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