Do you know that cow will need at least 3 liters of water to produce 1 liter of milk? Water is very important for a dairy cow. Cow’s body weight is 50 – 80% water, depending on its age. And milk is 87%. So without enough water, it’s hard to produce milk.
Sometimes cows may drink more than 80 liters per day. That’s a lot of volumes. However, it depends on the season though. Lactating cows will drink around 4 liters per kilogram of dry matter intake. Hence, it is very important to keep the fresh water accessible to the cows. It is better to put the water container at the height of the brisket so it will be easy for the cows to reach the water.
To keep in mind that water consumption depends on whether the cows are lactating or not, how much dry matter they consume, what is the temperature outside and the sodium content the cows are having. Here are 3 guides to make your cow drinking enough water.
It is suggested that a farmer put some meter measurement on the water source to know how much water has the cows consume and how many times they drink daily. Usually, the cows will drink at the maximum one hour after milking. Then they will drink again after each feeding.
There is a research which stated that when water placed near body temperature will encourage the cows to drink 12 percent more. And it will be better to add glucose to water as it will give them more energy and to reduce the ammonia level in their urine.
There are some tips that can be useful to all cattle owners related to water intake for cow’s consumption. They are:
- Fish oil contained in water won’t make any difference in water intake.
- Sodium bicarbonate in the water can depress rumen acidity when cows drink more.
- Minerals can be absorbed when the cows drink the water. Hence, nutrients added to water will be a good solution to feed to your cattle.
- Orange flavor might lure the cows to drink more.
Now we would like to take your attention to some of the things which are important to make your cow drink enough water:
1. Routine and consistency
It seems just like an unimportant tip, things that everyone knows. However trivial it is, it will be better for us to be reminded this basic an important thing. This tip is very basic yet it is very important. You need to feed your cattle based on the routines you have set up. Feed them the same food at the same time. This will get rid of their confusion and uncertainty. This routine will keep them on schedule to fill their tummy with the feed and water.
2. The higher dry matter consumption being fed, the higher water consumption will be
Cows usually will drink water after their meals. However, if you give the cow with dry matter feed (hay or grain), they will drink more water as the feed contains more fiber. So it is recommended for you to give the cows with a higher percentage of dry matter feel.
Cattle need to consume a certain amount of dry feed per day to keep their health maintained and to produce higher. To calculate how much of dry intakes, the cattle should consume, it depends on several factors, like weight and condition of the cows (whether they are lactating, weaning, pregnant).
3. Water Management
Water is a very important part of many lives. And it is such a great part in running of a livestock business which has an effect on stock welfare, production, and business profits. To get to know how much water you need and where to get the water is very important for planning on running your cattle farm. Water management is needed to get the water you need, the source of the water, and how you distribute the water whenever you need it. Read also Ways to Keep Your Chicken’s Water from Freezing in Winter
Stock water shortages will become the disadvantages for you to reach maximum productivity. Hence, you will need to plan water distribution throughout your farm and manage the water to be hygiene. Let’s see the proper steps to do this water management:
a. Setting up the water trough
To set up water troughs around your farm, you need to think about where to place the troughs or the tanks. It should be a good spot where your cows can access and drink around your tanks from all directions without any obstacles. It’s necessary to install many tanks around your farm if you have a large number of cows on the farm. Have as many tanks as you can install to prevent competitions among the cow in having water.
b. Size of the water tanks
The space you will install in your paddock should accommodate your cattle’s needs for water. During winter, daily water intake is about 1 gallon per 50kg of body weight. In summer, it will double up. And for lactating cow, the intake will be doubled up.
If you have large numbers of a cow, you should consider having some large troughs spread around your farm. The bigger the tanks the better for your cows to gather to get their water.
c. Water source and flow rate.
When you think about water troughs, you should think about the water source to fill the tanks. It should be easily taken to fill in the water troughs. And make sure the water is fresh and clean. The ideal water flow for the water tanks should be at least 13L per hour for a cow. To get the water supply, you can get it from the ground or surface source. And before flowing the water to the tanks, it is recommended to check water quality to prevent any unnecessary things to happen.
d. Quality issues
If the water given to your cattle is low in quality, there is a chance that your cow refuses to drink it or reduce the water intake. If the water contains TDS (Total Dissolved Solids), it means your water is very poor in quality. TDS is categorized when the water has a high level of dissolved inorganic materials. The examples of inorganic materials which present in the water are sodium, arsenic, bicarbonate, calcium, chloride, magnesium, cadmium, nitrate, fluorine and sulfate. Not only those which are mentioned, but the high level of iron and sulfur in the water can also cause the health, performance and water intake. It is very easy to detect a high level of sulfur in the water. The water will be smelled like a rotten egg.
Another problem is microorganisms like algae. It can happen if the water is under certain conditions like warm surrounding, ample nutrients, sunny, and slow flow water. All those factors encourage algae to grow very fast. It is very important to clean the water frequently to prevent any health problems. The best solution to always provide good quality water to your cow is to clean the water tanks regularly.
Hopefully, these 3 guides to make your cow drinking enough water will be a great help to you to have healthier cows.
Please click 10 common causes of cattle losing appetite to better know how to take care of your cows. And cattle disease that causes weight loss is a must to read link. Healthy cows make you a happy owner.