Posts Tagged ‘Automatic Horse Waterers’

Horse Care: Benefits of an Automatic Horse Waterer

Automatic Horse Waterers
The average adult horse can drink up to 10 gallons of water every day. As a horse owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your animal has an abundant and easily accessible supply of fresh, clean drinking water at all times.

Spring, summer, winter, or fall, horses require plenty of water during all seasons. Proper fluid intake keeps horses healthy, aids in their digestion, and helps them stay in peak physical condition for work and performance.

Unfortunately, when a horse does not get enough water, he can develop colic. Colic—or abdominal pain— remains one of the leading causes of death in horses. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, found that 11 out of every 100 horses (or more than 10%) will develop colic per year. Left untreated, colic can be deadly.

Though there are several types of colic, most horses display the following symptoms:

  • Pawing at or rolling on the ground
  • Inability to defecate
  • Anxiety
  • Severe sweating
  • Dark mucous membranes
  • Lack of interest in eating

If you suspect your horse has colic, you should treat it as an emergency and immediately call your veterinarian.

Nelson Manufacturing makes it easy for you to provide water to reduce the risk of this life-threatening problem.

Our automatic horse waterers mean you no longer have to fill pails throughout the day or break up ice during the cold winter months. We offer a wide selection of automatic horse waterers to fit every budget, every need, and every space. You’ll appreciate all the advantages of these waterers, including:

Automatic Horse Waterers

  • Easy installation and easy access. You can install them on a fence line, in pastures, in stalls, in concrete pipes or on concrete pads.
  • Simple maintenance. The stainless steel drinking bowls can easily be removed and cleaned by hand. In fact, cleaning a bowl takes less than 30 seconds.
  • Smooth, round, animal-friendly design.
  • Rust-free, maintenance-free construction.
  • Actuated water valve to provide a steady stream of fresh drinking water.
  • Monitoring capabilities that let you see exactly how much water your horse is drinking.
  • Electric heating that keeps water fresh even during the most frigid winters. Our heaters carry a three-year guarantee.
  • Easy water shut-off for cleaning or to prevent an overheated horse from drinking.

Help protect your horse’s health and help make your life easier. Click here to receive a free quote from Nelson today.








How Automatic Waterers Work: Part 2 – Heating Systems

In Part 1 of this series, we talked about how different automatic waterers refill themselves. While there are benefits and drawbacks to each method we discussed, deciding which refilling system to use largely comes down to personal preference.Bouncing Castles

It is not the same story with deciding which heating system to use in your automatic waterer. You must pick the heating system that best suits your temperate zone or face thousands of dollars in repair costs and weeks of shutdown when your water pipes freeze and your whole system breaks. Here, we discuss how different automatic waterers heat their water supply and which one is best for you.Milwaukee

Self-Operated Lever

In the first installment, we discussed waterers that turn off and on when the animal pushes a lever. Essentially, these are hydrants, and like hydrants don’t require a heating system since the water supply stays beneath ground.

Self-operated waterers are convenient and cost-effective in terms of heating, but please refer back to the first installment for a detailed explanation of their drawbacks. Specifically, they are not convenient to clean, can get broken easily, and only water one animal at a time. If you need to water lots of livestock, this is simply not the system for you.


Some automatic waterers simply rely on insulation to keep from freezing. In addition to their thick walls, such waterers will also have a “lid” over the actual water reservoir, which the animal pushes down to reach the water.

Especially if they have lids, these types of waterers are often a nightmare to clean, and they simply don’t keep water from freezing in any climate where freezing temperatures are sustained for long periods. While we don’t advise waterers that rely on insulation alone, we do strongly suggest insulated waterers that rely on one of the following systems for their primary heating process.


In this system, pressure is used to constantly circulate the water and thereby keep it from freezing. Because they rely on pressure and not electricity, such heating systems are low-energy, cost-effective, and can last repair-free for years.

But being pressure-operated, often only one of these systems can be used per well. If more than one of these types of waterers is hooked up to the same well, there is not enough pressure to keep the water circulated in each. So if you need to water multiple lots from the same well, this is not the system for you!

Electrical Elements

Other waterers, including the ones we manufacture here at Nelson, rely on an electrical element to heat their water supplies. But if an electrical element is used to heat a large tank of standing water, it can be high-energy and not very cost-effective. As discussed in our first installment, Nelson’s waterers do not have large tanks; their electrical heating systems heat only the small amount of water that sits in the bowl. They also use insulated housing to further cut down on energy requirements. And unlike their pressure-operated cousins, as many of these waterers as needed can be hooked into the same well.

Nelson’s electrical heating element is an optional feature, but we highly recommend it for any temperate climate. We also recommend the water line insulation option, because even if the water in the bowl is thawed out, the pipes can still freeze over and possibly burst, and then you have a really big problem!

Determining which heating system best suits your situation is critical for hassle-free, year-round watering. Making a wise choice in terms of a refilling system can dramatically cut down on chore-time and labor. We hope that, taken together, our 2-part series has helped you make the right choice for your livestock operation!discount inflatable pirate ship

Click here for more information about Nelson Mfg water bucket heater.

Horse Watering through the Winter Months

Winter is just around the corner, and for livestock owners, this often means patching up walls, inventorying the hay supply, ensuring vaccinations are up to date, and checking the insulation in the birthing/hospice area. But most of all, it means finding ways to keep a fresh water supply going amidst freezing temperatures.

Nelson Waterer Winter Drinking

Hydrating Horses with Snow

For a few livestock owners, a viable solution to the problem of winter watering is simply letting the livestock eat snow. But because 10 inches of snow is roughly equivalent to 1 inch of water, the animals must have access to large areas of snow-covered land in order to make up the difference. Eating snow can also introduce the risk of lowered body temperatures. While this is not usually an issue for large adult livestock, it certainly is for younger and smaller livestock. Also, snow does not contain the minerals found in tap water, causing livestock to suffer from mineral deficiencies if not provided with regular supplements.

Chopping Ice

Growing up, I remember waking up extra early on those dark winter mornings, bundling up in Carhartts, grabbing the axe, and venturing out into the cold to chop ice. Doing this same thing at night, the next morning and the next night, for four months.  While there was nothing wrong with the tried-and-true method of chopping ice, it was very labor intensive, posed a few hazards (like flying ice which nearly blinded me on several occasions), and did not ensure a constant water supply for the livestock.

Insulating Tanks

Over the years my family experimented with wrapping insulation around pipes and tanks. While it provided a quick fix in an emergency situation, wrapping pipes and tanks was not a viable permanent solution. The wrapping quickly became stripped away by frolicking animals, and it rarely kept the water completely thawed out. A certain amount of ice-chopping was necessary and we had to be especially careful when using insulation so that it was out of reach or wouldn’t hurt our horses if ingested.

Non-Integrated Tank Heaters

Non-integrated tank heaters are designed to plug into an extension cord and place in a water tank to keep water thawed all winter long. In my experience though, non-integrated heaters were more of a headache than a help. Of the tank heaters we used on the farm, not one was ever strong enough to keep a full tank thawed out; ice-chopping and/or insulated wrapping was always necessary. And with horses, who like to play and get into things, the heaters were often flipped out or unplugged. What’s more, running extension cords was inconvenient and potentially dangerous, particularly if they’d run through trafficked areas.

That said, non-integrated heaters are good solutions for smaller animals.

Temperature-controlled Nelson Automatic Waterers

Automatic Waterers

I have found that automatic waterers are, far and away, the best solution for winter (and year-round) watering. They are insulated and either use circulation or a heating system to keep the water fresh. You never have to worry about chopping ice, wrapping tanks, running extension cords, or bursting water pipes when you go to fill a tank in the middle of winter.

While installing an automatic waterer may seem like a hassle, the pay-off is more than worth it. My family installed its first automatic waterer over 20 years ago and it has been in use ever since. No repairs, little to no maintenance, no checking water levels, and best of all no waking up extra early to go chop ice for several hours before school!

So if you’re looking for a watering solution that will stay thawed and minimize work and hassle, invest in an automatic waterer.

A final word of advice: Install your waterers now before the ground freezes and you’re left gripping your axe, clutching your lower back, and wondering why you didn’t.