very hot regions
Metal water troughs are more difficult to install than plastic troughs. Not only are they larger and bulkier, necessitating a more solid base, but the metal joints and connections are less adaptable to other types of connections.

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.

Achla Designs Galvanized Metal Horse Trough

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.

What’s Best About It
The advantage of automatic horse troughs is that they are automatic. The horse drinks, and it refills
It’s a tremendous time-saver. Even if you only have five or six horses, you may save a lot of time and effort
It is easy to use
You must use your hand to remove water from an automatic trough for the float to activate and indicate the system is operating
Simple to clean because it’s smaller in size, the larger the trough, the more difficult it is to clean
It is thick 304 stainless steel, corrosion-resistant, and more durable
Its float valve controls the water level and water intake
The expanded screw bolts size M8*70 is easy to fix and stabilize

Flaws But Not the Deal Breakers
Pipes can burst or freeze, producing major issues. Make sure you have plenty of shut-off valves
Cleaning bowls may be difficult. The deeper automatic troughs are more difficult to clean because you have to remove a stopper at the bottom and let them drain out into the stall

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.

Elbow Grease

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.

Adding Chemicals

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.

Biotic Control

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.

Barley Straw

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.

Don’t Overfill

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.

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