Water for the Calves

In Farm Life, Livestock by Laura CrossleyLeave a Comment

Aaron has a general mantra for pretty much anything that challenges either fo us: “We will always find a way.” As annoying as it can be to hear it sometimes – he’s generally pretty right.

When the cows moved out to the pasture, getting water to them became a pretty big challenge. The longterm goal is to build them a pond and to fence in the back pasture so they will have plenty of space to roam with all the necessary resources. For now, though, they’re in new-to-us corrals on the front pasture with a trough that needs to be refilled regularly – especially in the dwindling summer heat.

By “big challenge” I mean that Aaron would fill a few 5-gallon buckets with water from the pond, then haul them to the cows and dump them over the fence. He would do this twice a day, a couple of times a week to make sure the cows had what they needed. Isai and I would ride along in the side-by-side and watch – providing almost no help at all.

We talked through strategies. A pump, a few hoses, a tank, electricity…a few of the plans were pretty elaborate. We also considered ways of getting the cows into the creek close by. Unfortunately, at this time of year, it’s dry unless there’s a heavy rain.

What we ultimately landed on was nothing short of genius.

While perusing Tractor Supply (because that’s what you do in a pandemic when you own a farm) – we picked up a water pump, extension cord and spigot. From there, the farm handled the rest. We had planned to cut a 50-gallon drum in half – but lo and behold, the previous owners left one chopped inside the barn. It was perfect. The big plastic half-barrel went into the back of the side-by-side. Then, Aaron hooked up the water pump at the edge of the pond using the electrical that is run to the…wait for it…out house. The hose ran from the pump to the barrel and – voila! – water!

We were suddenly able to pump almost 25 gallons of water in a few minutes. It was easily hauled to the pasture and, with a quick twist of the spigot, the cows had water!

It’s fun to see these guys love being out in the fresh grass and shade trees. Their pen had gotten far too small for three calves – so we’re beyond thrilled to give them a bit more space while also making their care a lot easier on ourselves.

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