When Cliff sold one of his cows and two calves last year, over $600 of the proceeds was used to buy the in-ground waterer you see in these pictures. Then he spent many hours digging a ditch to run a waterline to it.
Now that it's really wintertime (ten degrees right now, supposed to be colder tonight) I am sure glad we have this ugly little gem.
Up until this winter, we'd chop ice on ponds, or drag hoses around to keep tanks filled; of course we had to keep heaters in the tanks to keep the water thawed. It was necessary to be ever-vigilant to make sure there was plenty of water for the animals, and to see that the heaters were functioning. Have you ever tried dealing with plastic water hoses when temperatures are in the teens? Of course you can't leave them out when you're done, because the water will freeze in them. So you drag the hoses to the heated basement, only to be brought out again when the tanks need filling.
It's so nice to know there's water available to the livestock now without doing anything. Even the dogs get water there: all the animals have learned to push the flap inward and drink.
There's a good-sized frog living in there, although I didn't see him this morning. I wonder what he eats, now that there are no bugs to be found.
I'm editing to add something, because of Firestormkids' comment: Another advantage to these waterers is that the flap keeps the sun off the water in summer, so there's no algae growing... and algae can be a real nuisance to clean out every couple of weeks.