The Versatile World of Tractor Supply Stock Tanks

My Journey to Find the Perfect Tank for My Farm

With over 1,800 stores across 49 states, Tractor Supply Company has become my go-to for all things farming, livestock, homesteading, and just about everything else I need to run my small hobby farm. As a first-time farmer getting started with raising a few chickens and goats, I’ve relied on their expertise and affordable selection of supplies to build my homestead from the ground up. One product line I’ve been particularly impressed with is their stock tanks. Sturdy and spacious, yet budget-friendly, these steel and plastic troughs offer incredible value and versatility for small farms like mine.

When I first dreamed of having a little slice of farmland to call my own, images of happy hens and handsome goats came to mind. But I quickly learned that animals require more equipment than I ever imagined! Between feeders, waterers, housing, fencing, and all the other necessities, costs add up fast for an aspiring hobby farmer. As I researched my options online and visited local farm stores, Tractor Supply’s tanks caught my eye as an affordable solution for watering my future flock and herd. Once I made my very first pilgrimage to the local Tractor Supply store, I was hooked! The quality, selection, and prices on stock tanks simply couldn’t be beat. Now, they provide fresh clean water to all my animals in every season.

Over the years, I’ve expanded my humble homestead and now use stock tanks in other inventive ways too. Beyond water troughs, they’ve become planters in my garden, feed barrels, and even a hillside slip n’ slide on hot summer days! Here’s an overview of my experience with the versatile world of Tractor Supply’s stock tanks and how they became a farming necessity for me.

Sizing Up the Stock Tank Selection

One thing that first impressed me about Tractor Supply’s stock tank lineup was the extensive range of sizes and capacities available. They offer small, medium, and large troughs to suit any size farm. For my modest hobby farm with just a handful of animals, I found the 100 to 150-gallon tanks to be the perfect fit. But they have sizes for large-scale cattle operations too, up to 300 gallons and larger.

The common dimensions I’ve seen are:

  • 100-Gallon Tanks: 64” Long x 34” Wide x 24” Deep
  • 150-Gallon Tanks: 64” Long x 34” Wide x 30” Deep
  • 300-Gallon Tanks: 97″ Long x 34″ Wide x 24″ Deep

With this range, you can find just the right tank for your needs. The 100-gallon size works well for my small flock of chickens, a few goats, and garden applications. But hobby farms with cows, horses, or larger herds may prefer the bigger 150 or 300-gallon capacity.

They also carry oval and oblong shaped tanks in addition to the common round ones. The oval tanks can more easily fit in a corner or against a wall. And the oblong ones with their elongated shape provide more drinking access points for multiple large animals.

Besides the typical in-store selection, the Tractor Supply website offers even more sizes and configurations to have shipped directly to your farm. So if your local store doesn’t have the exact tank you need in stock, you can find it online for delivery.

Durable Materials That Last

Tractor Supply stocks tanks made from both galvanized steel and heavy-duty plastic. I chose galvanized steel for my tanks and have been extremely pleased with their ruggedness and longevity. The galvanized coating prevents rust and corrosion. So even with years of exposure to the elements, my tanks look and function like new.

The plastic tanks are cheaper upfront, usually half the cost of steel. However, I didn’t want to risk cracking or issues with durability down the road. The UV-resistant plastic is decently sturdy, but not nearly as indestructible as the galvanized steel. For the minimal price difference, steel offers more confidence in the long run.

Some key factors on durability:

  • Galvanized steel tanks have a longer lifespan than plastic, often lasting for decades. The coating protects against rust.
  • Plastic tanks can become brittle and crack over time, especially when exposed to freezing temperatures in winter.
  • Steel is more resistant to dents and scratches from livestock kicking or bumping the sides.
  • Steel holds up better to rough handling when moving the tank. Plastic could more easily crack if dropped or struck.
  • Steel performs well in all seasons, while plastic becomes prone to damage after years of UV and sun exposure.

For small homesteads on a strict budget, the plastic tanks offer decent quality for lower prices. But for just a bit more, galvanized steel is a worthwhile investment that will last essentially forever on the farm. Either material will function well when new, but steel offers unbeatable longevity.

Ready for Any Farm Task

Tractor Supply’s stock tanks boast supreme versatility for all types of farms, animals, and tasks. In my experience, their simple yet sturdy design makes them ideal for:

Watering livestock: The number one purpose stock tanks serve is providing fresh, clean water for farm animals. Their tough materials hold up to livestock use and the drain plugs make cleaning a breeze. They come in sizes suitable for any herd or flock.

Collecting rainwater: The tanks conveniently collect and store rainwater from the barn roof or other structures. Free rainwater is great for animal consumption or irrigating the garden.

Gardening: In addition to rainwater collection, stock tanks have dozens of uses around the garden. Use smaller ones as planters for potatoes, carrots or other root crops. Or use larger tanks to mix compost tea or soak planting beds using biodynamic preps.

Aquaculture/Hydroponics: Stock tanks are ideal foundations for small backyard aquaponic or hydroponic systems. The shape contains water well for fish and pumps, and offers stability for seed beds.

Outdoor fun: Don’t forget recreational uses around the homestead! Stock tanks make great kid-sized swimming pools in summer. Or use them as giant slip n’ slides down gentle hills.

Feed and storage: The tanks are perfect for storing chicken feed, horse grains, and other animal feeds in a protected enclosure. Their water resistant coating keeps contents dry.

Fire safety: Keep a stock tank full of water nearby as an emergency supply for fire safety around the farm. The tanks provide an accessible water source if a grass fire or structure fire should occur in a rural area.

The only limit is your imagination! Tractor Supply’s stock tanks are a blank canvas for implementing inventive ideas across the farm.

Affordable Prices That Won’t Break The Bank

As a new hobby farmer on a tight budget, I appreciated the wallet-friendly prices of Tractor Supply’s stock tanks. While cheaper off-brand tanks exist online and at discount retailers, I’ve found the quality inconsistent. Tractor Supply hits the sweet spot between price and dependable performance.

Here are some example new price ranges directly from their website:

  • 50-Gallon Plastic Tank: $70-$100
  • 100-Gallon Plastic Tank: $100-$130
  • 100-Gallon Galvanized Steel Tank: $170-$250
  • 150-Gallon Galvanized Steel Tank: $220-$300
  • 300-Gallon Galvanized Steel Tank: $470-$550

Of course, prices vary by region and availability. But this gives a rough idea of what to expect. Given my great experiences with longevity of the steel tanks, I see even the higher prices as a worthwhile long-term investment. The plastic does offer significant savings for about half the price.

One tip for saving money is to check for any available used tanks for sale in your area. Sometimes you can find good conditioned secondhand tanks from other farms or rural households looking to upgrade. Clean them up and get years of use at a fraction of retail pricing. With their sturdy construction, used stock tanks have plenty of life left in them.

Convenient In-Store and Online Shopping

I’ve purchased all my stock tanks directly from the store shelves at my local Tractor Supply in rural Tennessee. But for those located far from a physical store, they offer all the same online ordering and shipping capabilities. Most tanks are available for free shipping directly to your door.

If you can visit a store in person, I do enjoy that experience. The staff has always been friendly and willing to provide recommendations. They helped me make sure to get a tank large enough for my needs, and provided useful advice for cleaning and maintaining the tanks.

The online experience is just as seamless for more remote customers. Tractor Supply’s website makes it easy to search and filter your ideal tank by size, material, shape, and other options. Read reviews from fellow farmers to help select the perfect tank for your particular needs. Then simply order online and have it conveniently delivered to your farm.

Between local pickup and buying online, Tractor Supply makes stock tank shopping completely hassle-free.

Helpful Features and Accessories

Tractor Supply’s stock tanks keep things simple, but offer little touches to improve convenience as well. One feature I really appreciate are the built-in drain plugs. This makes periodic cleaning so much easier than tilting and dumping a 200+ pound tank! Just twist or pull the plug, let the dirty water run out, scrub inside with a brush, and refill.

Some of the tanks also come with drain valves for more precise control over the water flow. These ball valves allow you to crack it open just a bit to gently hose out debris over time. Then fully open the valve when ready to empty the entire contents.

Optional tank lids are another excellent accessory, especially for outdoor tanks. Lids help keep out rainwater, dust and debris that could contaminate the clean drinking supply. For livestock tanks, floating lids with cutouts specifically sized for different animals are available. This allows them to drink without removing the lid. Lids significantly cut down on algae growth and wasted water as well.

If you need to heat stock tanks during freezing winters, submersible tank de-icers are sold to maintain a liquid water supply. These heavy-duty heaters keep tanks thawed in temperatures as low as -20° F.

Rubber tank insulation kits are also handy for reducing heat loss. Insulation helps maintain temperature while requiring less energy to heat the water. Just another way Tractor Supply looks out for farmers’ needs in all seasons!

Weighing the Pros and Cons

After several years of owning and operating Tractor Supply’s stock tanks on my farm, I’m fully confident recommending them to fellow homesteaders. That said, it’s worth looking at some of the key pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Durable galvanized steel or UV-resistant plastic construction
  • Drain plugs/valves for easy cleaning and water changes
  • Range of sizes from 50 gallons to 300+ gallons
  • Affordable pricing relative to competitors
  • Tanks versatile for watering, feeding, gardening, etc.
  • Available locally or online with free shipping
  • Accessory options like lids, insulation, and heaters

Potential Cons:

  • Galvanized steel tanks are heavy, around 100-200 lbs each
  • Need 2+ people and equipment like dollies to move large tanks
  • Plastic prone to UV damage and cracking over time
  • Not designed for below-freezing weather without addons
  • Limited warranty of 90 days, compared to longer from other brands

Considering the many benefits and few drawbacks, Tractor Supply’s stock tank offering excels in quality, value, and versatility. The affordability and wide selection also make it easy to buy multiple tanks for all your farm projects.

Tanks Tailored to Your Farm’s Unique Needs

Part of Tractor Supply’s appeal is the expertise to help match you with the ideal tanks for YOUR farm’s specific needs and vision. To recap, be sure to consider:

  • Size and capacity sufficient for your animals, task, and available space
  • Material choice between long-lasting steel or budget plastic
  • Shape like round, oval etc. that fits your intended purpose
  • Special features like drain plug, insulation, or lid that suits your setup
  • Budget and deciding if used tanks could provide savings

The team at your local Tractor Supply store can guide you through these factors. Or if shopping online, customer reviews from fellow farmers provide useful insight.

By doing your research and communicating your needs, Tractor Supply will steer you towards the tanks that best fit your hobby farm or homestead.

An Enduring Farm Necessity

Tractor Supply’s stock tanks have earned a permanent spot on my modest hobby farm. They played an integral role as I built up my flock and herd over the years. The simple yet rugged design suits my small mixed livestock operation perfectly. I appreciate that they provide quality and longevity, without breaking the bank. And I continue finding innovative new uses for these versatile tanks with each growing season.

If you’re seeking hardy, affordable stock tanks for virtually any farm purpose, Tractor Supply’s selection is sure to deliver. Stop by your local store for helpful guidance picking out the tank you need. Or conveniently order online for direct shipping. Whichever you choose, these American-made tanks are built to last for the long haul. Given my glowing experience, I happily recommend them to any fellow farmer or homesteader in need of a versatile, rugged stock tank. Tractor Supply has become my go-to supplier, and I’m sure their stock tanks will earn a place on your farm too!

Hello, everyone! I'm David Henry, a dedicated customer and enthusiastic reviewer of Tractor Supply Company. As a farmer and agriculture enthusiast, I frequently visit Tractor Supply Company to explore and purchase a wide range of agricultural supplies, tools, and equipment. Over the years, I have accumulated extensive experience and knowledge in shopping at Tractor Supply Company, and I aim to help others make wiser choices through my sharing. I understand the importance of selecting the right products for farmers, ranchers, and outdoor enthusiasts alike. That's why I enjoy sharing my insights and recommendations to assist individuals in finding the best-suited products for their needs. Join me as we embark on a journey of discovering quality products and making informed decisions at Tractor Supply Company. Together, let's enhance our farming and outdoor experiences through valuable insights and practical advice.