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The most important nutrient to any animal is water. Having clean water is important to health too. Dirty water encourages bacterial growth, parasites, and bug larva growth. Animals also tend to not drink the dirty water as well. There are several ways to help keep your animal’s water clean.
For big stock tanks goldfish work well to keep bug larva, especially mosquitoes and algae build up down. You will still have to clean the algae out, but you can typically go longer between cleanings.
Have waters only big enough for the animals to empty in 1 day. Most bacteria, algae, and such grows in stale water that has been sitting. I have several different size waters for different age groups and seasons. The adult flock will go through 5 gallons on a hot day, but only maybe 3 when its cooler. The young birds will go through about 3-4 gallons and the new Guinea chicks about 2 gallons. The horses I decreased their stock tank size so the water would be refreshed more frequently. So far, I haven’t had the algae build up on that tank that I usually have.
About once a week, in the summer, I go though and clean all the waters out. Take a scrub brush and make sure the sides come clean. Spray the tanks out good with the hose and refill them. In the fall I make sure the tanks are really clean on the last forecast warm day. Over winter not much grows, but I will clean them if I get a warm day over the 2-3 months of freezing weather.
Once algae starts building up, it’s really difficult to keep the tanks clean again. There are some things you can do to help though. For plastic tanks you can use vinegar on the inside of the waterer, let it sit then scrub and rinse. Do NOT use vinegar on metal a waterer though, you will start it rusting. For my tanks I like to use my plant based all-purpose Thieves cleaner. I will usually just use the concentrate for waters, splashed on the edges and let it run down. Then scrub it in and rinse well.
Clean water is important even for your animals, but easy maintains is also important to busy lives.
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