Six Alternative Ways To Use Stock Tanks Around The Farm Or Homestead

Stock tanks are the primary way by which farmers and ranchers provide water to their cattle, horses, sheep, goats and pigs, but they also work well in a variety of alternative applications. Because their intended purpose requires them to be durable, waterproof and easy to clean, they offer a variety of interesting possibilities.

In the interest of hygiene, be sure to wash and sterilize stock tanks before repurposing them.

Turn Them Into Planters

By adding a few drainage holes in the bottom and filling it with high-quality potting soil, you can convert a stock tank into a very effective planter. Be sure to match plants and trees with stock tanks that are large enough to accommodate a healthy, vibrant root system.

Make Them Into Water Gardens

Large stock tanks can be filled with water, aquatic plants, and koi or goldfish to make attractive, easily maintained water gardens. Stock tanks fitted with drainage valves work the best for this type of application, as it will be necessary to drain the tank periodically.  

Use Them for Exterior Storage

It is relatively easy to make a wooden top for a stock tank so that it can be used for storage. Attach small wooden rails to the interior surface of the lid to keep it from sliding off the tank, and be sure to apply a waterproof coating to the lid if you will be using it outdoors.

Make Them Into Swimming Pools for Ducks

Although you will have to build them steps to enter and leave the water, stock tanks are a great way to provide your ducks – particularly the young ones – with access to water. Extremely large stock tanks can even make pools large enough to accommodate small groups of adult ducks or geese.

Convert Them into Chicken Brooders

Stock tanks make great chicken brooders; their high walls keep the birds safe and contained, and they are easy to heat by attaching a brooder lamp to the rim. In cold climates, it may be necessary to add a wooden lid to help keep the brooder warm enough.

Make Them into Dog Beds

Small stock tanks can be converted into dog beds by lining them with pillows or simply filling them with soft materials – the container will keep the materials contained. Make the bed special by adding your pet's name to the side of the stock tank with stickers or latex paint. 

If you're upgrading to new stock tanks, consider these uses for the old ones, and contact a company like Clark Tractor & Supply for information on the best new stock tanks to fit your needs.