If you are a livestock producer, making sure your animals have access to clean water is critical. Fresher water causes cattle to drink more, consume more, and acquire weight more quickly, according to research.
Dams are frequently used as a primary supply of water for animals. They may be a terrific way to capture and store water, but they must be built and maintained properly. They are vulnerable to pollution from stormwater runoff and animals accessing the water since they are open. During the summer, they may also face large evaporative losses, resulting in worse water quality.
As a result, restricting cattle access to water sources helps to preserve high water quality and extends the dam or stream’s useful life. Rainwater can be kept in stock water tanks during periods of abundant water and hotter, windier weather, when water evaporates fast, as anticipated by the Bureau of Meteorology.
Williams et al. in 2002 and Lardner et al. in 2005, both Canadian research, found a clear correlation between water quality and cow weight increase. That is, improved water quality resulted in enhanced stock weight gain. This is mostly due to the water’s pleasant taste, which encouraged the cattle to drink more, allowing them to consume more feed. As a result of the cleaner water, the cattle gained more weight.
Taking the Water to Livestock
It was also found that when dam water was pumped to a trough, cattle gained more weight suggesting that cattle might prefer to drink from a trough and avoid entering a dam. Rather than allowing cattle to drink directly from dammed surface water, it would be preferable to pipe the water directly to livestock troughs. While installing a stock water system is more expensive, moving water across a farm via a reticulation system boosts output. You may also coordinate your grazing system with the drinking demands of your cattle depending on the season and the amount of grain delivered if you have a sufficient watering system in place.
Key Benefits of Reticulating Water to Troughs
- Providing water to stock in a trough improves water quality since livestock is not entering their drinking water.
- Studies show stock prefers to drink out of a trough as the water is cleaner, more palatable and usually easier to access.
- When stock drink more water, they eat more food which leads to higher weight gains.
- Reticulating water throughout the farm and to troughs, allows pasture utilisation to be better managed and used for improved grazing.
National Poly Industries manufactures a comprehensive range of farm products including stock water tanks and poly water troughs. If you have found this article helpful, why not contact us today to discuss your needs.