Every livestock enterprise, including cattle farming, needs a way to provide a reliable, constant supply of good quality water. Enter automatic cattle waterers, which are standard equipment found on most farms due to their convenience and efficiency.
The best cattle waterers, however, not only need to fulfill the requirement of providing a reliable, constant supply of good quality water but should also be well-designed and well-constructed enough to last for years and handle all kinds of weather conditions, including the extreme cold.
Let’s take a look at four of the best waterers for cattle depending on your needs.
4 Best Cattle Waterers
Best Overall: Ritchie Omni Fount 2 Automatic Heated Cattle Waterer
The Ritchie Omni Fount 2 strikes just the right balance between price, build quality, and dependability.New: $669.00
Whether you’re looking for the best automatic, best heated, best freeze-proof, or the best winter cattle waterer, the Ritchie Omni Fount 2 is our top pick.
Made in the USA (as are all of Ritchie’s cattle waterers), the Omni Fount 2 is suitable for up to 40 head of cattle and is perfect for those cold winter months thanks to its thermostatically controlled heat elements that are attached to the underside of the waterer.
The waterer is designed with safety in mind due to its smooth rounded edges, and it is highly energy-efficient with its fully insulated casing too. It is also designed to be quick and easy to access, maintain and clean thanks to its large access panel and fast refill valve.
There may be more expensive cattle waterers out there, but the Omni Fount 2 strikes just the right balance between price, build quality, and dependability to put your mind at ease and make your life just that bit easier.
Best Energy-Free: Ritchie Thrifty King CT1-2000 Energy Free Waterer
The Ritchie CT1-2000 is the best energy-free cattle waterer out there and is suitable for up to 30 beef cattle.New: $635.00
If you’re looking for the best energy-free cattle waterer, look no further than the Ritchie Thrifty King CT1-2000 that is suitable for up to 30 beef cattle.
So well designed is the CT1-2000 is that you will unlikely need to supply heat through the winter. In the worst case, when the temperature turns exceptionally low or when energy-free requirements are not met, just a little electricity is all that is required.
In the summer, the CT1-2000 is also well-designed enough to keep water cool and reduce any loss of water through evaporation.
Best for Large Herds: Ritchie Omni Fount 3 Automatic Heated Cattle Waterer
The Ritchie Omni Fount 3 has everything there is to love about the Omni Fount 2 but in a bigger capacity.New: $899.04
If you have a large herd, which means that the Omni Fount 2 just won’t cut it, look to get the Ritchie Omni Fount 3, which is suitable for up to 100 head of beef cattle and 50 head of dairy cattle.
It has all the same features that farmers and ranchers have come to love from the Fount 2, such as its energy efficiency, large access panel, and unmatched freeze-proof design and heating ability for those cold winter months, but in a larger capacity.
Budget Pick: Little Giant 88SW All Purpose Automatic Stock Waterer
The Little Giant 88SW is a budget cattle waterer that actually delivers.New: $47.80
Plenty of budget cattle waterers will claim that they are designed for cattle, but they really aren’t large enough to cater to cattle except maybe a few calves. The Little Giant 88SW Automatic Waterer is the exception.
While it can’t compete with higher-end cattle waterers both in terms of capacity and features, it is about the best you can do for under $100.
The waterer is constructed from rustproof heavy-duty, galvanized steel, connects to most water sources with its 1/2-inch connection, and is designed for automatic watering.
Important Things to Consider When Buying a Cattle Waterer
- Herd Size
One of the first things you should consider is your herd size. You should buy a cattle waterer that is capable of meeting your herd’s daily water requirements.
Additionally, your herd shouldn’t have to compete for access, as it can be a huge source of stress for them.
- Energy Efficiency
There are enough costs associated with cattle farming without having to constantly worry about how much a waterer is going to cost you to run.
In our opinion, if you’re in it for the long run, it’s always better to choose a more energy-efficient model, even though the initial outlay may be higher.
The best cattle waterers are designed to provide a reliable, constant supply of good quality water in both the summer heat and winter cold.
While heat and insulation are undoubtedly important in those cold winter months, when the weather changes and warm weather arrives, insulation is just as important to keep the water cool.
- Ease of Maintenance
Ritchie cattle waterers in particular are engineered to be as dependable and low maintenance as possible, but this doesn’t mean that some preventative maintenance isn’t in order. Any cattle waterer you buy should be easy to inspect and clean.