Make Sure Young Calves Can Reach Water Troughs
Monday, August 29th, 2011
Do young calves need water? We might think of them getting all they need from cows milk, but no they need water , and it can be a deadly situation when it’s hot and dry. The cattleman had water nearby but he noticed that the 2 month old calves were panting like they were thirsty and then noticed that they couldn’t reach the water in the trough, they were too short. One thing that happens over time at almost every cattle water trough is that cattle drag or pack down the level of dirt at the water trough. In other words, what may have been with in reach may not be in reach later. When temperatures are high the amount of water that cattle need rises as well of course.
Decatur County Agent Mitchell May says a 250 pound calf may use 3 gallons a day and even the youngest calves need clean water.
Here’s some info below from the UGA website also more info is at this link.
“Water is the most important nutrient for cattle. It accounts for 50 to 80% of an animal’s weight and is involved in every physiological process. Cattle cannot adapt to water restriction and feed intake will be greatly decreased if water is restricted. Water availability and quality can become a major issue during a drought. It is important to check water sources frequently for water availability and quality during a drought.”
“Water is the most important nutrient for cattle, but providing clean water for cattle is often overlooked. Most problems will occur in the summer when pond water is contaminated with one of the anti-water quality factors such as manure, dissolved solids, nitrates, algae, or sulfates. Research is variable, but has shown weight gain increases up to 20% in calves provided water pumped into a tank versus calves drinking from a pond to which they had access. Poor water quality can lead not only to poor performance and poor reproduction that often goes unnoticed, but can be deadly as well. Special attention should be given to water quality during the hot summer months when most problems occur. Using the best quality of water available will contribute to the optimal production of cattle.”
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