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how much water do cows drink on average

 
brandon stewart
Posts: 13
Location: near shiner, tx
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thinking about getting a few cattle on the new land and i'm trying to figure out how much water i would need to get them every day. the land does have five ponds but there is alot of space between them and if i want to mob graze them i will sometimes have to bring them water which is difficult because i don't have a well on my property.
 
Adam Klaus
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gardener
Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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A Lot! For a lactating cow, figure 50 gallons/head/day. A dry heiffer might be only 10 or 15.

You really dont want to haul water to your cows. Is there any way to design you pasture layout so that the cows can always walk to a water source? Sometimes my cows have to walk 1000 feet to their water, this is good excercise, and a healthy thing. I would never want to have to haul water to lactating cows. I do bring water in buckets to a heiffer that is teather grazing sometimes, but even at 10+ gallons/day, it gets old real fast.

Having flexible paddocks is really advantageous for many reasons. I have very few permanent fence divisions within my property, so I can change the location of grazing paddocks and paths to better manage my pasture. In a more permanent setup, the paths end up so trampled that they become sacrifice zones. Also, your pastures will grow differently during different seasons, so varying the paddock size and location allows you to target your grazing in a way that is best for the animals and the pasture.

good luck!
 
brandon stewart
Posts: 13
Location: near shiner, tx
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i plan on using electric mobile fencing so i can change the paddock sizes and put them where i can best use the land but i'm thinking the ponds are just to far apart. i think i'm going to have to rethink a few things if they are drinking so much water. i understand why but wow thats alot of water. i was hoping to just get a big truck with a big tank and a troth on the back so i could back it up to where ever i need it but that would mean i would have to have a 500 gallons or so just for 10 cows or do i have mine number off. hell i think they would even dry up my ponds lol.
 
Bob Blackmer
Posts: 31
Location: East Greenwich, Rhode Island
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You might try one of these?

http://www.riferam.com/pasture/

http://www.nosepump.com/

They will freeze in the winter, but by then even if you have stock piled forage your paddocks will have to be bigger so leaving cows access to your ponds will be easier.

Other options would be a solar trickle pump of some type from a pond to a cistern/tank on the highest spot on your land. You could let gravity take over from there into 3/4" poly pipe to a stock tank with a float valve. Very easily moved with hose hook ups along the poly pipe. Depending on the size of the cistern it should keep up with regular demand. Have a back up (like the tank truck) in case the system fails. Doing mob grazing you would be out there often to check on things anyway so the risk of catastrophe is lessened.
 
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