Just like every other living being on this planet water is most important. Goats are no different. Goats require a higher quantity of water daily when compared to humans, therefore, it requires committed individuals to meet the consistent need. A goat waterer is one of the best ways to help automate this task.
Also, depending on the physiological state a goat is in, and the type of feed or prevalent weather condition, a goat can consume more or less than its average daily water consumption. Pregnant goats consume about 0.5 times more than they would normally consume. Also, if the goats feed on hay instead of fresh grasses from the pasture, they will consume more water. Therefore, a combination of different factors influences how much water your herd consumes.
We will see the tips you need to know when trying to make your herd drink more water, we will also highlight the best goat waterers and goat feeders you can find in the market, and how to choose the best one for your yard in the goat waterer buying guide. We also recommend you check out our complete starter guide on raising goats.
Why Use Goat Waterers?
Goat waterers are equipment used to supply water to goats, in order to help them have easy access to clean and fresh water whenever they need it. Different goat waterers have been in use since the domestication of goats, when water and feed have been provided to goats in an enclosure, protecting them from the harsh weather conditions and predators.
They help the goats and you the caregiver in many ways that include:
Easy access to water
With goat waterers, your herd has unencumbered access to fresh and clean water all day long. They do not have to wait for you to take them out to quench their thirst. Individual goats can take water when they want, without hoping that other goats are thirsty, so you can do the needful.
Reduced stress of herding goats to a water source
It is, sometimes, difficult to neglect other activities you have to do because you have to take your goats down to the nearest stream or lake – which may not be near. You do not have to schedule your time to make room for watering your goats.
Goat waterers eliminate the stress that comes with watering goats.
Improved herd health
Water is important to every living organism. Therefore, your goats need an ample amount of water daily. Without waterers that make water readily available to them, they will continuously have a water intake deficit, and that will negatively impact their health.
Pregnant and lactating goats that need more water will have to remain thirsty for some time, declining their health status, and the nutrients they can pass on to their kids, without water.
Easier goat management
With goat waterers, it is easier for you, the caregiver, to manage your herd. You can easily predict how much water the herd will consume daily, based on past records, and provide water accordingly.
Also, you can have more time for other goat management activities.
Average Water Intake per Goat
Generally, goats consume more water than humans. However, among goats, some consume more than others. Although due to their nature, they can survive on water less than their average daily intake, it is best to give them as much water as they need, to help with their health and maintain high productivity.
A goat will consume about three gallons of water per day. Depending on the prevailing season, this amount of water might increase or decrease. If the weather is hot and your herd needs to keep cool, they may consume more than three gallons of water. However, when the weather is cool, they may take less.
Also, when they feed on green and fresh grasses from a pasture, they need less water, since the fresh grasses contain a high percentage of moisture. However, when they are fed hay, chaffhaye, or silage, they consume more water, to make up for the moisture lost in preserving the feed. Also, more water helps them digest feed better.
A pregnant and lactating goat, on average, consumes more water than other goats. They consume more than three gallons of water daily, all things being equal. However, when they are subjected to consuming hays, and in hot weather conditions, they will even consume more.
Types of Goat Waterers
There are different types of goat waterers, and each type is suitable for different conditions and herds. In some cases, the best goat waterer for herd A might not be suitable for herd B, especially when they are in different areas with different climatic conditions.
Generally, there are two types of goat waterers that are compatible with modern goat housing systems:
These types of goat waterers are usually made of plastics or wood. Although these days, there are mostly plastics, which makes them easy to clean and considerably durable.
The goat water trough can either be elongated in a rectangular shape or round. These shapes make it possible for numerous goats in the herd to drink from the waterer at once. However, with this type of goat waterer, the caregiver has to constantly refill the trough as it does not refill itself.
However, the caregiver’s job can be made easier by making a hose or pipe carrying water into the barn available.
Automatic Goat Waterer
To completely eliminate the need to refill the goat watering troughs, the best replacement is the automatic goat waterers. They do not require that a caregiver transfer water from a water source into the trough, whether rectangular or round.
Automatic goat waterers usually use a ball valve system to allow for a refill of the goat water tank when the water level makes the ball fall below 180 degrees. With automatic goat waterers, the herd has access to fresh and clean water.
What to Consider When Buying Goat Waterers
Buying your first goat waterer can be tricky but at the same time, it can be straightforward. All you need to do is have these points that will be highlighted at the back of your mind when making a purchase. These points will inform you in making the right choice for your herd.
Age and Breed of your herd
The predominant age of your herd will go a long way in determining the type of waterer you purchase. A predominantly young herd may be better off with water troughs placed on the floor for them to easily reach the water. They may also be able to use automatic drinkers if they are placed in a height that is easy for them to reach.
However, if you have a herd that is predominantly old enough to reach any size of a drinker, you can choose either water troughs or automatic goat waterers.
In the case of goat breeds, some grow taller than others, therefore, you should consider which drinker has the appropriate height for your herd.
Depending on the type of housing you have in place for your herd, choose a waterer that agrees with it. In some areas of the world, the barn is majorly for goats to sleep and escape from the harsh weather conditions. The herd feeds and has water outside. In this type of environment, there is little chance of rainfall that may disrupt the feeding of the goats. For this system, water troughs are a better option.
However, if your goat housing system involves goats being indoors with their feeders and waterers, it is better to have automatic waterers.
Regardless of what the other factors say, you can only afford what you can. Generally, automatic goat waterers are more costly than water troughs and containers. However, if your budget can acquire automatic waterers for your herd, go ahead, it has a lot of benefits attached to it.
However, if automatic waterers are too costly for you, purchase water troughs or use containers, make them adaptable to your goat housing system.
Consider the climatic condition of your area before purchasing waterers. In some areas, it is best to use container waterers that are compatible with water heaters for making water available to your goats during winter.
However, in other climates, water heaters are not needed as they do not experience winter. They only need to keep water fresh and clean for the herd.
How much time do you have to keep renewing the water in the water troughs for your herd? If you have enough time, do you enjoy the activity, or is it taking a toll on you? If your answer is in the negative, it might be time to get automatic goat waterers. However, if you enjoy the activity and it does not affect other activities you have to do, water troughs and containers are good enough.
Keeping Goat Waterers Clean
Domesticated goats can be choosy when it comes to water. They will hardly drink from a dirty waterer or consume water that is contaminated, even if they did it. Sometimes, during the cold weather or when the herd is fed indoors, they contaminate their water with dry grass, grains, or minerals.
These are organic materials that may start to deteriorate immediately when they come in contact with water, making water contain bacteria after some time. To keep the waterer clean, they need to be constantly rid of contaminated water and cleaned with a mild disinfectant.
If you are unsure of the cleanliness of your water and you don’t trust the cleanliness of the water troughs or containers, you need a substance that ensures that bacteria left in the waterer are beneficial to the herd.
Airmax Stock Tank defense is a dissolvable tablet that helps to keep water and waterer clean and improves, or at least maintains, the health of the herd. It is mostly suitable for trough goat waterer as they dissolve in water and need to be renewed when refilled.
However, one tablet is suitable for treating 150 gallons of water, therefore, it may be suitable for automatic waterers with large water tanks.
- Suitable for treating a large volume of water
- Can be used with both trough waterers and automatic waterers
- Allows the herd access to beneficial bacteria
- Easy to use
- New tablets have to be used when trough waterers are emptied and refilled
The presence of different bacteria in water can cause health hazards in your herd. The communication between these bacteria is best controlled by treating the water with natural materials that prevent the formation of film in the water.
Carefree Enzymes protector is one of the best materials that help to keep the waterer clean by preventing films from forming in the waterer, regardless of the material used in making the waterer. It is made of natural enzymes and adds electrolytes that stop cross bacteria contamination in water.
It is non-toxic, easy to use, and requires little quantity for effectiveness.
- All-natural enzyme water protector
- Adds electrolyte that eliminates bacterial contamination
- Compatible with all types of waterers
- May kill some beneficial bacteria in the water, too.
Best Goat Waterers Our Top Choice
HiCamer Automatic Drinking Water Bowl Dispenser – For its durability, ability to provide water to more than 5 goats at once, and anti-overflow feature.
Farm Innovators Model P-60S 1 Heated Pet Bowl – For its efficiency in discouraging water freezing in winter, low power consumption, thermostat feature, and anti-chew power cable.
Best Automatic Goat Waterer
Getting water to your goats does not have to be a laborious task. You can have water automatically reach them and save yourself the trouble of having to refill their container every time the water level is down.
With the help of HiCamer Automatic Water Bowl, you can achieve automatic watering for your herd without having the water contaminated. This automatic goat waterer has a tank capacity of 2.5 liters and uses a ball valve system to control the flow of water, thereby, eliminating overflow. It can easily water 5 goats at a time and can be a good way to give medicine to your herd.
It is made of steel, and its edges are smoothened to avoid injuries to the snout and face of your goats. With this automatic goat waterer, your sewage won’t be filled with water, making it usable for a long time.
- Can easily water 5 goats at a time
- Durable due to the steel it is made of
- Discourages water overflow
- Its content can be easily contaminated if placed low for kids to use.
What your herd needs isn’t just any automatic waterer, it might be beneficial to give them an automatic goat waterer that accommodates their anatomy and makes it easier for them to drink.
Yougoo Automatic Waterer bowl is shaped to accommodate the shape of a goat or sheep’s head, making it easier for them to drink water, without fear of hitting their head against an object. This automatic goat waterer has a copper valve that can be pushed by a goat to fill the bowl with water.
It discourages water wastage and keeps water clean and available for only when goats want to have a drink.
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Uniquely shaped to accommodate the anatomy of the animals
- Easy to clean
- Can only water one goat at a time
Your goats do not have to wait for you to refill their waterers before they can quench their thirst. You can easily sit back and relax, knowing that your herd is taken care of in terms of water.
You can trust the Little Giant Automatic Animal Waterer to constantly supply clean and fresh water to your herd every time the water level is low. It has steel brackets that can be attached to the wall and hold the 4-gallon tank capacity in place.
The waterer will not overflow, causing the floor to be moist and become breeding ground for bacteria which causes diseases such as foot rot in goats. This is possible because of the float control system that stops the inflow of water once the control is in a straight line.
- Mountable automatic waterer to discourage contamination by feed
- Does not overflow
- Easy to clean
- Not suitable for kids
Best Water Trough for Goats
If you worry about the number of goats that will get to drink from the waterer at a time, you should consider purchasing a trough that has a large water holding capacity. In other words, get a big container that many members of your herd can drink from at a go.
The Tuff Stuff Products Oval Tank has a capacity of 18 gallons, big enough for more than five goats to drink from at once. Depending on the size of your herd, you may need more than one of these. It is made of recyclable plastic that is safe for your livestock. It is also suitable for your herd because it is impact-resistant.
Your goats can step on it and it will not break. It can be placed on a platform or directly on the ground. It is suitable for both adult and kid goats.
- Easy to maintain and clean
- Suitable for use both indoors and outdoors
- Can be used for matured goats and kids
- Large water holding capacity
- Water can easily be contaminated
Best Heated Goat Waterer
It is your responsibility to keep your goats warm, even in winter. You can achieve this by giving them the best housing system. However, your efforts will be void of one important thing if their water doesn’t remain drinkable during the winter season.
Farm Innovators Model R-19 Economical Heated Pet Bowl is made to help your goats have fresh and clean water during winter. It prevents water in the bowl from freezing by supplying heat to it with as little as 60W of power.
The power cable is made so that it cannot be chewed, saving your herd from a potential electrical mishap, especially in the presence of water.
- Keeps the herd watered during winter
- Anti-chew power cable
- Economical for small herds
- You may need to purchase many units for a large herd
Another winter-friendly waterer made by Farm Innovators, with a larger water holding capacity, making it suitable for larger herds, the Farm Innovator Model P-60S-1 is a water heater that helps to keep water placed in it from freezing, even in sub-zero temperatures.
It is made with twin-wall plastic that makes it thick and sturdy, making it able to withstand long-term usage and hits by the herd. The 1.5 gallons capacity tank is enough to water a goat throughout the day in the weather condition it is used. However, you will have to constantly refill the container for your herd.
Its power cable is made anti-chew for durability and protects your herd from electrocution. It is thermostatically controlled, meaning it works only when it has to.
- Anti-tip construction for sturdy plastic construction
- Anti-chew power cable for protection against electrocution
- Energy-saving water heater due to thermostat action
- Needs constant refill for a large herd
The Farm Innovators Model P-60 Heated pet Bowl functions as a savior of goats from water deprivation in the winter. It helps make water available to your herd in sub-zero temperatures during winter.
This bowl is a 1.5-gallon water heater that is made with plastic and anti-chew power cables, to protect the herd from an electrical mishap. It also consumes less power and heats water only when required as it is controlled by a thermostat.
- Keeps water from freezing during winter
- Consumes small amount of energy
- Anti-chew power cable for protection against electrocution
- Needs constant refill for large herd
Frequently Asked Questions on Goat Waterers
What Type of Waterer Do Goats Need?
There’s no direct answer to the type of waterer a goat needs. The major determinant of the type of waterer you can provide for your goat is its age and size. Another is the environment it is being raised in.
You do not want to give a kid or a dwarf goat a waterer that stands taller than it, it defeats the purpose of buying a waterer in the first place. Also, you need to make sure your goat has a waterer that does not allow its content to freeze in the winter, that is a water heater if it is being raised in areas that experience such.
It will be a heart-breaking experience if your goats decline in health and productivity because you fail to provide the needed watering equipment. In this piece, you have all the information you need to make the right goat waterer purchase for your herd.
Follow the guide on purchasing your first goat waterer and help your herd give you the desired result.