Waterer for rotational grazing

Tool Concept
Easy to move, low cost watering system that reduces issues associated with fixed watering locations.

Primary problem statement:
I am a rancher and I want a tool to provides water to cows at low cost and is easy to move because rotational grazing depends on flexible water systems.
Read more about this problem statement



Waterline is run from a central watersource to each 1 acre paddock with as many waterers added as needed and the entire system is kept under pressure. Valves are not used to reduce complexity, expense and animals messing with the valves.

The assembly is simply to attach heavy rubber hose to branches from a central waterline run to temporary paddocks. The 30-50' rubber hose provides a flexible kink free section to enable the tubs to easily be moved to new locations. The tub end of the rubber hose is attached to the PVC bracket over the lip of the juice drum which positions the float valve such that it is secure from animals fiddling with it. The 1" Hudson Valve is threaded into the PVC section. 3/4" fittings and waterlines are far less expensive than 1" and provide enough flow to quickly keep up with animal use. The float valve has survived two winters without issue and the animals can't mess with it.

The primary risk is that a waterer is dumped over which will leave the pressurized system running until it is discovered. A FIDO or similar water level alert of flow alert would be a logical module/improvement to add to this waterer design.

Waterer for rotational grazing

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Com Eng's picture

Hi Dorn,
I have a couple of ideas for you, depending on number of animals you are supplying water for per day, size of property and property layout, etc
1) portable water tank with trough, 200 lt,or 1000 lt
2) central watering and feeding station
3) main water line with quick connect relocating trough 

these can be done on a low budget easy to maintain set up.

on my website www.commercialengineering.com.au there is a 200 lt portable tank with trough for you to have a look at

any questions please feel free to contact me through this site or my website


I like the image on this thread, but I don't like those floats.  I have the same water problem with my rotational grazing.  My farm is 8.5 acres.  What I do is lay out about 600 ft of 3/4" garden hose out in the pasture and just fill a 100 gal stock tank once a day (with water from the house or irrigation water).  I fill the tank every day and move it every 2 days.  It's easy.  The biggest thing is to remember to turn the water off, so I set a timer on my phone to remind me to turn it off.  I know a float would solve that problem, but I want the tank to be nearly empty so when I do move the tank I don't have to dump a full tank.

Dorn's picture

I have also had issues with this model of Hudson float valve.  I am ready to try alternatives that have a more positive shutoff in both high and low pressure situations.  I have found that the 3/4" ABS waterline is cheaper and more durable than the garden hose, but a bit more difficult to handle. 

I do something similar to this except I have been feeding less and less hay. I also continue to rotate the animals even while feeding hay (I roll out round bales with a utv, which creates a good amount of mulch and soil-building). This means there is a need to keep watering through the cold months. I waited for a four-day weekend to rent a trencher (<$200) and buried my 2,000ft of water-line. Kencove carries some decent quick connect fittings that aren't too expensive and are reliable enough for farm use (do NOT try using garden hose fittings for this). To get the quick-connects a little deeper below frostline but still accessible I used concrete pavers to make little manholes at each location. There is a quick-connect point in reach of each grazing cell with a 50ft length of garden hose. Works quite well and only adds a few days of trenching (assuming it isn't too rocky! I spent a half day digging out about 20ft when I hit a some stones wider than the trench) and a few hundred dollars to the overall cost of the system.

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We do something very similar to this. Ours uses the 6 gallon rubber tubs that are very common, and the cheaper floats. Here is a link