Farm Ireland

Friday 28 October 2016

Don't give stock water you wouldn't drink yourself

Published 25/11/2015 | 02:30

Water is the main constituent of the animal's body, making up 50 to 80pc of the animals live weight, depending on age and degree of fatness.

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An animal can lose almost all of its fat and up to 50pc of its body protein and survive.

However, the loss of 10pc of its body water can be fatal. Therefore, a successful livestock enterprise requires a good water supply.

A good water supply is defined both in terms of quantity and quality of the water. Therefore, animals should never be without clean fresh water and the water should be of a high enough quality that you could drink it yourself.

Water is obtained by the animal from three different sources, from the feed, from drinking supply and from metabolic activities in the body.

The amount of water required as drinking water varies with the dry matter of the feed, the temperature in the environment and the production level of the animal.

An animal eating silage with a dry matter of 20pc will need less water than an animal eating silage with a dry matter of 30pc and getting one kg of meal.

As the feed dry matter content increases the amount of drinking water increases accordingly.

If the temperature in the shed goes above 10C the water requirement also rises.

Finishing stock on high concentrate diets will have a big demand for water and should never be left without water.

Be careful when giving water to very thirsty cattle as over-drinking can cause severe problems.

Indo Farming