Saturday, October 5, 2013

A cow’s water intake has a major effect on her milk production-SEVAI Training session

Drinking water to cows in SEVAI Cow farm

A one day training program was conducted for Self Help Group women in SEVAI Cow project as supported by OFI and its partners.SEVAI Project Coordinator K.Devendran informed the trainees, “A cow’s water intake has a major effect on her milk production. When you provide a proper fresh water supply, cows drink more, eat more and produce more milk. It sounds simple, but the amounts of water involved are significant. One kilogram of dry matter intake utilises up to five litres of water. Cows need at least three litres of water to produce one litre of milk. This means that high-yielding cows need around 100 liters of fresh water every day. And depending on hot and dry climates, this amount can even be higher. Cows like to drink fast up to 20 litres of water per minute. If they can’t, their water intake may fall and their milk yield will suffer. A 40 percent reduction in water intake can cut milk production by 25 percent. It is essential that you meet all your cows’ drinking needs. Cows like to drink when they eat and just after milking. They prefer a large, calm drinking surface from which they can drink quickly and without stress. Such natural drinking behaviour promotes further eating, even more drinking and thus greater milk yields. Don’t forget that the simple act of cleaning water tanks at least once a week can have an impact on milk production. Cows like to drink clean, fresh water. They are even more sensitive than people to poor quality water. Water quality can be compromised by high levels of bacteria, chemicals, organic matter and minerals. Unfortunately, sometimes what may be said to be a tolerable level of contamination still hurts the cow, since cows are very sensitive to water quality problems. Maintain good records of water analysis from year to year so that you can prove when contamination occurred, if necessary. Lactating cows should be close to a water supply, especially during periods of heat stress surfaces. Under these conditions, try to place a clean supply of water near shaded or otherwise cooled resting areas. Take care to avoid excessive water accumulation in lots or other resting areas, as that may increase the incidence of mastitis and other diseases in the herd. Cows tend to drink most of their daily water close to milking time, often straight after milking, so it would be beneficial to have water available in the feeding area. To avoid the risk of manure pollution, make sure that water bowls are not installed too low. Like people, cows prefer to eat, then drink, eat, then drink and so on. Water troughs need to be easily accessible”.-Govin

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