Barnett Farm and Dairy

865-583-6389

Grass Fed Beef - Rockwood, Tennessee

Livestock need Clean water sources

All animals need a source for clean drinking water

Many farmers either don't understand the importance of a clean water source for their animals, or they simply don't care. Small ponds are not a clean water source! If the water your animals are drinking is not good enough for you, it's not good enough for them either. Just because they are an animal doesn't mean that they don't need good quality food and water. Do you really think it's healthy for an animal to drink the same water they are standing in while pooping and peeing? That's not the worst of it; the most unhealthy issue for small ponds is related to avian droppings.

The best source of water for farm animals is where you get your water, but that can be a costly solution to remotely located cattle or other animals. Back in the old days, they'd drill a well and put a wind mill on it to pump the water. They probably even created some stale ponds then also. The wells were a good solution while the ponds are not. If you think about it, a herd of 20-cattle will consume 240-gallons of water per day, and of course what goes in must come out so if they are standing in a small pond, now you have 240-gallons of what in the pond? Poor water sources are the biggest reason that animals get parasites and such.

There are ways that you can make pond water safe for cattle or other livestock, but not if they are permitted to stand or wade in it. Fence off the pond and pipe water from it to a holding take which can then fill a stock tank. You can easily treat the water in the holding tank before it gets to the stock tank. If you have the ability to make a pond, you can do this too. Water in a stock tank should not be left to become unclear and full of algae. A small amount of Chlorine can be added from time-to-time which will keep the tank clean and healthy for your livestock. Keeping the tank treated also prevents mosquitos, frogs and many other insects from growing in the tank, some of which would cause worms and other poor health conditions in livestock.

On our farm we don't have a well at all for several reasons. Instead, we collect rainwater from the roofs of our buildings. This water collects in large tanks where we purify it, then we use it from those tanks or pump it to others. We also have a small creek that runs yearound, and we pump from it for 7-months out of the year with a Ram Pump we made for that purpose. The Ram Pump allows us to disconnect our living area water supply from that of the animals so that we always have a back up supply. For more information on rain water collection, visit this link.

Oh, we have heard all the, "what do you do about acid rain" stuff. Think about this: Everytime things are going smooth someone thinks of something to sell and it often involves the government in one way or the other. When I was in school it was, "preparing for the next Ice Age", which never happened. Then came the turn of the century where it was, "the imminent and devestating year 2000 computer crash, aka Y2K", which never happened. Then in the 2010s it became the "global warming" scare and after a few severly cold winters, it evolved into "climate Change". What the gullible public fails to understand about all this is that there are a few people driving all this nonsense and they are making a great deal of money in the process. You think I'm wrong? Call Al Gore and see how much he charges to come and sell the scam to you! Jump to Top

Green Ponds and Dead Fish

Many people, even some conservation and wildlife officials, wonder what causes the dead fish that occur from time-to-time in ponds. Several years ago I was involved in a five part documentary series called, "Water's Journey", where there were good studies and documentation on this very subject.

There are two seperate causes for these conditions, but both are related.

The Green Pond

The green pond is an active "Algae Bloom" which begins as the result of excess fertilizer in the water. There are only two sources for this excess fertilizer; one is run-off from surrounding fields due to applied fertilizer and the other is run-off from pastures in the form of natural fertilizer from animal excrement in liquids and solids. The run-off in both cases is carried by rainwater draining into the pond. Of course if livestock are permitted to enter the pond then you have direct deposit.

The Algae Bloom is excessive vegetative growth because it is strongly fertilized and has a great amount of light because there is no shade over a pond. If left uncorrected the pond will turn green throughout, not just on the surface. The bad part is really bad; this creates a very unhealthy pond in many ways.

The Dead Fish

What is required for an Algae Bloom to flourish? Three things, all of which are present. First is fertilizer which is rich in supply provided by one or both of the above mentioned conditions, second is plenty of light which naturally occurs in unlimited supply because ponds are unshaded, and finally oxygen which is very limited in supply.

The later is the killer of the fish since because the Algae Bloom consumes a massive amount of oxygen which was limited in supply to begin with, the water can no longer support fish life at least to the quantity that once existed. At some point a fish die-off will occur beginning with the largest fish in the pond because they need the most oxygen. As the fish begin to die off the pond becomes more-and-more sickly with serious chemical imbalances. A healthy fish population is imperative since it is one of the important natural occurring systems which keeps the pond in good balance.

A very sick pond

A very sick pond is all that's left. It won't support anything other than a good frog population which flourishes on the parasite infested water. The cattle drinking the water will become wormy and parasite infected as well.

Livestock should never be permitted to enter into a pond and an Algae Bloom should never be left uncorrected. Nothing good can come from either.