Drinking Post Paddles

What Style Paddle Should I Use With My Drinking Post Waterer???

Whether you are installing a Drinking Post for your goats or currently using a Drinking Post for your herd of cattle, you may have noticed that we offer 4 types of paddles. You want the easiest option for your livestock to have access to fresh and clean water. So do we! This is why we have several options of Drinking Post paddles to choose from. And why we felt the need to publish this guide to the ins and outs, pros and cons of using each style of paddle. Read on to find out what will work best for your Drinking Post Automatic Waterer and your animals!


First Drinking Post paddle is our Standard Paddle. This is our most common and most used paddle. It’s also the original, the paddle that required the least amount of tweaking and adjustments. It is our most versatile and easily used paddle. It’s favored by horses, cattle and most larger animals that use the Drinking Post. Because of this, we install the standard paddle in every Drinking Post that we send out of our facility here in Denver, CO.

The standard paddle has the activation that you would associate with a livestock waterer paddle. The paddle resides in the center and bottom of the bowl. The animal will go into the bowl to activate the water. As they push into the bottom of the bowl, they will activate the paddle and call the water into the bowl. This is a very natural motion for animals that are learning the new system. As they follow the water draining out of the bowl, they will activate the paddle with their downward motion.

Beyond Standard

Next in our line of paddles for the Drinking Post is our Training Paddle. The training paddle is also included in every Drinking Post sent out. Not because it is necessary for every application, but to help make the training period for every animal as concise and quick as possible. Here’s a link to our training procedure:  https://dpwaterer.com/drinking-post-training/

The training paddle uses our standard Drinking Post paddle as a base. We attach a piece of 2” PVC to the top portion of the paddle. The idea is that the more room that we take up in the bowl, the easier it will be for any animal to activate the paddle. If you have a horse that may be skittish, the training paddle would be a helpful option for training. Not only does the trainer make it so the horse doesn’t need to go as far in the bowl, the training paddle changes the contact point of activation making it a bit easier to activate the paddle.

Another great benefit of the training paddle is that it makes the paddle sit just level with the top of the bowl. If you have a grazing muzzle on your horse, using the training paddle will make it easier for them to activate the water. Because there is more material on the training paddle, it makes it easier for a mouthy animal to bite this paddle. If this is the case, it’s recommended to swap the trainer out for the standard paddle after training is over.


Also, you may be interested in our Round Paddle. This paddle sits flat in the bowl and takes up a wider area in the bowl. One benefit to the round paddle is the enclosed wings to connect to the bowl for added strength. Because the edge wraps inside the bowl, no animal can bite the paddle. While not being as popular as the standard paddle, the round paddle has the exact same motion for activation. This paddle is more popular with cattle due to its sturdy design.

What’s New?

And last, our newest paddle, the Livestock Paddle.  Born out of necessity to help smaller animals (goats, sheep, alpaca/llama, etc) activate the Drinking Post. Activation of the standard paddle is easy for horses and cattle. However, it can be a bit difficult for an American Pygmy goat to activate.

The livestock paddle again uses our standard paddle as a base, but it has a 2x4x6 PVC block attached to the top portion of the paddle. This takes up real estate in the bowl that requires the paddle to be moved to access the bowl. Because the paddle sits with the PVC block horizontal, the block needs to be pushed aside to call the water. This is a very natural motion of butting for goats and sheep. Approaching the paddle head on or from the side makes no difference for this paddle’s activation.




But what if you have several types of animals using one Drinking Post???


Don’t fret! This is a common set up! The suggested method is to make watering easy for the smallest animal using the Drinking Post.  The larger animals will typically have no issue adapting. For example if you have an area where you have cattle and horses that may share a waterer, you would want the above ground height set the cattle can easily drink and the horses will just go down a bit further to drink.


It’s the same idea with horses and sheep, or cattle and goats. Set up the waterer with the specialized livestock paddle when needed. Also, you will always have the training paddle and standard paddle included with every Drinking Post. It is a good idea to try them out and see what style paddle works for all of your animals.

14 thoughts on “Drinking Post Paddles”

  1. Hi i am curious to know if anyone has used the drinking post for watering hogs along with cattle horses and goats

    • Hi Curtis,

      Most likely no. We wouldn’t recommend that set up. For that to work, you would need to set the above ground height of the Drinking Post for pigs and use the pig paddle. This would work for the goats as well, but could cause some issues for horses and cattle. Ideally you’ll set the above ground height as high as possible. You’d be better off separating the pigs/goats from the horses/cattle and having separate Drinking Posts. The horses and cattle’s Drinking Post would be best set at 18-24″ above ground and set up with our standard paddle.


  2. Questioning rather this bowl system and paddle is large enough for my draft horses muzzles and head. As they can’t drink water down in a 5 gallon beyond half way as their face structures are too wide how deep and wide is this bowl and paddle depth to activate fill?

    • Hi Marie,

      Unlike a 5 gallon bucket, the Drinking Post will fill as needed. The opening of the bowl is just under 8″ and the paddle sits up off the bottom of the bowl. Your draft horse would only need to go into the bowl an inch or so to activate the paddle. At that point, they’ll hold the paddle and the water very quickly fills to the point where they can comfortably drink. Also, you could install the training paddle. With the attachment on the training paddle, draft horses won’t need to go as far into the bowl to activate and drink. Here’s a link to a customer of ours that boards a Clydesdale and uses the Drinking Post exclusively for water:



  3. I have my cattle trained to the drinking post, and recently switched from the training paddle to the standard paddle. We have it set up at the corner of 4 pastures, and they are having trouble activating it. First of all, is it ok to just leave the training paddle in? They were doing great with it. Second, if that’s not a good long-term option, what do you recommend trying?

    BTW, we love them for our horses and cattle so far.

    • Hi Heath, the cattle are probably having a hard time with the standard paddle because of the angle they are hitting the paddle. In this case, I would just leave the training paddle in. The only downside to the training paddle is that with more material in the bowl, it can be easier to break. We do have our round paddle option that will be easier to activate from any direction in the bowl. It sits flat and takes up half the bowl. Here’s the link if you’d like to try it out: https://dpwaterer.com/product/round-paddle/


  4. Hi
    We just installed a couple of your drinking posts, and the horses have adjusted fairly quickly. We were wondering about them dropping sand in the bowl though. They seem to pick up sand on their muzzle when grazing, or sometimes the wind blows sand in. Will that cause any issues with the drainage.

    • Hi Martha,

      Thank you for your question. This shouldn’t become an issue, but if it does it is an easy fix. All debris that can drain through the valve will go through 1 of 6 1/4″ holes. Sand typically won’t create any blockages, especially if it’s a small amount at a time. If you ever notice that the drain time is increasing or if you ever have standing water in the bowl, you can remove the interior and remove any blockages from the drain holes. You can do this without digging up the waterer. Here’s a link to our maintenance page with a video on how to remove the interior:


      Please let us know if this brings up any questions!

  5. Hi we have just installed the water posts but find it requires a lot of pressure on the paddle to activate the water. What can we do to make pushing the paddle down easier? The horses are having an issue with pushing the paddle down. Thank you

    • Hi Sue,

      This can be related to your water pressure. If it is high (65 PSI or higher), you may notice it in activating the paddle. The fix for this is to reduce the pressure at the Drinking Post.

      Another option is to use the training paddle exclusively as the paddle on the Drinking Post. With the higher activation point, the training paddle that was included with your Drinking Post makes it considerably easier to activate. If you have any further questions, please call us at 303-482-1642.

  6. Thank you Brad, now how do I reduce the pressure at the drinking post? Does everything need to be dismantled to do it?

    • Most likely you would need to install a pressure reducer inline before the Drinking Post. You won’t need to do anything to the Drinking Post, this can be addressed in the waterline leading up to the Drinking Post. Depending on your setup, there may be a few ways to address this. It is important to check your water pressure before moving forward.

  7. We have two three month old sheep and just installed the drinking post with the livestock paddle, however we are concerned that they sheep are not learning to use it. We have followed the training video advice, filling it and walking away. However, it drains before they are comfortable coming close enough to inspect it. We have also removed all other water sources. I am just worried they are too young to use this, at it takes not just butting the paddle with some force, but also holding it for several seconds to activate the water. What is the youngest we should expect them to be able to learn to use it? Thank you.


Leave a Comment

Translate »