Pay Attention to Water Space

Addressing Water Can Yield Large Returns

Did you know, that the modern dairy cow, has the largest DAILY requirement of water of any land mammal on the planet? Improving water quality and access can give producers a large return on a minimal investment. In loose housing situations, recommendations for water space vary from 1.8-3.6 inches of linear water trough space per cow . Miner Institute of New York, has research showing adding 2cm (.79inches) of water space per cow can yield 1.7 additional pounds of milk. This increased production continues until 4.61 inches of water space, when the increased production seems to slow. Water pressure is equally important. In tie stall situations make sure you have a minimum, 5 gallons per minute of water pressure in the drinking cups. 6-7 gallons per minute would be ideal. Keep in mind water pressure will vary from one end of the barn to the other. Keeping drinking cups and water troughs clean and free of buildup can increase water intake as well. Increasing water intakes can increase milk production, component production, improve lameness, and reduce metabolic disorders.