How to Make an Insulated Water Trough

Written by kasandra rose
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to Make an Insulated Water Trough
Water troughs freeze during winter weather. (drinking trough in lenk Switzerland image by ALLAN GROSSKRUEGER from

Water is essential for all livestock even in the deep of winter. To prevent the water in your trough from freezing, the best thing to do is insulate the trough. Larger containers of water with smaller exposed surfaces retain more heat than short wide troughs do, and dark surfaces absorb heat better than light-coloured surfaces. Even if you have to provide water for shorter animals, making the container as round and bulky as possible will help to retain heat.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 50-gallon plastic barrel or rubbish bin with lid
  • Used tractor tires
  • Chainsaw
  • Measuring tape
  • Insulation
  • Sheet metal
  • Tin snips

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Measure the garbage can diameter with a measuring tape.

  2. 2

    Add 2 inches to the garbage can diameter and mark that distance around the interior circumference of the tire.

  3. 3

    Enlarge the tractor tyre's interior opening with the chainsaw to the dimensions marked.

  4. 4

    Place the tractor tires on top of each other aligning their holes. Fill the inside of the tires with insulation.

  5. 5

    Place the garbage can inside the insulated tractor tires. Fill around the garbage can with more insulation.

  6. 6

    Cut a 1-by-1-foot hole out of the lid with the saw.

  7. 7

    Cut four 6-inch wide by 1-foot pieces of sheet metal with the tin snips. Line the edge of the lid cutout with the sheet metal pieces by folding it over and pounding it flat. This will prevent the horses, cows, sheep or other animals from chewing on the edges of the plastic or hurting their muzzles on a metal edge.

  8. 8

    Fill the trough with water. Put on the lid.

Tips and warnings

  • If the garbage can is not black, spray it with a black, matt-finish acrylic paint.
  • Secure any loose clothing or hair before using power tools.
  • Use safety goggles when using power tools.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.