If you work a farm with livestock, planning for your necessary stock water is just as important as feed supplies. Ensuring your stock has adequate water at all times, especially during the hot Australian summer when livestock require more water, is evidently important.
To correctly plan requires knowing your properties’ water sources, how much water you need for your livestock month-to-month, and then ensuring the correct amount of water is available on your property at all times. To help, this article will look at some water estimates of common livestock found on Australian farms.
Livestock Water Drinking Requirements
It is important to keep in mind that your feed type and quality, livestock breed, sex and age, weather conditions, available shelter and water quality can all affect water consumption. Nonetheless, some average figures can be estimated based upon drink (litres) per head.
Please note: During summer cattle, sheep and horse water consumption will be about 40% more than winter, on extremely hot days as much as 80% more water. Water consumption can be reduced by providing shaded areas, it is also important to shelter water sources as livestock avoid warm water.
Cattle Daily Water Requirements
|Cattle type||Daily requirements (L/head)|
|Lactating cow on grassland||40–100|
|Lactating cow on saltbush||70–140|
|Dry stock (400kg)||35–80|
Sheep Daily Water Requirements
|Sheep type||Daily requirements (L/head)|
|Adult dry sheep on grassland||2–6|
|Adult dry sheep on saltbush||4–12|
|Ewes with lambs||4–10|
Horse Daily Water Requirements
|Horse type||Daily requirements (L/head)|
Poultry Daily Water Requirements
Chickens do not really consume much water on their own, but if you farm them, then you will likely have thousands. Poultry water requirements based upon sex and the production of laying hens.
|Production Stage||Age/Rate of Production||Daily requirements
(L/1000 birds at 21oC)
|Layer pullet||4 weeks||100|
|Laying hens||50% production||220|
If you farm mixed sex birds, then daily water consumption for broilers at 20oC based upon age are as follows:
|L/1000 birds (mixed sex)||65||120||180||245||290||330||355||370|
Obviously, if temperatures are hotter then birds will consume more water, about 40% more at temperatures 32oC and above. Water intake for birds is generally about 1.5–2 times the amount of feed intake.
If you need to water stock, then rainwater is an invaluable high-quality water source to harvest. Water tanks are a great way to maintain the highest quality of water and protect against evaporation.
National Poly Industries provide reliable poly water tanks which can be linked together to store high capacities of water at a lower price point than steel. If you’re not yet ready, don’t hesitate to request a quote anyway—we would be happy to lock in a special deal and deliver to you when needed.