Winter is especially difficult for those who keep horses or other large livestock. In addition to providing shelter and meeting the greater nutritional requirements required in cold weather, livestock owners must also be able to provide their animals with frequent access to water in order to keep them healthy and hydrated. Since even large, sheltered water troughs can freeze over quickly during periods of extreme winter weather, livestock owners often find themselves carrying water by bucket several times each day to ensure that each animal has plenty of water to drink.
If you are exhausted from having to carry water to horses or other large animals and interested in learning about another option, here are some important reasons to consider the installation of automatic horse watering systems.
Good hydration helps to avoid impaction and digestive health issues
Horses, cattle, and other large animals typically get most of their calories from hay and other supplemental feeds during the winter months when grazing opportunities are sporadic or unavailable. Because these feeds can be very dry, animals who are limited to them must be furnished with plenty of water to ensure proper hydration for a healthy digestive process. If water is restricted or unavailable, winter feed choices can easily lead to serious health issues, such as impaction of the bowel or colic.
Horses and other livestock prefer warmer water in winter
While breaking surface ice on a trough, pond or stream can provide an important water source for horses and other types of large livestock in an emergency, the water made available in this manner will be very cold. Instead of drinking enough to fully meet their hydration needs, livestock owners often find that their horses and other large animals quickly lose interest in these sources due to the extremely cold temperature of the water. When presented with warmer water from an automatic watering system, however, horses, cattle, and other animals are much more apt to drink their fill and maintain healthy hydration levels even during the coldest days of winter.
Fresh water improves animal health
Automatic horse waterers have benefits far beyond the ability to provide more consistent access to water during freezing weather. With a design that allows the bowl of the waterer to refill with fresh clean water each time it is accessed by the animal, the use of automatic horse waterers helps to ensure that animals are not consuming water infected with mosquito larva or other potentially harmful contaminants.
Contact a company like EndureQuest Corporation for more information about automatic horse waterers.