After cleaning the ice off the cattle tank, I said that it would be fine now until we had horrible cold winds again. I was wrong. When I was out the next morning, I noticed that there was a layer of ice again. I cleaned it off, and it was open for the day. I knew Sunday would be nice and warm and a perfect day for taking care of the problem.
There could only be one thing causing the ice~goose sludge. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my geese. It’s just that they have these little things on their tongue and the side of their beak that they use to filter dirt through. (You can click on the picture below to enlarge it.) That means they need water, and this time of year that means the cattle tank.
Before I turned the water off, I filled three buckets of water to rinse the tank. That might seem excessive, but I also have goats and geese acting like they’ve never seen water for a month. I personally think the goose sludge probably leaves a bad taste to the water. I was prepared. I figured they couldn’t empty all three buckets.
Finally I turned the water off. If you forget that part, it really is hard to empty the tank out. Trust me, I know this from experience. I also turned the electricity off. That’s just a good precaution. Then I started emptying the tank out.
This is goose sludge. It’s like the bottom of a farm pond~fine black silt. It’s smelly. It gets into every crevice of my dried hands. I can’t wash it off. It’s disgusting!
Anyhow, back to emptying the tank. I figured while I was emptying it out, I should also scrub the sides. The best purchase I ever made for cleaning buckets and cattle tanks is the toilet brush. It works quite well.
That opening full of sludge is where the water enters the bowl they drink from. I’m not sure how the water could actually get in there. Honestly, when I replaced the heater at the beginning of December, there was hardly anything in there.
Eventually, I’m ready to take the top off the tank and start cleaning around the heater. Goose sludge also makes a wonderful insulator and holds the heat in, not letting it keep the water warm all the way to the top, hence the freezing over.
Finally, I went through most of what was left in my water buckets washing and rinsing and trying to get things cleaned out. Then I turned the water and electricity back on and let it fill up.
I also took the opportunity provided by our warm weather today to try and get rid of the ice that had built up during the windstorm. I’d already broken some loose before I thought about the camera.
It’s not an easy job to bust it all loose.
Let’s just say blogging keeps me honest. I really didn’t want to do this. It’s very hard on the arms.
However, I said I was going to do it today, so I couldn’t wimp out.
I’m sure the goats and geese and llama appreciate that tank being cleaned out and the ice removed. Hopefully this will last until spring. I can’t imagine we’ll have many more warm days like today.
Linking to Homestead Barn Hop.