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How to Reduce Livestock Stress Around Watering

a pair of horses eating out of a trough

Water is essential for your livestock not just because they require it to thrive and stay healthy, but also because certain kinds of livestock require water for the quality of their meat or dairy produce. Cattle, for example, need an average of around 30kg of water per day, but this amount can vary depending on the animal’s sex, species, age, and location.

Dairy cows in particular require a constant, good-quality supply of water in order to produce milk regularly. However, the need for water is shared throughout species, and while many farmers take the right steps to supply water, they go about it in the wrong way.

The result is animals that may intentionally forego grazing to maximize their water access, or may become ill from tainted or dirty water. They may also become stressed when trying to obtain water, which can lead to agitation and a greater risk of illness or poor production. Today, we’re going to examine why animals can become stressed as they look for water, and how livestock watering troughs can help solve the problem.


Why Might Animals Become Stressed Around Watering?

A livestock watering trough is one way to provide an easy solution to a freely available water source, but before you start shopping, it’s important to understand the specific reasons behind why animals may experience difficulty obtaining water. Once you’ve identified which issues are pertinent to your livestock, you can make a more informed decision as to how you’d like to solve them.

Slow Refills

If your current watering system isn’t set up to ensure that your livestock has an ample supply of water at all times, you could run into a literal stampede to get water when refills do happen. Your animals might also drink faster than they should if they anticipate that it’ll be their last opportunity to drink for a while. This can cause a wide variety of problems, some of which could be life-threatening for large animals like cattle.

To avoid this, make sure that your animals have constant access to water. If it’s a challenge to physically refill your watering system on a regular basis, you may want to consider upgrading to a larger water container like a trough or setting up an automatic water delivery system.

Not Enough Room

When animals want to drink, there needs to be enough room that they can all do so comfortably. If you have a herd of thirty cattle but a water dispenser that can only serve two animals at a time, you’re going to be met with competition for space and lineups that could get physical. When you’re designing your water delivery system, consider how many livestock you have and how much room they’d need to be able to drink comfortably without feeling like they must aggressively compete for a spot at the watering trough.

Bad Quality Water

If your watering system allows water to stagnate, either through poor cleaning or infrequent refills, your animals will notice the bad taste and start avoiding the watering station. You might even have difficulty getting them to drink from the water container after it’s been cleaned since they’ll still associate that location with the bad taste. If they drink from dirty water anyway, they’re at risk for contracting parasites, bacteria, and other health issues.

Make Life Easier With Livestock Watering Troughs

Watering your livestock doesn’t have to be a challenge. SPI’s livestock watering troughs are easy to clean, easy to empty, and easy to refill. Our energy-free range comes equipped with insulation to help prevent freezing in cold temperatures, and our Tip Tank designs make them easy to empty and clean. If you’re not sure how many you’ll need for your livestock, just ask. Our team will be happy to provide the guidance you need to make the right decisions for your animals.

If you’d like more information on our insulated and energy-free livestock water troughs, call our office at (519) 935-2211. You can also send us a message online.

SPI Plastics Inc.

165 Stoneman Drive, Box 100
(Shouldice Block Road & Joynt Street)
Shallow Lake, ON
N0H 2K0

T   519-935-2211
TF 800-269-6533
F   519-935-2174

Business Hours

Monday - Thursday: 8am to 4:30pm
Friday: 8am to 4pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed

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