It's interesting ... last night when I was watering the cows they were just going nuts jostling each other and trying to get at the water. Tonight ... I called them over ... they looked at the water and then walked away! Oh well, I filled them up and it's not super cold so hopefully I just have to break a skim of ice in the morning and then they'll get their fill for the day. The pigs on the other hand are being a bit more difficult ... they like to tip over anything that isn't attached to the ground or a post and then they'll try to tip those things over too!
The comments in yesterdays post had me thinking today. They had me thinking about the best case scenario versus the reality of the farm. The suggestions in the comments are the best case scenario. It would be the absolute best to install an energy frost free waterer. In fact I have even been researching it and have picked out a Cobett waterer
. In order to install that waterer I would need to trench in a line and tie it in to the main water line from the road. Of course to do that I would need to dig a deep hole for the waterer and a bigger hole where the connection to the main line would be. I would also need to have some gravel delivered or pick some up to put around the waterer ... and I'd need to get a plumber out here to help me because I have a lot to learn along those lines!
In order to do all that I would have to order the waterer (not a big deal because they are made relatively close by). Then I would need to get a trencher out here (also not a major deal because I can borrow one from the farm store where I work for no charge). After that I would need to dig the big holes (I could dig them by hand or go through the expense of renting or hiring an excavator). Finally it would all need to be hooked up, installed, and the gravel placed around the waterer.
The waterer would cost around $650 or so I'm thinking. I have no idea how much the gravel and 200 feet or so of water line would cost, but I know that it wouldn't be a deal breaker. Things do get tricky though once I start thinking about the cost of the excavator, but even that isn't insurmountable. Nope ... the real problem is time! My time is very limited and that's why I don't see the installation of the waterer a real possibility now even if it's what I want and it is the best solution.
I had also hoped to install an heated pig drink at the same time which would require some concrete, more trenching, more water line, and of course electricity out to the location (and the shed because it's along the way). On the flip side ... if I go with my temporary plan for the cattle, sheep, and pigs it would entail one galvanized tank with drinks for the pigs, one bigger tank for the cattle and sheep, and of course the heaters and extension cords. That will probably cost over $500 as well! And, after this winter it would still be my hope to do the more permanent option.
So, there is the dilemma ... the best case is obvious and even not a ton more in the expense department when you compare the two. But, the reality is that doing that job takes time and time is something that must be prioritized on my farm. The general chores need to come first and sometimes (especially with a couple of town jobs and short days) that doesn't leave time for the best case. I'm going to try to make the reality work out as best as possible though!