Luc and Louis Tellier of Bonnyville, Alberta, have found some innovative ways to keep their cattle watering ponds from turning into mud holes.
They made a big 6,000-gal. storage tank from huge industrial tires. It supplies water to a 1,000-gal. rubber tire trough, Luc says.
By using these unconventional materials to better manage the water, the cattle's feet no longer punch up the ground around Tellier's pond and natural spring, slowing down the spread of foot rot bacteria and improving algae control in dugouts and sloughs.
The Tellier's fenced off a pond and bought a rubber storage tank and tire troughs from Allan Brown's Rubber Rock Resources of Marwayne, Alberta. The tank consists of three stacked 11-ft. dia. by 40-in. off-road tires. He sealed the joints with thin layers of water-resistant foam insulation to prevent leakage. The base of the tank is a precast concrete plug with pipe installed for hooking into the water line.
A small gas engine pumps water from the pond into the storage tank, and from there the water flows into a 1,000-gal. rubber trough which sits on Telliers' summer pasture fence line, so the cattle have access from both sides.
The Telliers always have enough water on hand at this site to supply 100 cows for three days in hot weather.
They also have two more 1,000-gal. tire troughs on other summer pastures that are fed by gravity-flow from ponds.
The family placed gravel around all of their troughs to make better footing for the cattle. They say that building up the gravel every couple of years is much cheaper than having a concrete pad.