Farm Pond help

CrealBilly

Jeff
Senior User
I'm in the beginning stages of planning for hooves here on the farm. This spring I plan on a small herd of hair (meat) sheep, no more than a dozen to begin with. I already have three head of cattle picked out of my neighbors herd also.

Raising farm animals is new to me. But I do know a few things... Animals need a fenced in pasture, water and food. And the water part is where I need to tap into the wisdom of some of you guys. I have a crazy idea that I want to bounce off of you all.

I have this little pond, I would say about 2 acres or so. It has fish in it and turtles and frogs. It's most definitely a live pond and I want to keep it that way. But I also want to use it's water for hooves and at the same time keep it healthy as I can. This summer the pond didn't bloom with alge, which surprised me because most the other farm ponds around me were covered in green alge. I know from research there's a delicate balance of oxygen and bacteria that needs to maintained for a live pond to not bloom in alge. It would seem my pond has that ballance naturally.
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My plan is to remove the gutter off the back of the barn, install flashing for rain water to run off of the barn roof and onto the run in roof. The total area of roof would be 40x48 or approx 1920 sqft. You know in a downpour that's a heck of a lot of water coming off the roof. I have a friend in Costa Rica who showed me pictures of how they deal with water run off that I thought was brilliant. Instead of gutter, they use lengths of 6" diameter PVC pipe for guttering. They take a cut a channel out of the pipe, slip the pipe over the end of the steel roof, use they material from the channel to hang the pipe from the roof and then build piping to direct the water where they want it to go. In my case that would be into my pond.
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Assuming I paint the run in roof, do you think piping rainwater out to the pond would negatively alter the water chemistry? I'm thinking of having the rain water run off drain into a shallow section of rock so it gets agitated sufficiently to pick up oxygen.

on the discharge side of the pond I would pipe overflow into a watering through for animals. All the movement of water would be by gravity.

What's your thoughts? Good idea or a dumb one?
 
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junquecol

Bruce
User
Rain water is naturally oxygenated, plus rich in nitrogen. I'm not sure I would want to pipe directly to the pond, but rather have it naturally filtered by a grassy waterway, to help control nitrogen intake,. Any metals from roofing also ned to be filtered out, again by a grassy waterway. Your pond needs a buffer surrounding it to filter out excess nitrogen from manures. It's important to keep cows from "soaking" in pond on warm days, unless you have them pond trained (house broken.) Check with your local county extension agent on pond management.
 

CrealBilly

Jeff
Senior User
Rain water is naturally oxygenated, plus rich in nitrogen. I'm not sure I would want to pipe directly to the pond, but rather have it naturally filtered by a grassy waterway, to help control nitrogen intake,. Any metals from roofing also ned to be filtered out, again by a grassy waterway. Your pond needs a buffer surrounding it to filter out excess nitrogen from manures. It's important to keep cows from "soaking" in pond on warm days, unless you have them pond trained (house broken.) Check with your local county extension agent on pond management.
Thanks Bruce, I already knew it was a bad idea to allow animals access to the pond. That's why I want to pipe water from the pond discharge (overflow) to a water through in the fenced in pasture and down hill, well away from the pond. What your saying makes common sense to me. Although you would have to be here so I could show you, pretty hard to take a picture of it. But there already is a grassy waterway channel that leads to the pond. I easily could pipe all the rain water from the roof into the beginning of that channel and it would find its way into the pond naturally. I think that's what your saying would be best? Let the grass and soil do the filtering for me.
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
Thanks Bruce, I already knew it was a bad idea to allow animals access to the pond. That's why I want to pipe water from the pond discharge (overflow) to a water through in the fenced in pasture and down hill, well away from the pond. What your saying makes common sense to me. Although you would have to be here so I could show you, pretty hard to take a picture of it. But there already is a grassy waterway channel that leads to the pond. I easily could pipe all the rain water from the roof into the beginning of that channel and it would find its way into the pond naturally. I think that's what your saying would be best? Let the grass and soil do the filtering for me.
I wouldn't pipe it directly into channel, but allow it to release several feet from grassy waterway. In the channel, it's going to rush to the pond, negating the filter affect. Where ever your release point is, I would place a field of rocks to slow down speed of water, and spread it over a wider area. Just my two cents worth, which you can take, along with a dollar and get a senior coffee at Micky D's, just be sure to have the dollar
 

KenOfCary

Board of Directors, Secretary
Ken
Staff member
Corporate Member
Bruce's suggestion to contact your local extension agent about pond management is worth noting. They are a great resource usually and free (well you're paying for them with your tax dollars, so almost free, at least free to use.)

Looks like you have a very well maintained, mature pond there. A real asset.
 

Oka

Casey
Corporate Member
Jeff Also contact the local forest dept, They usually have a naturalist on their staff (did in my dad's area) who can give you pointers on pond health and maintaining the pond ecosystem. We built 3 ponds at my dad's ranch they turned out well.

Also, in rural areas in Hawaii they use catchment for their water source. All the roof water is routed to a 10,000 gal tank. Then it goes through a series of filters and/or treatments to become potable. That is why most roofs in those areas are corrugated -metal

I would this the only filter you would need is the coarse filter to prevent silt and other roof garbage getting into the pond
 

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