Prepare Your Water Systems For Winter

Inspect water systems before winter
Inspect water systems before winter
(KSU)

There is nothing like a refreshing drink of water to hydrate one’s body, but what happens when the only available water is frozen?

As beef producers manage the herd in dropping temperatures this winter, Kansas State University Beef Cattle Institute experts stress that now is the time to make sure the watering systems are set up for full time access to clean, drinkable water.

“Cattle will typically drink about 1 gallon of water per day for every 100 pounds of weight they maintain,” said veterinarian and BCI director Brad White on a recent Cattle Chat podcast.

Veterinarian Bob Larson added that lactating cows will consume more water than dry cows.

“Water is the most important nutrient for overall cattle health and production,” Larson said. He added that it is important for cattle to have access to clean water at all times.

The experts said now is the time to consider the size of the tank needed to keep the water flowing ice free this winter. For some, that may mean investing in frost-free watering systems.

“Investing in a freezeproof waterer can be expensive but the savings in time and labor of breaking ice may be well worth it,” White said. “The cattle’s consumption of water will also increase if the water is free flowing at all times.”

Even with frost free systems, the veterinarians agreed that cattle producers need to clean them periodically.

“Cattle waterers can get hay debris and other saliva and dirt in them throughout the winter, so be sure to clean them often,” White said.

And if cattle are drinking water from a well, White advised having the water tested periodically to make sure it is safe.

To hear the full discussion on winter water resources, listen to the BCI Cattle Chat podcast.

 

Latest News

Cattle Markets Surge Higher In Spring Rally

The reopening of restaurant and foodservice is driving beef demand to pre-pandemic levels and beyond, spiking wholesale beef prices $20 per cwt. higher this week, and more than $34 per cwt. higher over two weeks.

Biden Admin's Methane Emission Curbs to Exceed Obama's -EPA Chief

The Biden administration’s curbs on methane will be more ambitious than those imposed by former President Barack Obama in an effort to achieve its overall targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade.

Parking Planters and Culling Cows: Early, Harsh Realities of North Dakota’s Growing Drought

North Dakota just endured its driest September to March ever on record. On Thursday, Governor Doug Burgum declared a state of emergency due to drought. Farmers are now forced to make tough decisions, early.

How Did the Pandemic Affect HR Practices in Agriculture?

Staffing, competition, culture and flexibility were important considerations for ag organizations in 2020. The pandemic impacted almost all aspects of daily work life. Here's a look at AgCareers.com's latest report.

containers_exports_trade
2021 Red Meat Export Outlook Remains Strong Despite Drop in February

February exports of U.S. pork and beef remained below the rapid pace established in early 2020. Still, exports were consistent with USMEF's February projections. Here's a look at the numbers.

National 4-H Thinks Biden's Infrastructure Plan Could Bridge the Rural, Urban Digital Divide

While critics say President Biden's infrastructure plan is too costly and includes more than infrastructure, proponents say it could help bridge the rural and urban digital divide.