Back in November I shared my plans to use pocket hoses for winter watering. I was a little nervous about the quality of the hoses and if they would be efficient. So far this winter has been unusually mild with some sporadic snowfall and freezing temps. This is what I've learned about the hoses:
1. There's extra walking involved in stretching them out before turning the water on. In the summer we leave the long hoses connected so it's just a matter of turning on the water and going about the job. In the freezing cold, when I'm in a hurry to get done, the extra time to run the hoses was frustrating but doable.
2. The flow of water was good. In fact, I am trying to figure out a way to weigh down the end of the hose because the force of the water pressure makes it want to "float" back up.
3. It's easier to clean the water buckets and poultry fountain and rabbit bottles when I use the hoses compared to carrying buckets.
4. It's important to measure your needed hose length. I have an extra 10 feet of hose to deal with because I didn't measure first. We bought 3 twenty foot hoses when we only needed 50 feet. Next time I have a little "pocket" money, I'll switch the 3rd one to a 10 foot hose.
5. I need water resistant gloves due to the water that collects in the bottom of the bucket overnight. But I don't splash as much on the rest of me compared to dumping a bucket of water over a fence into another bucket on a windy day.
6. The recoil is easy to manage and after some practice, I can get a coil in the bucket that is tangle free. However, there is some trials with obstacles on the ground, mostly saplings that catch the hoses and then I have to untangle them there.
Overall, I would say the pocket hoses were a good investment for me. I'm less worried about falling while doing my chores on icy ground. And I can be sure that every animal has got a good amount of fresh water in a clean container. I'd recommend them to anyone who has a small property with small amounts of small livestock.