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Husbandry

Water Requirements of Different Domesticated Animals

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By EMN Updated: Oct 03, 2021 7:52 pm
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Providing enough quality water is essential for good livestock husbandry. Water makes up 80% of the blood, regulates body temperatures and is vital for organ functions such as digestion, waste removal and the absorption of nutrients.

Water requirements also arise due to reasons such as salt content of the feed where the water will be required more if the feeds contains high amount of salt. The amount of water content in the feeds also plays an important role as when more water is present in feed such as succulent fodder the water requirement will be less. High energy feed requires more water for its digestion. Environmental temperatures, class of livestock and weight also plays important role in water requirements. Lactating and nursing animals require more water than non lactating animal. Different stage of growing animals need different amount of water according to live weight.

Water requirements as per different species are as follows:

Pigs

1. A pregnant sow will require 10 to 12 liters of water per day.

2. A lactating sow requires 20 to 30 liters of water per day.

3. A growing pig requires 6 to 8 liters of water per day.

4. A boar requires 12 to 15 liters of water per day.

If pigs are not provided enough water their daily feed intake will be reduced which will affect their weight gain.

Cattles

One kilogram of dry matter intake utilizes up to five liters of water. Cows need at least three liters of water to produce one liter of milk. This means that high- yielding cows need more than 150 liters of fresh water every day. And depending on hot or dry climates, this amount can even be higher. Water requirement of cow is given below:

1. Cow – 40 to 50 Liters/ animal/ day

2. Bull – 45 to 55 Liters/ animal/ day

3. Dairy cow – 5 Liters/ animal/ day / liter of milk

4. Yearling – 25 to 40 Liters/ animal/ day

5. Calf – 15 to 25 Liters/ animal/ day

Sheep

1. Dry ewe – 8 Liters/ animal/ day

2. Ewe with lamb – 11 Liters/ animal/ day

3. Ram – 11 Liters/ animal/ day

5. Lamb – 2 to 4 Liters/ animal/ day

Rabbits

1. Gestating doe of about 4.5 kg live weight will need 0.35 liters of water per day.

2. Rabbit at 6 weeks of about 1.0 kg live weight requires 0.3 liters of water per day.

3. Rabbit at 12 weeks of about 2.3 kg live weight requires 0.64 liters of water per day.

4. Rabbit breeder males of about 3.0 kg live weight will need 0.39 liters of water per day.

5. Rabbit female breeder of about 1.5 kg live weight will need 0.29 liters of water per day.

Chicken Broiler

1. At 1 to 4 weeks of age water requirement (L/ 1000 birds/ day) will be 50 to 260 liters per day at 21º C and 50 to 415 liters per day at 32º C respectively, indicating that water consumption is affected by environmental temperatures.

2. At 5 to 8 weeks of age water requirement (L/ 1000 birds/ day) will be 345 to 470 liters per day at 21º C and 550 to 770 liters per day at 32º C respectively depending on the environmental temperatures.

The water consumption is also affected by seasons such as during winter, fall, spring the water requirement of broiler chickens is 280 liters per 1000 birds per day where as during summer water requirement is 450 liters per 1000 birds per day.  Average water consumption by chicken class other than broiler such as Laying hens (1.6 to 1.9 kg body weight) will require 250 liters per 1000 birds per day and pullets (1.5 kg body weight) will require 105 liters per 1000 birds per day.

Conclusion

The water consumption by livestock and poultry will greatly depend on the quality of the water. Water that has foul smell may discourage the animals from taking it and may also lead to poor health because the water may be contaminated which may possibly lead to death of the animal. Providing clean, fresh water is the safest way to safe guard our animals from water borne diseases. Water quality can be affected by a number of factors. Farmers should adopt management practices that do not negatively impact water quality.

Issued in public interest by
Krishi Vigyan Kendra
Animal Science Division
Tuensang, Nagaland

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By EMN Updated: Oct 03, 2021 7:52:51 pm