One of the reasons we don’t house the main herd inside the barn during the winter is the need for clean, thawed water for the animals.
The cows are able to free roam to the spring in the far back of the place, to drink from the spring that breaks out along the hillside, or go down to the river for water.
The one cow and calf that we have in the barn,with access to the nursery field, do have a water tub inside the barn and we have to pack buckets of water to replenish as needed. A cow will drink 10-15 gallons of water a day, milking cows may drink up to twice that amount to be able to continue producing a healthy supply of milk to their calves.
We have had quite a bit a snow that was on the roof of the barn, so we placed buckets and tubs along the drip line of barn. Most days, once the sun came out, the buckets would fill during the day and we could dump them inside for the cow to drink.
When the temps dip down into the low teens, as they have in the last week, the collecting tubs at the drip line and the water tub inside are all frozen solid. We have resorted to hauling buckets full of hot water down the driveway, across the county road, along toward the river, over the bridge, across the pasture to the barn and through two gates to replenish the water supply.
Weather forecasters are calling for a warming trend next week…until then, I’ll be packing.