Lilybrook Herefords

Bull and Frost Proof Water Trough

These  water troughs are very cheap to make. We got the tires from an Open Pit Coal Mine, they came off of their 150 ton trucks. The tires in the pictures are 8 foot (2.4 m) in diameter, and 27 inches (0.67 m)  high, they are also 42 ply thick. They hold approximately 450 imperial gallons (about 2000 L) of water. It does take some effort to cut the bead out of the tire, but it can be done with a knife or we used a electric cross cut (reciprocating) saw to cut the radial tires, it took about 1 hour for two guys to get it done. The bottom bead is left on the tire and concrete is poured into it. It takes approximately 0.5 yard (0.4 m) of concrete to pour out the bead. We silicone between the concrete and the tire bead to seal the trough but it would most likely not leak without it. We have been informed that the concrete bonds very well to the rubber, there is no need for the silicone, and if one were to move or replace the tire, the concrete will come with the tire. The water comes into the trough up the center through a water pipe through the concrete and a valve attached to and a float turns it on and off (notice the white ball - that is the float). We have the valve under water as much as possible, so it does not freeze in the winter time. Attached to the float arm, we have a short piece of chain that is attached to the float ball, this way only the ball is exposed to freezing, and if cattle touch it, the valve does not get damaged.

In the winter time, if it is not below -20 Degrees C, the sun together with the black tire, and a good amount of cattle drinking on it will usually keep the ice off the trough. If it gets real cold, a small circulating pump will keep a hole open, or we put a floating stock tank heater in it. Otherwise, if we daily throw the ice build up out, then the cattle can drink most of the day. We have found that if we do not use the trough and the water freezes solid, there is no damage to the tire or valves. These tires are almost indestructible!

Tire Water Trough (18267 bytes)

This trough is used all winter long, that is why there is a concrete pad around it.

Cattle Using a Water Trough (25322 bytes)

This trough is used in the summer only and we only have a gravel pack around it and it works well.

Pad for Trough

We found that concrete is the best way to make the ground around the troughs last, so we poked some rebar out when we poured the inside of the tire, we dug a hole about 6 inches deep and under the tire rim so that it would hold and seal to the tire better. Then we poured this pad around the outside. The form is made of 6 inch by 1/4 inch steel. The steel pipe with the cap, hides the plastic sewer pipe that holds the shut off valve system.

Finished pad

The finished product.

Last Updated Jan 5, 2013

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