Drinking water quality deserves attention
Drinking water quality is extremely important for a well-functioning dairy cow. More than half of her daily ration consists of water and the production of 1 liter of milk requires considerably more than 1 liter of water. High-quality, fresh drinking water is a prerequisite for good milk production and cow health.
The main ingredient of milk is water! Water quality (and water supply) can therefore have a major effect on good feed intake and milk yield.
What is good water?
With the use of tap water you are assured of high quality drinking water. However, spring water is often also used. Spring water can be very useful, but can differ greatly in quality. Dirty water even has a negative effect on a healthy cow. The immune system is activated and this costs energy that is no longer used for milk yield. It is therefore valuable for highly productive animals to provide good quality drinking water.
Drink bucket check
Reduced water quality can be caused by a poor water source (provided that spring water is used), a layer of thin biofilm in the water pipes, or dirt in the drinking troughs. First of all, measuring = knowing! If you want to be sure of good water quality, measure the quality of your well water and certainly the quality of the water that comes out of the drinking troughs. Water of sufficient quality at the inlet point can still be of poor quality at the drinking place due to the path it travels through the pipe system. A water sample can be examined via the Drinking Bowl Check (GD).
- Slime layer in water troughs is an indication of contamination of the pipes
- Palatability: water must be odorless and tasteless for a good absorption by cows
- Not unimportant: the quality of the water source