Being such a cold winter this year – it makes me really appreciate the few sunny warmer days we’ve had. I especially appreciate the days when I don’t have to chop ice. Not having a barn or fancy facilities with electricity and running water, I have to carry water out to the Boys twice a day – once before I go to work and once again when I get home. It’s not really that horrible of a job, but when you get used to chopping ice every day, things just seem *so* much easier on those days when I don’t have to… that being said, summer is much better when I can just run a hose over and top off the trough
Depending on the time of day and how cold it is out, I’ll bring out anywhere from four to nine jugs of warm water out. On the really cold days, I just dump everything out of the buckets and give them all warm water instead of just warming up the cold water that was already left in the bucket. I don’t think the Boys really care one way or the other, but it makes me feel better.
I had a bit of an experiment running this winter dealing with their water – I was trying to find a way to keep the water from freezing as fast. In one of the forums I frequent, someone had mentioned that they used tires lined with hay to help insulate the buckets for their animals. As it happened, I had two old tires handy, so I thought I’d give it a try. Olliver and Merllin got the insulated bucket, while the rest of the guys didn’t. I was really amazed at the difference in the amount of ice that accumulated in each of the buckets… granted, the uninsulated bucket was up off the ground, which I am sure helped freeze the water a bit quicker, but there was still a really big difference between the two. When the uninsulated bucket had ½ - ¾” of ice on top, the insulated bucket only had 1/8-1/4” – which is quite a difference. Also, the uninsulated bucket would freeze along the bottom and sides while the insulated bucket never froze anywhere except on the top – and we’ve had multiple week-long stretches of temperatures that were in the single digits… I am definitely going to dig up a couple more tires for the Big Boys’ water for next winter.
I love the soft-sided buckets I use – especially for the uninsulated water. When the ice was getting thick along the sides and bottom, it was really easy to break the ice by tapping on the outside. Being rather rubbery, I didn’t have to worry about the bucket cracking in the cold along with the ice.
Who would guess that you could mix llamas and science?