9 secret drinking habits of dairy cows


Following on from yesterday’s instalment of weird and a little bit gross things about cows’ bellies, I figured you might like another one regarding their drinking habits!

  1. The high producing dairy cow has the greatest water requirement per unit of bodyweight of all land-based mammals.
  2. Cows may consume 30 – 50% of their daily water intake within one hour of milking.
  3. Reported rates of water intake vary from about 4 to 16 litres per minute
  4. Lactating cows need 5 litres of water per kg of dry matter consumed + another 1 litre of water per litre of milk produced + more during hot weather
  5. Cows prefer water between 15OC and 20OC.
  6. The amount of water in a cow varies from 56% of body weight in dry cows to 81% in lactating cows.
  7. Water that’s high in cations can cause milk fever in calving cows
  8. High iron, manganese, or molybdenum content may increase needs for copper, or result in more iron-bacteria problems
  9. Water intake varies markedly between individual cows, and from day to day. Here’s the water consumption of eight cows: WaterConsumption

All these facts come from a Advanced Nutrition in Action course run by Dairy Australia. Only just started and I’m already sucked in by all the fascinating stuff there is to know about feeding cows!


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