Monitor water quality
Producers are often consumed with ensuring their dairy cows are consuming the appropriate rations. However, according to Dr. Jim Quigley, in the bustle focusing on rations, the most important nutrient can be forgotten--water.
Water serves to lubricate, dissipate heat, transport nutrients and dilute toxins. It improves average daily gain and feed conversion, is beneficial in the development of the rumen and helps in digestion and the metabolic function of calves.
Producers should pay attention to the quality of water and its delivery process.
Based on the chemical and mineral composition, evaluate elements such as total dissolved solids, sulfate, chloride, iron and nitrogen. If one or more of these elements is consumed in higher than recommended levels, various health problems may be a result. For instance, excess iron consumed from water may lead to poor animal performance, which can hurt your business.
Quality of water can contribute to other complications with your farm's water delivery system and the effectiveness of pipeline cleaning and sanitizing. For instance, increased bacteria counts and buildup in water pipes may restrict water flow. High iron levels in water promote the growth of iron bacteria, leading to plugged pipes.
--Clean water devices on a regular basis.
--Conduct routine water tests to help identify problems and reduce potential health issues.
--Check your facility's water delivery system to ensure it meets guidelines for the number of waterers, space, location and cleanliness.
--Consider designing a water treatment system fitting for your farm.
Water is an important nutrient and it must be available to calves all the time. Take the extra steps to ensure the well-being of not only your herd but your facility as well.