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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
Horticulture and Agriculture
Ag: Water access in the cold
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By K-State Extension

Extension notes is written by K-State Extension of Harvey County extension agents Scott Eckert, Susan Jackson and Ryan Flaming. They focus on horticulture and agriculture.

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By Ryan Flaming, K-State Extension
Jan. 2, 2014 12:01 a.m.



With this cold stretch of weather we are having, do not forget to make sure all of your cattle have access to fresh drinking water. Even though with these cold temperatures it might not seem like they need to drink as much water as normal, it is vitally important that they can get to water.

The water needs of cattle are influenced by a number of factors such as: rate and composition of gain, pregnancy, lactation, physical activity, type of ration, diet salt content, dry matter intake and environmental temperature. This time of year cattle are trying to stay warm so they wonít be doing a lot of physical activity. A study done by Kansas State University showed that in January on the average water intake with calves weighing 600 lbs was 5.0 gallons per day and 1000 lbs it was 8.5 gallons per day. If you fall calved and have cows milking right now they will need to have access to around 11 gallons of water per day.

A good way to keep the water thawed is putting a water tank heater in the water tank. If you do that you need to make to check it often to make sure it is not shorting out in the water. A good thing to look for if a short does happen is the cows will congregate around the water tank but will not be drinking. Keeping a close watch on your cattle should tip you off fairly quickly.

— Ryan Flaming is a Kansas State Research and Extension Agent for Harvey County. His specialty is Agriculture and Natural Resources

 

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