Gravity Fed Farm Animal Watering System

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Summary:

Will this "design" work
I am trying to design/build a large self-filling drinking station, aka water bowl, for my goats and cow (see design attached)
Self-Sustaining Watering Station.png
. It's a takeoff of a dog's self-filling water bowl, i.e., uses gravity and vacuum to automatically refill the bowl as the water in the bowl is drank. The rain barrel is 50 gallons. The Water bowl is about 10 gallons.

What issues do you foresee with this design? I'm thinking the entire contents of the rain barrel will flow into the water bowl (overfilling it) if the water in the downspout evaporates as the vacuum will be lost.

Or what happens if the bowl is full, the barrel has water in it but is below the inlet on the downspout side, and it rains cats and dogs? Will the weight of the water in the downspout force the air out of the rain barrel and bubble out of the bowl or will the barrel not fill any further.
 

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  • #2
Vanadium 50
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I read the title and thought "Wow - you can feed livestock gravity! What will they think of next!"
 
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This is not a good rig.
The vacuum in the pet bowl is lost incrementally as the level in the water bowl lowers. Every time it gets low enough, air pulled in from the bowl into the barrel and then the water level in the rain barrel lowers, allowing a bolus of water into the bowl. Repeat until barrel is empty. This is a "batch" process and will not work as you envisage as a continuous one.
There is a reason the bathroom toilet has a float valve......same idea and its the simplest and cheapest way to go. Barn feeds big tall tank which feeds the water trough through a float valve shutoff. The good news is a toilet tank valve costs $6 and you don't even need a feed-thru in the watering trough if you are clever.
 
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  • #4
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I read the title and thought "Wow - you can feed livestock gravity! What will they think of next!"
Cows would lactate heavy cream........I apologize......
 
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wow, great comments. That gives me a new idea. Build a gravity feeder and corner the 'heavy cream' market.
 
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berkeman
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Paging one of our more experienced ME/Farmers... @Rx7man :smile:
 
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Paging one of our more experienced ME/Farmers... @Rx7man :smile:
I'm flattered!

Biggest problem I see is that a cow can drink 30 gallon a day no problem

I wouldn't try an have any vacuum system, just mount a barrel as high as reasonably possible so it's still lower than the gutter, and have a pretty generic float valve in the bowl

Second problem with your design as shown is when it rains, the barrell would have to be vented in order to fill, but venting the barrell will cause everything in it to drain out the water bowl
 
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Additional problem is, that the low laid pipes will never dry out and hard to clean: all the dirt from rainwater will accumulate there.

Livestock needs fresh, clean water. Unless it is absolute necessary/unavoidable I would not feed them rainwater, especially if it's kept still for indefinite time.
 
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Thanks all for the feedback. Didn't expect my design to be compared to a toilet, but it sounds like that's where it belongs. Guess it's time and rethink this idea. Stay tuned and thanks again.
 
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  • #10
berkeman
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Didn't expect my design to be compared to a toilet
Hey, it was a technical comparison only! :smile:
 
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Thanks all for the feedback. Didn't expect my design to be compared to a toilet, but it sounds like that's where it belongs. Guess it's time and rethink this idea. Stay tuned and thanks again.
Hey, the Thomas Crapper design is one of the most successful and widespread inventions in the world!! So no sleight intended.
Seriously, if you do come up with a better way to do this, particularly one with few moving parts, please post it. I have never figured a way to do it without essentially a float valve.....
 
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256bits
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Thanks all for the feedback. Didn't expect my design to be compared to a toilet, but it sounds like that's where it belongs. Guess it's time and rethink this idea. Stay tuned and thanks again.
Your funny. Made me laugh.

Think float valve within a carburetor, used so that the gasoline doesn't all run out of the fuel tank and flood the system.
 
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