Friday, January 20, 2012

Watering the cattle - Part 2

Here's a treat - a post by Farmer John!  As you'll read, his project has meant a lot less hauling water and in turn, a much happier wife.

As you've read in previous posts we currently have no running water. While this isn't an ideal situation for us, the larger problem has been our livestock. An average bovine might consume 10-15 gallons of water per day. Hauling all that water to the trough in buckets got real old real fast. We decided there must be a better way.

Next to one of our pastures is an ephemeral stream. While there is little water that flows  in summer, during this extremely wet winter it is full of water. The idea was to fence in a small section of this stream and dig out a deeper pool for our cattle to drink.  Pictured below are a few photos of the stream.

Digging the pool was the most labor intensive part of the project. The  hole is about three feet by ten feet and two and a half feet deep. I spent most of an afternoon excavating with a shovel. Next, a fence had to be erected around the new watering hole. A few T-posts, some barbed wire, fence staples, a break for lunch and the whole job was completed.

I was pretty excited to show the finished project to the customers, so I called a couple of the shaggy coos down for cool drink of water.

The cattle were happy for the drink, but a bit disappointed that I didn't have any sweet feed to treat them.

Eventually the watering hole will fill back in with silt and and rock from the stream. However, it will easily last until our brand new well is drilled. We are hoping to start this project early next week. Stay tuned for updates on the well drilling adventure!


  1. The last two blogs are so interesting. Love the one-legged chicken. So that's how they stay warm.

    Now a good plan to water cattle until you have a new well. Water is precious and too often we take it for granted until it is gone. Go, Farmer John.

  2. Lorraine in WisconsinJanuary 20, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Ingenious! Great photos too. I'll bet Bonnie and Clyde love this new arrangement, and it would not be surprising if they have already found a way to break out of captivity through the watering hole fence.

  3. There used to be (at the top of the hill road on the right) a pond that was in the same stream system. Perhaps this spring it could be redug. BRAVO!!! to you both for the improve. Ever think of putting little notes in Mason jars and burying them near where you are doing these things? Then, later, if there's wee ones running around you can send them on scavenger hunts to find the "history jars" that you buried "way back when we were ..."


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