Oh what do you do in the winter time when all the small waterers are froze?
- Forcefully plant your Muck boot in the middle of the pan to bust through the crust which soaks your boot, sprays water all over your pants, coat, and glasses, which promptly freezes leaving you chilled and blind. Done that many times.
- Lift rubber pans (always use rubber in the winter time.) and hurled them to the ground with force - spraying water everywhere including your glasses, coat, and pants. Know that one well too.
- And of course throw those frozen solid rubber pans as hard as you can toward the ground over and over to break out the ice. (Do this responsibly in an area away from the walking paths as it will over time changed as the sun melts it creating a hazardous ice ring for man and beast.)
- And when their is only a couple inches froze, broken the water with the wooden end of the pitchfork.
Put a few ping pong balls in to keep the water open it said. Supposedly a gentle breeze moves them about and keeps the water from freezing. I laughed. My neighbors would ask me if I'd take up golf.
I did come upon a promising one though. Fill the inside hollowed area of a tire with bubble wrap and since I had the larger size rectangular shipping bubbles, I used them too. Then you place a rubber feed or water pan inside, not allowing it to touch the ground which would conduct the cold upward. A block of wood does the trick. Voila, an insulated tank meant to hold the heat of the suns rays into the night.
I rushed out to check how it worked after a frigid night. What a disappointment, I had not only water frozen solid to the very bottom of the rubber pan; but the pan was stuck solid to the tire too.
Good thing I did not put tires around the other water pans. They were frozen but only about half to three-quarters.
But why did this experiment not work? I came to realize that the insulation kept the warmth in the tire and away from the pan inside. Too bad because it looked so neat and nice and made stepping into the waterer more difficult for the goats which meant the water stayed cleaner.
I wondered why the tire work so well for the person who recommended it on the internet? Could it be that we live in Wyoming? Is humidity, and wind a factor? We had 67 mile an hour wind gusts the other night. Not common, but not unusual either.
So does windchill have any affect on water? The answer I found is that it will cool it more quickly but only to the temperature of the air but no lower.
Even though this was not the answer to our problem. I've got another experiment to try. With snow in the forecast for the days leading up to Christmas and temperatures plummeting, we will have just the weather to test it.