Heat, water and your pets

Yesterday one of my auto waterers in one of my horse stalls was leaking. It was time for a plumbing repair. Thank goodness that our weather has been mild so far this spring and the horses were out at pasture so access to fresh water was not a problem. The broken waterer got me thinking about how I use to handle watering the animals when I lived in the Central Valley of California, where summers can be very hot.

Water troughs are great for larger livestock but a word of warning – keep them full to the rim. A low amount of water can cause an animal death. When we were living in California I had several large stock tanks. They all had floats mounted to them to automatically fill the tanks up when the horses drank from them. One day, one of the floats got ripped off the tank by one of my “playful” horses. That tank had to be fulled up by hand using the hose.

The second day of the manual fill I was shocked to find a feral kitten floating dead in it. The water level was half way down in the tank. The kitten was very thirsty and had obliviously jumped or fell into the tank to get some water. The water level was too deep for the kitten to reach the bottom of the tank to jump out and the rim was now too high to reach. The poor thing had probably swam around until it was too tired to swim any more and drowned. That is why I now have the tanks always full so that if any small animal falls into it, it can get out again.

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