Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bovine Hydration System (BHS)

Last winter we had to carry water out to our animals. This year we wanted an easier system. Our small barn area is attached to the wood shed, which is attached to our house at the mudroom. In our mudroom are the washer and dryer. We decided to plumb off the washing machine water to use for animal watering.

Here is how we did it:

We used 4” schedule 20 PVC pipe and put it overhead in the woodshed at a slight downwards pitch towards the bovine quarters.

Then we ran 1” black plastic water pipe inside the PVC pipe, the PVC pipe stays rigid and prevents the black plastic from sagging. The pipe on the barn side hangs over the water dish.

The black plastic pipe comes through the mudroom wall at the ceiling and is connected to a garden hose “y”; on one side we connected a hose that ties into our washing machine cold water faucet (we used another “y” on the cold water side of the washer. One end is connected to the washer hose and the other to the BHS). The other side of the “y” has a short hose connected to it that we use as a vent to help drain the water out of the black plastic pipe.

We discovered after our first real cold night that the pipe wasn’t draining completely and it froze. Luckily it warmed up during the day and we tried using air from the compressor to force out any water left in the pipe. This has worked very well, even with -8° F temps.

Happy cows, happy people.

This photo shows the connections by our washing machine. The garden hose connects to the BHS (Bovine Hydration System)
Washer Connections for BHS