Saturday, December 5, 2009

Winter chore: Frozen troughs

I've got freeze proof faucets around my property, and they're pretty handy.  In this case I've got a 100 gallon trough under one of them, with a short length of hose and an automatic filler.  This works well most of the year, but for the month or so that we've got solid cold temperatures, I've got two problems:  1) the supply hose to the filler freezes and the trough cannot fill any more, and 2) if it's cold long enough, the entire trough freezes solid. 

I use pretty cheap hose between the trough and the filler -- if you click in the picture  you can see the green hose -- because the pigs chew it up from time to time, and freezing doesn't seem to harm it.  I get the material by buying a 100' cheap garden hose and a couple of replacement ends, and as it gets chewed up, I replace it; usually every 6-8 months. 

If I think it's going to be cool, but not a deep freeze I'll loosen the hose a little so that it leaks a few drops a minute, and that small amount of flow prevents the hose from freezing solid.  It makes a cool ice sculpture.  If the cold continues I remove the hose entirely and fill the troughs every day or two by walking out and doing it by hand. 


Bruce King said...

I don't think that pigs can digest raw potatoes. Cooked potatoes, yes. Raw, no.

Karen B in northern Idaho said...

As I have learned in northern Idaho they are not entirely freeze proof, even wrapped with an electric heating cord and then insulation! But if the temps stay above the teens they will stay unfrozen (if wrapped as above).