Portable trough

You can’t run a genuinely high density grazing operation at scale if you don’t have a means of keeping water up to your animals. Folks on forums are always asking for ideas on how to achieve this, so I thought I’d throw some of the history of my trial and error into the mix.

When I first started to think about trough design, I went a bit crazy with the overkill. I drew up designs of stainless steel trapezoids (you know, small opening at the surface, large bulk of water below the surface, to keep it as cool as possible and as stable as possible) with jockey wheels to allow adjustment on slopes, a spirit level set into one end……  And thankfully I caught myself and thought I should just see what works and what doesn’t, first.

If I’ve given you some ideas or saved you some time and you’d like to buy me a beer, you can do a PayID payment to pay@valleyfield.com.au with “resources” (or “beer”) as the reference. Cheers!

You don’t need a spirit level, d’uh – a water trough is effectively a giant spirit level. You can see very quickly by adding water whether your trough is going to be level enough. My place ranges from about 30m ASL to 440m ASL in the space of about 1.7km, but there are very, very few places on the farm where I haven’t been able to find a ‘good enough’ spot to sit a trough, without having to chock one side of it with something. I do keep meaning to make up a couple of wooden wedges to tie on, but the fact that I haven’t, three years in, speaks to how often I actually need them.

There’s no plan for this trough as such, but the video below does finish with some step-by-step shots.