Does anyone do this? Hubby said he used to do it with his cows and they kept all the algae eaten away. They swim around the bottom, so I don't really think its a worry that she'll drink them, but it seemed weird to me lol.


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In the cases I've seen they used electric water heaters so the water tanks did not totally freeze. Regular goldfish were still alive and doing well in the spring. I did see a tank at someone elses barn that looked like they'd bought the fancy gold-fish and some of them did die.but I couldn't tell if it was from being too cold or changing the water on them too quickly. I tend to think it was the later.
I have mixed feelings on this.

If you have a trough in the back 40 that is impractical to keep clean on a regular basis, I can report I've seen it work to a certain extent for cattle water troughs. Still algae, still muck, but less. Rancher used a mixture of mosquito fish and goldfish. Be aware goldfish will attract fishing birds...which may mean bird feces in the water trough as well as losing the goldfish.

I prefer not to see this (personally) in a well-run barn. I don't want my horses to drink water I wouldn't drink.

And I get the difficulty of a weekly cleaning of water troughs when you have thousands of acres.
i do it with all my water troughs during the summer. keeps them clean. my horses dont both with the fish. you need 4-6 in the bigger troughs
Wow. I have never heard of using gold fish to clean troughs before. Interesting concept.
I have been using fish in my troughs for quite some time now with great success!! I keep them in them year round. I have a cinder block in there as well so they can hide if need be. Over the winter I had one bucket (100 gallons) heated and the other was not. Because I kept the non heated one full of water before winter the fish froze safe and sound until the spring thaw...they were perfectly fine not one bit affected!! The fish in the heated bucket survived without insident as well!! I am a HUGE fan of the fish in the buckets!! I clean my buckets out about every 3 months or so...if you feel the water with your hands (Rub your fingers together) you will not feel slime even though it might look like it. The buckets are very easy to clean when you do (regardless of how dirty they look) because it is a living healthy environment you can pretty much spray it off with the the horses just love that water!! They will drink it over their nice clean buckets in the barn!!

I highly recommend it!!
It is interesting that you mention the horses drank out of the goldfish bucket over the clean buckets. At our barn some of the horses prefered the fishy tank water and others prefered their nice clean water buckets. Not unlike people. Just yesterday at the stable someone went to drink water from the hose water and another person started making faces cause they hate the taste. Her home water and this hose water are both well water in the country. I live in town and have city water which has chemicals (chlorine +?) added to it. I personally LIKE the fresh well water over the city water. Different strokes for different folks! LOL


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