Lady Bug and Cattle Tank

The cattle tank was still frozen this morning despite the new heater.

My son and nephew came and tested the voltage in the water and the tank.  There was a bit of electricity floating in the water, but the outlets tested fine.

They put a new heater in it (wish I’d thought of that, but my dad didn’t deliver that part of my message). There was no stray electricity after replacing the heater.

We’ll see if this one works (when it gets cold next time), or I’ll be in the market for an electrician.

Lady bugs are much more pleasant than the cattle tank.

Don’t forget to click on the Mosaic in my sidebar to enter the giveaway for a 2013 Eden Hills Calendar, or you can clickHERE.

Linking to Wordless Wednesday with Tina’s Wordless Wednesday, Create With Joy, Sarah Halstead, Project Alicia, and Live and Love Out Loud,

A More Favorable Look at the Geese

Geese sometimes get a bad rap.  They have a reputation for being mean.  They can be, but usually it’s during the mating season and they are protecting their turf, their nests, and their eggs.  Most of the time, they are pretty easy to get along with.

They really do enjoy the pools of water that I give them.

As soon as one gets out,

there’s another waiting to get in.

I personally think they are beautiful birds sitting so serenly in their wading pool.

Of course, some geese get a bit more carried away.

click on picture to enlarge

You’ll get wet if you stand too close.  When I see them flailing around in that tiny pool, it really makes me wish I had something better for them to swim and play in.

In the back forty, there is a tiny little drainage ditch that carries water onto my property.

After a short distance, it widens out into a fairly deep channel.

It makes a small pool before it goes underground into the tile.

I can only imagine how much they would like to play here, especially if we made that little pool into a little pond.  Maybe someday.

Linking to Farm Photo Friday, Camera CrittersWeekend Reflections, and Leap Into Spring Photo Challenge where this weeks theme is water/rain.

I Hate Goose Sludge

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.

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The information on this web site is supplied for general reference and educational purposes only. This information does not represent the management practices or thinking of other goat breeders or the veterinary community. I am not a veterinarian, and the information on this site is not intended to replace professional veterinary advice. This information is not intended to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your veterinarian. I disclaim all liability in connection with the use of this information.