The Road Home

The Road Home
There is no place like home.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Scrubbing the Tubs

It's that time of year again. Time to get the animal's watering tubs scrubbed up and ready for winter. We have used these black rubber tubs for years now. Originally, we tried several things - plastic, metal - but they don't hold up well when you have to break ice on cold winter mornings. The plastic will crack or just shatter and the metal will rust and bend into something that doesn't hold water quite as well as it did originally.

I don't remember when or where we discovered these rubber pans, but they are useful for many things. In the summer, they tend to let the water heat up a bit much, but in the winter, that same heat from the sun helps to keep the water in a liquid condition a little longer and a little warmer than it would otherwise be.

We have accumulated a few extras over the years. It is a good thing to stock up on if you have small livestock. The pan needs to be the right size for the job. We have large pans that we use for water and they work well for the goats and the dog. But I don't think they would work well with larger animals like cows and horses. One misplaced hoof and you would have a ruptured pan. So, it's like any tool, the right tool for the right job. There is no one tool, or one pan that meets all needs. And some puppies love to teethe on them, which can ruin the pan or bowl.

We use pans, bowls, pails, buckets and tubs for many different jobs. These rubber products cost more, but are well worth the investment. They last much, much longer and are very versatile. We use the bowls to feed dogs, cats and goats, but not some puppies. We use the smaller buckets to carry feed in and the larger ones for water in the birthing pens.

We started our clean up job in the chicken pen. We spray out this tub and give the chickens fresh water each day. Even so, the algae scum grows a little.

A little Ivory liquid and a scrub brush does wonders. 

We are grateful to still have easy access to pressurized water. If the day comes we don't, it will be sorely missed.


Next, the barn and the two large watering tubs for the goats. These tubs are refilled each day, but don't get sprayed out very often. Hence, they need a little more scrubbing.

We first discovered these scrub brushes in the short format and have gone through several. Then we found the long-handled version which makes it an easier job.

While Frank is scrubbing out tubs, I am trimming goat hooves. We will show this in an upcoming post.

Pretty Girl is fascinated with just about everything we do. She doesn't seem to be afraid of hardly anything.


This is our goat feeder. It is very simple to build. You need a 2 x 8, a saw, a drill or screw driver and a bunch of screws. You can make it any length you want, depending upon how many animals you need to feed.

Center the horizontal board on the two vertical boards then attach the two end pieces for stability and you have a feeder. Over time some of the screws will come out, but if you replace them, it will hold up for years. It helps if you turn the feeder over on it's side when the animals are finished eating or you will find they leave little round deposits in it. Turning it over will also keep out dew, frost, rain and will allow it to air if the weather is damp or humid.


Isn't One Stripe such a show off?? And it looks like Pretty Girl is about to jump in the tub Frank is scrubbing out.

Pretty Girl was so fascinated with the scrub brush and bubbles she didn't even notice she got a big splash of soap on her head! 


Now the animals have fresh clean tubs going into winter.

We decided we might as well spray down the feeder while we were at it.

Once again, another chore completed. Getting ready for the change in seasons brings on many different tasks. The same goes for  the seasons of life. We don't do things the same way we did 20 years ago. We can't. So we have adapted different ways of doing the same things we have always done. Think about your adaptability. If your life has to change, subtly or drastically, how adaptable are you? How will you handle what has come upon you, especially if it is a change not of your own choosing? There are mighty changes in the wind blowing our way. You can either prepare for them while the sun is yet shining, or you can be blown to and fro in the wind like the leaves of autumn. The manner in which we deal with them is up to us. It is our choice. Pray that we all choose wisely.

Until next time - Fern

1 comment:

  1. Fern,
    I used to show cattle, the tubs your using are what I used for grain tubs on the show circuit, they are surprisingly tough and mine lasted for 15 years or more, I did take care of them though and kept them clean and dry when I wasn't feeding the show stock. like so many things if you look after them properly things will last. I had the smaller low sided tubs and mid sized tubs as well as a few big ones for when I showed mature bulls.
    I look forward to your hoof trimming blog.

    Take care and bless your farm.