Watch your water over summer

Georgia Grimmond - District Veterinarian, Condobolin

Just like that summer is upon us and it’s time for livestock producers to be extra vigilant with their water supply as the weather warms up.

Water is the most essential nutrient for livestock yet it is often forgotten. 

Water is a key driver of production, with water intake directly affecting feed intake. Any disruption to water intake results in reduced live weight gains and can quickly result in numerous deaths. On a hot summer day, 24 hours without water can be critical! Even if there is an adequate supply of water, poor water quality can lead to water refusal and therefore reduced intake.

Factors such as cleanliness, accessibility and temperature are more recognisable causes of water refusal and can be mitigated with regular checking and cleaning of water sources.

Keep in mind that stock will typically reject water that is warmer than body temperature. Less obvious factors such as pH, salinity, mineral content and pathogen contamination can not only result in water refusal but can cause other health issues.

To avoid these issues stock water should be tested periodically to determine the water quality. If you have any queries about water quality issues on your property please get in touch to discuss further.

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