The last few days the temp hasn't gotten much above 0 degrees and gets much lower at night. At this temp the water tanks freeze at an alarming speed. It is vital that the cattle always have available water to drink. To allow this the water tanks have small heaters in them. To conserve energy only a small area of the water is heated. The cattle will drink from this area and help keep the ice off this area. We also have some tanks that are heated with the use of a PVC pipe that is dug into the ground to below the frost line, about 4 feet down. The pipe allows the warmth from the ground to go up into the tank and keep the water and pipes from freezing.
Even with these heating elements in place there are times where the water will freeze over and it takes a hammer to break up the ice and scoop it out. Checking the water is a very important job on the farm.