Saturday, May 25, 2024
HomeGrazing ManagementA Tip for Monitoring Livestock Water Tanks

A Tip for Monitoring Livestock Water Tanks

Is your water tank full or empty? Are you going to have to walk out and look?

Here’s an easy way to reduce steps on those days when you’re short on time and just need to make a quick check. It takes a jug, a wire or some string, and a good sized rock, all things we’re betting you have at home. Thanks to Luke Simons for sharing his simple solution. (There’s a bit of wind noise with the video, but we’re sure you’ll get the idea.)


When you’re from a distance, you’re not sure your waterer is keeping water. This is one of my rented pastures, and the fellow that rented this, did this. And it’s actually a really good idea. He just took an old radiator jug, or whatever you’ve got, and he had tied it up to this. [He shows a small weight.]

The problem is sometimes the cows would kick that out. So I put some water [about 3 inches] in there so it would float. Of course it was still doing the same thing – the cows were pushing it out.

So, I added this rock [shows rock tied to the bottom of the weight, long enough to reach the bottom of the tank]. You just take the rock and throw it out into the tank and it just stays where it is.

From a distance you can see what the water level is. I’ve seen people buy these – costs $27. But this costs nothing.


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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.


  1. This is great. My biggest worry these days is water lines failing. Temps in the 90’s with humidity in the 60-80+% range makes it HARD to stay cool. If the water fails I worry most about the two dogs; figuring the sheep and calves can handle it a bit better. I got off work late yesterday and had to rush to drop a steer at the butcher so this tip would have saved me a few hundred feet of walking in the high humidity 90+ degrees. 🙂 Thanks!

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