Posts Tagged ‘automatic waterers’

Automatic Waterers and the Prevention of Colic

Automatic Livestock Waterers

As many of you reading this probably know, colic is a grazing animal’s number one enemy. Fast-acting and extremely painful, colic often kills in less than 24 hours. While there are a number of precautions livestock owners can take to prevent colic, there is one precaution in particular that is frequently overlooked and yet highly effective: the use of Nelson’s automatic waterers.

The word “colic” is not a diagnosis in itself but rather a word to describe intestinal pain and/or blockage. Grazing animals are at a high risk for colic because their intestinal tracts are very long and bendy – ideal for a high-fiber diet but also prone to blockage and build-up, particularly when  the animal is domesticated. Unlike their wild counterparts, who ingest fiber on a 24/7 basis, domesticated livestock usually get their fiber at intervals (morning and night) and often are given higher contents of fat to enhance their meat quality or performance (while beneficial, fat also contributes to intestinal build-up). In addition, domesticated livestock do not usually have as much room to move around and may in fact be stationary for long periods; immobility decreases intestinal movement and increases the risk of a blockage.

The blockage itself can be caused by a variety of factors – abdominal gas, sand, worms, twisted gut,  impaction, etc. In most cases, though, colic is caused by one of two things: ingestion of a foreign body and impaction of food and/or fluid. In both cases, Nelson’s automatic waterers not only help but exponentially decrease risk.

The ingestion of a foreign body most often happens through the water supply; stagnant water will collect sand, debris, algae, etc. Automatic waterers will help minimize this risk; they provide a constant supply of fresh, clean water. Furthermore, they minimize algae and bacteria build-up that, in addition to putting the animal at risk for colic, also increases the risk of illness and disease.

Nelson’s Automatic waterers also provide cooler water, which slows the animal’s fluid intake. This is important in the prevention of impaction. Cooler water slows the animal down, helps the animal cool itself, and is generally far more relieving than lukewarm water from a still tank. However, you should always watch an animal you have just exercised rigorously, and pull him away from the waterer if you feel he has been drinking too long and/or too quickly. In fact it is best, after rigorous exercise, to hold the animal at halter and allow him to take short sips between minute-long intervals.

Please note:
When an animal DOES colic, he will begin to pace, roll, bite and/or kick at his gut, and generally exhibit signs of discomfort. If you notice these symptoms, put your ear up to the animal’s belly and listen for abdominal movements. If you do not hear the usual gurgles, the animal’s abdominal tract is not working properly and you should call your vet immediately. The vet will be able to ascertain the cause of the colic and its appropriate treatment. Do not try to diagnose and treat the animal yourself, as there are many, many different kinds of colic and if not diagnosed and treated properly, are often fatal. Play it safe and call a professional if you suspect colic.


Keep Your Horses Hydrated and Their Waterer Clean

This summer was a hot one and your horses likely felt it. No doubt, you stayed on top of hydrating your horse’s supply of water and making sure they were well cared for. But did the water container that your horse drank from receive the same care and attention?

If you can’t muster up the courage to drink from your horse’s water source, chances are your horse is feeling the same way. As part of a horse’s daily diet, they consume the largest amount from water. This not only keeps them hydrated but also aids with digestion. By drinking contaminated or stagnant water, your horse may be ingesting parasites and additional bacteria that can lead to serious health problems.

Rinse and wash out your horse’s waterer weekly (or more frequently if necessary) to keep deposits and algae from accumulating.

Note: Some waterers are harder to keep clean than others (check out our Nelson Stainless Steel Automatic Horse Waterer for an easy to clean solution with electric heater and water consumption monitor). You might also consider adding a splash of apple cider vinegar and mix into your horse’s water. ACV not only keeps algae build-up down but also promotes horse health. Learn the benefits ACV can have on your horse.

Remember, these hot temperatures will change soon enough and so should your horse’s water. Clean your tank regularly to stay on top algae build up. Your horse will thank you.

Customer Focus: Fred Goldsmith – Pet Paradise

Fred Goldsmith, Pet ParadiseFred Goldsmith is the founder and CEO of Pet Paradise Resorts based out of Ponte Vedra, FL. Born in Memphis, TN, Fred is a graduate of the prestigious Culver Military Academy in Indiana and the University of Miami, FL. Today Fred lives in the Jacksonville, FL area with his wife of 30 years.

After graduating from college, Fred went to work for the family business at Goldsmith’s, a well-known department store in Memphis, TN. A marketing major in college with an interest in finance, Fred left the family business after a few years going to work for Merrill Lynch in Memphis. From 1975 to 1984 Fred bought the franchise rights for Wendy’s in northeast Tennessee, building 10 locations before selling to another franchise operator. He then started a computer company (Tri-Data) which developed point-of-sale cash register systems that recorded transactions, tracked inventory and performed food-cost analysis. Tri-Data later merged with a public company in Florida allowing Fred to take some time off to figure out what he was going to do next.

In 2002 when looking for a suitable kennel to board his dog Samantha, a Bichon, Fred met a gentleman who owned a kennel that was for sale. Fred decided to purchase the kennel from him to learn the industry. During his days at Tri-Data, Fred developed a software system for hotels. This proved beneficial as hotels have a lot in common with boarding kennels (occupancy, arrival, departure) which helped in the development of a business plan. The first Pet Paradise Resort opened in Jacksonville, FL in 2005. Today there are 16 Pet Paradise Resorts in the Southeast United States. Pet Paradise Resorts offer individual kennels with raised cots, supervised play areas, artificial turf, Nelson automatic waterers, ground pools shaped as dog bones and web cameras to see your dog from home or work.

Always an animal lover, Fred goes to the kennel every day to play with the dogs and to take a break from work. A father of four, grandfather of six, and owner of a West Highland Terrier (Sally) and a King Charles Cavalier (Arthur) Fred spends his free time with family and friends, travelling and playing golf.

Electric Powered Waterers vs. Solar Powered Waterers

Nelson Heated Automatic Horse WatererFor those of you who are trying to figure out whether an electric or non-electric powered waterer is the better option, one of the primary things you need to consider is reliability.

Solar powered waterers are simply not reliable.  The major problem is that they must be exposed to sunlight for a long period of time.   Extended cloud cover or darkness does not provide the solar energy to adequately operate the heater, resulting in freeze-up.   Solar powered waterers are typically used in climates that have lots of sunlight and when it is impossible to run electricity to remote location.

Nelson automatic waterers have thermostatically controlled heating elements that heat a small amount of water at any one time making them very energy efficient.  In addition urethane foam insulation lines the entire waterer housing.   Nelson waterers are reliable.  They work in extremely cold temperatures at night or when there’s cloud cover and energy costs are minimal.

Learn more about Nelson’s automatic horse waterers.


Are you prepared for WINTER?

Winter Is Coming ...and for many of us, it’s already here. Are you ready?

Nelson 700 Series Automatic Waterer

Here at Nelson Manufacturing, we want to make sure you have a safe and healthy winter season.

Here’s a few tips to help get you on your way:

  • A Hazard-Free Environment – Look over the grounds thoroughly and remove any hazardous objects that could become either a danger to you or your horse. Snow can cover objects, making them impossible to see. Removing, tagging or otherwise exposing these hazards could prevent serious accidents or injuries.
  • A Path To Follow – Lay down ground cover, such as sand, rock (gravel) or wood chips in high traffic areas to help provide a safe path.
  • Light The Way – With days getting shorter and nights getting longer,  it is important to have adequate lighting. Provide lighted pathways and work areas, and always have a flashlight handy for emergencies. You can never have too much light.
  • A Safe Haven – We all need shelter out of the wind and rain and so does your horse.  Shelter doesn’t have to be fancy. All you need is three sides and a roof, with a space large enough to hold all of the horses in the pasture. If you have the luxury of providing a barn with a stall for your horse, it should be at least 12 Ft. by 12 Ft., and at least 9 Ft. or more in height. Bedding provided should be dry and clean every night. Also, you may need to supply your horse with a blanket. We recommend assessing each horses needs individually.
  • A Bite To Eat – Hay and grain are two staples for horses. Horses burn a lot of energy to keep warm in the winter months, so you may need to increase your horse’s portion.  As a general rule, a horse needs 2 to 2.2 pounds of feed for every 100 pounds of body weight. The amount of food your horse needs varies according to activity, age, breed, weather, quality of feed, quality of shelter, condition of teeth, etc.
  • In The Spirit of Good Health – Salt and mineral blocks should be made available with free will access.  Always consult your veterinarian when dealing with vitamins and minerals.
  • A Tall Drink Of Water – Water is extremely important to the welfare of your horse.  Horses drink anywhere from 5 to 10 gallons of water a day. Clean water should always be made available, as it can be very difficult if not impossible, for a horse to survive on snow alone in the winter. A horse prefers water to be between 40 and 60 degrees. Our heated automatic waterers cost pennies a day to run.  Horses that do not get enough water are more susceptible to developing colic.

Give a horse what he needs and he will give you his heart in return.

Can You Recognize the Signs of Dehydration in Your Animals?

"You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink"

“There is no more terrible sight than ignorance in action.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

If you think your animal is suffering from dehydration experts say the signs to look for are:

Lethargy (Lack of energy), irritability, listlessness, loss of appetite, decrease in the production of urine, the urine becomes darker and stronger smelling.  The animals eyes may appear sunken in and lusterless (dull or lack of pigmentation).

To test for dehydration:

Try the “Pinch test”, grab with your thumb and forefinger and pull the animals skin away from their body, a well hydrated animal’s skin will return to a normal position within 1 second and an animal suffering from dehydration will have skin that will lack elasticity and stay in that peak position longer.

Check the animal’s gums by applying pressure to the gums, the color will fade and return quickly in a well hydrated animal and in an animal suffering from dehydration the color may take more than 2-3 seconds to return to normal and the gums may appear dry and lack mucous.

Things you can do to prevent dehydration:

Provide proper shelter out of the sun and heat, provide water at a temperature that is relative to the environment some animals prefer warmer water in the winter and cooler water in the summer, provide fresh water regularly and electrolytes as needed.   One of the most important things you can do is monitor your animal’s water intake daily (WCI – Water Consumption Indicator).

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In layman’s terms; ”Something that you say which means, it’s better to stop something bad from  happening than it is to deal with it after it has happened”.