Water And Its Importance To Livestock


Can a man do without water? Is there anyone that can do without taking water for one week? If there is one, then his or her name should be in the Guinness Book of Records. Of a truth, water is life. One can do without eating but cannot do without drinking water. Water is important to man and even to farm animals.

It is the responsibility of a farmer to supply adequate, clean, and pathogen-free water to his or her animals. One importance of water to livestock is that it determines the performance of animals. For instance, a laying hen that hasn’t taken enough water will have no good and impressive laying performance. This is because water is highly essential in egg formation. Likewise, a dairy cow that hasn’t taken enough water, will produce less milk. This is because water takes the highest part in the constituents of a fresh cow milk.

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chicks feeding on feed trays and waterIn a situation where the performance of animals is negatively affected due to water starvation, then big economic loss should be expected. How will a farmer feel when he sees a healthy animal die because he didn’t serve or provide an adequate quantity of water? I believe a serious farmer should feel bad. Another thing is that animals will not eat well if water is not provided when they are served feed.

Some natural sources of water that can be used are; streams, river, springs etc. If these are not available around the farm, then water wells and boreholes are alternatives. Water well is cheaper than borehole.

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Some other importance of water to animals are as follows;

  • Water is important in the digestion of food and feeds.
  • It is used in homeostasis in animals’ body.
  • It is required for cooling down the body temperature.
  • It is vital for faecal excretion.
  • It is required for metabolic reactions in an animal’s body.

So as feed, nutrition, and the health of livestock are being taken seriously, water intake should be taken important. When planning to establish a farm, the source of clean water to serve animals on the farm should be highly considered.

In summary, animals needed to be served sufficient and cool water, and it must be free from any forms of contamination. The water must be from a clean and healthy source and must be served with clean water troughs. If animals are starved of water for a very long time, they die and that will be a loss to the farmer. Water must be available for animals at all times, except in situations where there is need to withdraw water from them. Birds such as broilers and layers are very sensitive to water and it is a factor that determines their production and performance.

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