Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Warm or Cold – Winter Water Choices

Breaking ice in water troughs is a LOT of work!  Step one....sledgehammer.  Step two....double layer of Playtex Gloves to fish out the floating boat-sized chunks.  Step three....blow hot air on your hands to thaw out!  It's miserable work!  

Many of us use tank heaters to keep our horses water ice free and avoid all that work.  Ever wonder how our horses feel about it?   

Several studies have been conducted regarding ice-laden water versus heated water in the winter months.  If given a choice between warm or cold water, the majority of horses will go for the cold water.  Perhaps the choice is instinctual, but no-one has explained why.  However, if horses have warm water as their only choice, they will consume 40% more than if they had cold water as their only choice.  And, regardless of the temperature, horses will drink most of their water within a few hours of eating their grain or hay.  

At the end of the day, water temperature is really the owner’s choice!  Which sounds like less work?  Running extension cords to all your water tanks, or swinging a sledge hammer?  Either way, the average 1,200 pound horse will drink 7 to 10 gallons of water a day, year round, and he honestly doesn't care if it's warm or cold!