A Cowboy’s Faith: Relief for livestock water

buchmanhead“Water is the most essential nutrient for survival.”

People and livestock can go for extended time without food, but it’s impossible to be without water for more than three days.

Those who’ve had ponds and creeks dry up or freeze solid, experienced wells that fail, water pumps go kaput, or waterlines solidify during continuing subzero days have a serious dilemma, when those are the only sources of livestock water.

Only solution is hauling water, and that’s always a tough job. Some stockmen have done it for years and continue to on a regular basis. We have, and it gets old fast.

Likewise, we’ve experienced all of the other “no-water” situations, but always been able to solve them in some way.

Finally, after 43 years, we think an end to one water problem has been cured.

A well water system was installed probably more than a three-quarters of century ago in the basement of a home to provide water for the house and barnyard.

Upon our acquisition, the home was rented out for several years, while we still used the water source for our livestock in the corrals.

After too many headaches handling a rental property, the house was idle, as we continued watering with the basement well pump. Don’t think there haven’t been plenty of problems.

More than once, the well had to be pumped out to clear the water, leaks fixed in the waterline from yard traffic, and frequently there’s been issues with the antique pump, which has been replaced, twice.

Biggest issue was freezing during the winter despite heat lamps, electrical tape wrapping, hay all around the building; it just seemed never ending.

Now, that’s not to even consider the snakes, and rodents of every kind imagination making their home in the warm, but very dingy, dirt cellar.

Bulldozer demolished the deteriorated home and it was hauled away. Now a whole new water system has been installed.

A heavily insulated underground well house, with water pump, thermostatic heater, new waterlines and three self-draining outdoor faucets for adjacent corrals hopefully will provide ready water all winter for the 120 cattle moving in shortly, as well for decades beyond our lifetime.

Reminds us of Isaiah 41:17: “They are seeking water, but there is none.” Then, fortunately, Jeremiah 51:12: “You have all of the water that you need.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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