Maintaining your stock water system
With the lead-up to spring, farmers are focused on calving and lambing. Before the demands of this time hits, it is important to complete maintenance on your stock water system. Here are the main checks to consider:
If you use a pump, make sure it is fully functional and has been serviced. As we all know, no pump means no water will be flowing around your system.
Check the quality of the water inside your tanks. Given lower water demands and flow rates over the last few months, now may be a good time to give the inside a clean and flush out the old water to ensure only clean, fresh water is going down the lines to your troughs.
Use this quieter time on-farm to clean your water troughs, especially ones that have not been used over winter. Most troughs have a drain bung at the base. Isolate the trough valve either by tying it back or by placing a piece of timber or similar under the trough to stop the flow.
Drain the trough through the bung, then use a wire brush or similar to scrub the walls to remove any residue. Open the valve leaving the bung out to flush away the residue. A bucket may be required to let the last quantity of residue out. Once done, replace the bung and refill the trough. The key here is to always have clean, fresh water available to your animals so they perform and are healthy year-round.
Take the time to go around and check that your trough valves are operating properly. Check if the valves are opening and closing easily and that they are working at full flow with no particles or matter restricting it. A restricted flow is often the main reason stock stays at a trough for a prolonged period as they are unable to drink enough to satisfy their thirst.
If you feel the valve is not working properly, it may simply be that you need to replace a seal or O-ring which you’ll find at your local PGG Wrightson store. To check your valve is fully functional, shut off your water scheme in that area of your property for the length of time you’re doing the check. Due to the inconvenience of shutting off your stock water system, do this maintenance on a day when the troughs are not in use, so no major disruptions are caused.
Take the time to check shut off, air and pressure-reducing valves operate as they should.
The above maintenance should take a couple of days and will ensure your system runs at full capacity and your animals will be getting fresh, clean water during the warmer months.
For further assistance with purchasing parts for your stock water system, visit your local PGG Wrightson store or head here to purchase online.