Both bathtubs and cow troughs, often referred to as livestock water tanks, are designed to hold water. A bathtub made from a metal or wood livestock water tank would add a western flair to the décor of any bathroom. The livestock tanks are occasionally used for a hot soaking tub.
The livestock water trough will likely be more economical than a bathtub. Metal or wood livestock tanks have a rustic look which may fit with the décor of a ranch bunkhouse type bathroom. You can also use the tanks outdoors to create a bathing opportunity under the sky.
The wood or metal livestock tanks do not come equipped with bottom drains. There is also no slope to the bottom of the tank to allow complete drainage of the tank if you add a bottom drain. The sides of most stock tanks are higher than a bathtub, which can make entering or exiting the tub more difficult and even dangerous.
You can mount the tub's water faucets on the wall above the livestock water tank. You can mount a drain in the floor of the tank with a compression fitting and plug the drain during use with a rubber stopper. You can fill outdoor bathtubs with water hoses connected to faucets in the home and drain them on the ground.
Plastic Water Tanks
Plastic livestock water tanks do not have the romance of a wood or metal tank but do offer better insulation and will keep hot water warmer for a longer period of time. They also do not have the corrosion issues sometimes associated with a metal water tank.
Cowboy Hot Tubs
Livestock tanks are commonly used along with a propane or wood fired heater to create what is sometimes referred to as a cowboy hot tub. These tubs do not offer any pumps to circulate the water and create the spa type effect, but do offer a heated water soak for a more economical cost than a standard hot tub.
Keith Allen, a 1979 graduate of Valley City State College, has worked at a variety of jobs including computer operator, medical clinic manager, radio talk show host and potato sorter. For over five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in "North Dakota Horizons" and "Cowboys and Indians" magazines.