Time to check the drinking troughs out in the grazing paddocks

MOORE DRINKERS RI Farm

MOORE Concrete is reminding dairy and livestock farmers that they should check the condition of the drinking troughs in their grazing paddocks over the coming days.

Water availability is crucially important to the wellbeing and production capacity of grazing livestock. Lactating dairy cows yielding 14 litres/day need 60-80 litres/day of water. Those yielding up to 36 litres require 80-100 litres/day, while cows milking 45 litres/day need 130-155 litres.

As a general rule of thumb, lactating dairy cows must have ad-lib access to drinking water. These animals cannot afford to be without it.

Between 80 to 90 per cent of the water required by milking cows are met by drinking sources. In addition, between 30 and 50 per cent of their water needs are consumed in the first hour after milking.

Dairy cows can drink quickly – up to 14 litres/minute. So it is important that the on-farm infrastructure, water flow rates and drinker capacity are adequate to meet the demands of the herd in full.

Dry cows need up to 55 litres/day, calves require 20-25 litres, beef cattle (300kg) need 20-25 litres/day, cattle close to finishing (600kg) need 35-60 litres, depending on the system, and stock on high concentrate diets need up to 70 litres/day.

This all adds up to an awful lot of water. In fact, ‘water deficiency’ can be one of the biggest hurdles to performance on many livestock farms, a point taken up by Andrew Moore

“Providing adequate water is a key determinant of growth for all stock. Making this a reality requires the availability of sufficient drinking troughs across a grazing platform and in sheds,” he said.

“Recent years have seen a significant increase in dairy herd size across Northern Ireland. However, this has not been matched with a similar scaling-up of the water supply available to these animals.

“The easiest way of achieving this is through an investment in additional drinking troughs.”

Moore Concrete manufactures a compre-hensive range of quality concrete water troughs, varying in size from 15 gallon to 500 gallon.

The range provides suitable water troughs for sheep or any size of beef or dairy cattle, with different designs creating solutions that are suitable for use in external or internal settings.

One of the core design features of the Moore drinker range is the rounded corners.

“This enhances the strength of tro-ughs, especially against cracking during adverse weather,” Andrew Moore added.

“It is also a unique animal safety feature. Our troughs are all extremely robust.”

All Moore Concrete drinking troughs are easily drained, having suitably sized rubber bungs positioned in the side wall. The troughs are designed to be used with both conventional and fast-flow ballcocks, which are afforded additional protection by enclosed housing.

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