Milk comprises nearly 90 percent water, so it’s not surprising that a cow’s water intake has a major effect on her milk production.When you provide a proper fresh water supply, cows drink more, eat more and produce an ext milk.

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It sound simple, yet the quantities of water affiliated are significant. One kilogram that dry matter intake utilises up to five litres of water. Cows require at least three litres of water to develop one litre of milk. This method that high-yielding cows need an ext than 150 litres of fresh water every day! and depending top top hot and dry climates, this lot can even be higher. Cows like to drink fast – as much as 20 litres the water per minute. If they can’t, their water intake may fall and their milk yield will suffer. A 40 percent reduction in water intake can reduced milk manufacturing by 25 percent. The is essential that you meet all her cows’ drink needs. Cows like to drink as soon as they eat and just after ~ milking. They like a large, patience drinking surface from which they have the right to drink quickly and also without stress. Such herbal drinking plot promotes more eating, even an ext drinking and thus greater milk yields.


Three to four metres is needed around the water trough to minimize pushing and shoving. This is necessary for submissive cows to be able to drink without being afraid that being moved away indigenous the water supply by leading cows.


There are different opinions about the ideal drinking temperature that water for the highest milk yield. Many researchers say the the optimal temperature for drinking water for cows is in between 15°C and 17°C. In ~ this temperature the cows will maximise water intake.


Don’t forget that the straightforward act of clean water tanks at the very least once a week have the right to have an affect on milk production. Cows like to drink clean, fresh water. They space even more sensitive than civilization to negative quality water. Together you walk by a water tank, ask you yourself if you would drink the water. If the answer is ‘no’ then the water demands to it is in cleaned.



Water quality can be jeopardized by high levels of bacteria, chemicals, essential matter and also minerals. Unfortunately, occasionally what may be said to be a bearable level of air pollution still hurts the cow, since cows are very sensitive to water high quality problems. If you space not sure about the top quality of the water, take part samples because that analysis. Take it these water samples from the cow’s water tank or water bowl; not earlier at the well. Proper sample handling is essential. Usage containers provided by the water-testing lab. Samples to it is in analysed because that bacteria should be preserved cool (on ice) and delivered come the lab within six hours. The is recommended that water be analysed at the very least once per year regardless of perceived problems. Maintain an excellent records the water analysis from year to year so the you can prove once contamination occurred, if necessary.

Water supply and also source

Water troughs instead of water bowls space recommended for usage in loosened housing systems. There must always be two water troughs per group of animals, so even low-ranking cows have good opportunities for drinking. Every water trough should have the ability to hold 200 to 300 litres that water and also the water circulation should supply at least 10 litres per minute. The water trough volume can be lessened to about 100 litres if the water operation at 20 litres per minute. On the basis of farm research studies (Appendix 5), the size of water troughs must be 5 centimetres per cow with an optimal elevation of 60 to 90 centimetres. Reducing the elevation by five to eight centimetres might be logical because that Jersey cows. Water depth should be a minimum that eight centimetres to enable the pet to submerge that is muzzle two-and-a-half to five centimetres. Provide at least one water trough for every 15 come 20 cows, or a minimum of 60 centimetres the tank room per 20 cows. At the very least two resources of water are essential in the resting area because that each group of cows. Because that a tied-up device it is an extremely clear the the optimal situation is the each cow has actually its own water bowl.

Positioning and barn planning

Lactating cows must be close come a water supply, especially throughout periods of heat stress or bitterness cold and also frozen surfaces. Under these conditions, try to location a clean it is provided of water near shaded or otherwise cooled relaxing areas and on safe slopes if frozen. Take care to avoid excessive water buildup in lots or other resting areas, together that may boost the incidence of mastitis and other diseases in the herd. Cows often tend to drink most of their daily water close come milking time, frequently straight ~ milking, for this reason it would be beneficial to have actually water available in the feeding area and the return lane from the parlour, or next to the leave from a robotic milking system. Plenty of farmers have actually installed extra water troughs close to the parlour leave or they have put water in the parlour. To stop the danger of manure pollution, make certain that water bowls space not set up too low.

Natural behaviour

Like people, cows choose to eat, climate drink, eat, then drink and also so on. Water troughs have to be conveniently accessible, within 15 metres indigenous the feeding table.

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Research (Appendix 6) mirrors that submissive cows usage a water bowl less frequently than their much more aggressive partner using the same water bowl. This cows consume less water and feed, and also produce milk with much less milk fat. Society interactions such as this might be vital for producer who residence their cattle in stanchion or tied-up barns where pairs of cattle share a usual water bowl. Sometimes, merely moving cattle from one stall to one more can eliminate the problem.