Sunday, 16 September 2012

New Sheep Auto-water feeder

Today I made a new water feeder for the sheep. There have been a couple of days here in Tasmania where the water in their bowl has dried up and they have taken water from unreliable sources (the water from the top of an oil container). This resulted in the sheep getting scours and me getting very anxious.

We bought some auto-feeders for the goats and chickens a while ago, but they are small, fiddly and (because of the additional cost of the hose fittings and plumbing) worked out to be very expensive.

I bought an 80 litre water basin from the hardware store for $7.00.


I also bought a ball-cock tap from the rural plumbing supplies shop for $50.00.


Finally, I bought some garden hose attachments so that I can plumb the tap to the hose in the sheep paddock.


Using a forstner bit slightly smaller than the thread on the stop-cock, I drilled a hole through the basin near the top.


Next, the stop-cock was screwed into the side of the basin.fitted_stop_cock

Because the hole was smaller than the thread, when the stop-cock was screwed in place, it cut a thread into the plastic. This makes for a pretty tight fit and doesn’t require a grommet or rubber washer.

On the outside, I put some hot melt glue around the base of the thread, I know that I don’t need this … but it is better than a leak. The screw collar was then tightened over the thread and the tap fitting was screwed down tight.


Now, I moved the fitted basin out into the sheep paddock and connected it to the hose. The tap is turned on and, woohoo, water starts to happen.


This isn’t the exciting bit … the proof of the system is when the ball rises up and shuts the valve, stopping the flow of water.


Yay, it works. Full basin for the sheep, no more walking out into the sheep field to fill their water bucket. Win-win! I still need to check the basin later to make sure that the stop-cock is stopping the water flow, that the pressure in the hose doesn’t split the hose and … that the water doesn’t leak around the point in the basin where the plumbing goes through the side.

What did the sheep think of their new water trough?


Not a lot … not a lot, at all.

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