Check water level to protect yields
CHECKING your cows will have enough water this summer could protect milk yields which can halve when supply is poor.
Speaking at a MAFF-sponsored cow welfare meeting, ADAS consultant Tanya Moore said a cows daily requirement for water was difficult to predict. But when water supply failed to provide 120 litres a day for each high yielder on a hot summer day, milk yields could halve.
Supplying adequate water requires trough space of 0.5m (20in) a cow for 10% of the herd to drink at once. A 100-cow herd will, therefore, need 5m (16ft 8in), she said.
And while cows will not walk more than 300m from grazing to find water, its best to site troughs together if more than one is required because they are herd animals.
"These troughs also need to be full. Water flow rate is dependent on the orifice on the supply. Doubling that orifice from one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch can quadruple water flow rates."
Keeping troughs full will allow cows to express their natural desire to drink between evening milking and sunset. *