“A friend with a large dairy farm wanted a new kind of waterer for his free-stall dairy barn, one that would have a lot of drinking space and also be easy to clean. Our 12-foot-long WaterMaster trough holds up to 200 gallons and tips up forward by hand for easy cleanout,” says Ora Wengerd, Wengerd Machining & Fabricating, Bertha, Minnesota.
The trough consists of an 18-inch-wide steel half-pipe supported by a steel frame that anchors to the barn floor. A tall horizontal bar on one side of the frame keeps animals from climbing into the trough. The middle of the trough contains a float valve where water enters the tank. A steel shaft runs under the trough and comes out through bearings at each end. The float and bearings are protected by steel covers.
The operator releases a latch at one end of the trough with one hand and grabs a long metal rod with the other hand to tip the trough forward. Once the trough has been cleaned out and tipped back into place, it automatically relatches.
“Its size allows a lot more animals to drink at once than most other commercial tanks, and it’s much easier to clean out,” says Wengerd. “More drinking space results in higher milk production, especially in warm weather.
“Most farmers set the trough on the crosswalk along either end of the row of free stalls. Whenever the trough gets dirty with manure or feed, they grab the rod and tip the trough forward, then slosh the water in the trough back and forth, then tip the trough to dump everything out.
“It’s built with off-the-shelf parts which can be replaced locally, if they’re needed. But there just isn’t much that can go wrong with this kind of water trough.”
A standard 12-foot-long WaterMaster sells for $1,100, but Wengerd says the troughs can be built to almost any length.
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