electric heaters for horse water tanks/buckets
I have two mini horses and am looking to purchase a heater for their water for the winter months. I currently have a 50-gallon Rubber Maid trough and could get a heater for that, or I could purchase a heated 16-gallon bucket (or something else) if that makes more sense. What are your recommendations (safety, efficiency, convenience, etc.) for how I should move ahead?
Clinton County Michigan
There are a variety of heated bucket options available, that work extremely well (provided you make sure that the horses can't access or chew the cord). They do tend to increase your electric bill pretty dramatically, however.
You may also want to consider the insulated bucket route. I have used these in Michigan with very good luck (and no electricity). You'll want the kind that has the black insert that keeps them from freezing. Extension doesn't typically recommend specific brands, but again, these proved to be an effective, yet reasonably economical option for me. For minis, you might also be able to bank some straw up around the insulated portion for even more warmth, as they will likely be lower to the ground.