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Importance Of Drink Water For Dairy Cows

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Umar Nsubuga

Hellen Nanono, a resident of Kanyanya was gifted with a female cow and she wonders how much water should her milking cow drink daily.

She also wonders what happens if it drinks less.

Muhammad Kiyemba, a veterinary doctor says Nanono should not decide how much water her cow drinks.

“Leave this decision to the cow, just provide unlimited amounts of water, this is because water needs vary from cow to cow,” he says.

Some cows will do with 30 litres yet others need nearly 100 litres a day. The amount of water that a cow needs to maintain its own body depends on its size, the type of grass and supplements that it eats, and the prevailing weather conditions, he adds.

Cows that eat lush grass will drink less water than those which eat dry grass. On hot days Kiyemba says cows will drink more than they do on cold days.

A cow that does not drink enough water will produce less milk. Photos by Umar Nsubuga

He says a cow needs water to produce milk, in 10 litres of milk there are nearly nine litres of water; to produce one litre of milk a cow has to drink several litres of water.

He also says water makes up 80% of blood, nearly 90% of milk and much of the body weight, failure to drink enough water leads to serious consequences.

“A cow that does not drink enough water will produce less milk. This is not the wish of any progressive farmer,” he states.

He explains that a farmer can sense that a cow is deprived of water when she passes out little urine and the dung is hard. In desperation, the deprived cows will go for any pool they can see, including mud holes and urine pools. This behaviour can lead to infectious of the alimentary canal.

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