Dairy Herd Management: Top 9 Reasons Water Quality Matters for Dairy Cows

Posted by Team Lely on Oct 14, 2014
Team Lely

Recently, in Dairy Herd Management, Dr. Dana Tomlinson with Zinpro Corporation wrote some of the top reasons why water quality matters for dairy cows.

Aside from air, water is the nutrient required in the largest quantity by dairy cattle. A cow consumes 30 to 50 gallons of water per day. Dairy cows spend four to five hours per day eating and only 20 to 30 minutes per day drinking water, so it is important to make water easy for cows to access to meet hydration needs.

Water accounts for 87 percent of the milk a cow produces. Poor water intake and quality in lactating dairy cows can impact health. The results range from depressed immune function to decreased fertility and from increased off-feed events to erratic eating patterns.

Dairy cows require adequate amounts of water to maintain blood volume, tissue function, rumen activity and proper flow of feed through the digestive tract.

Below are the top nine reasons but read the complete article in detail for more information about the importance of water quality and analyzing test results.

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  1. Following air, water is the nutrient required in the largest quantity by dairy cattle.
  2. Water accounts for 87% of the milk a cow produces. 
  3. Dairy cows spend 4 to 5 hours per day eating and only 20 to 30 minutes per day drinking water.
  4. Dairy cows require adequate amounts of water to maintain blood volume.
  5. Poor water intake and quality in lactating dairy cows2 can impact health.
  6. Drinking water provides 60%-80% of dry and lactating cows’ water needs.
  7. Dissolved solids impact dairy cow performance.
  8. The impact of water issues is diverse and far-reaching.
  9. Calves need good water to thrive.

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