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What’s the Cow Drinking Behavior?

Views:95     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2019-09-24      Origin:Site

What’s the Cow Drinking Behavior?

Water is the most important and critical nutrient element for the life activity and production performance of dairy cows. Although people have studied in depth and paid close attention to a variety of nutritional elements that are very important to cows, such as energy, protein, fiber, minerals, vitamins, calcium and phosphorus, and so on. All kinds of nutrients were added to the diet to pursue the balance of dairy cow nutrition, but the problem of drinking water has not been paid enough attention to. This may be because water is cheap and can be found everywhere; in fact, we all know the importance of water to any animal, especially to cows: any land animal has a great deal in its body. About 80% of the weight in any land animal is made up of water. Therefore, a good cow breeder must not neglect the management of cow drinking water.

Let’s introduce cow Metabolic characteristic.In animals, water is involved in many important physiological and biochemical reactions, such as digestion and absorption, metabolism of energy and various nutrients, and transport of various nutrients and metabolites through blood cells,the excretion process of metabolites, as well as the need for animal maintenance, and so on. Water is essential to the physiological activity of any animal. Without water, the physiological function of the animal will decline or even stop. There is 60% less than 80% water in animals. The proportion of water in different tissues is different. Most tissues contain 70% less than 80% water, and only bone and adipose tissue contain only 20% water. For a cow, the change of water content in the body depends on its physiological stage, age and body condition, and those who are fat have the lowest water content in the body. In the early and middle stages of lactation, the water content in cattle was the highest (81% of body weight in cows) ( Young cattle contained more water than old cattle.)

To take good care of cows, we need to know cow drinking behaviors.


The provision of free drinking water is the most important channel for dairy cows to supply drinking water. The daily drinking water required by cows of different ages and physiological stages is between 15 and 35L. When providing suitable drinking water programs for different cow groups, we should according to the drinking water habits of dairy cows. And through the drinking water management to provide sufficient drinking water for dairy cows. Here are some factors affecting water intake of cows.

1. Water consumption 

It was found that the most important factors affecting the intake of drinking water in lactating cows under the condition of free drinking water were the amount of dry matter eaten, the amount of milk produced, the percentage of dry matter content in feed, and the climatic conditions.

2.  Climatic conditions

Climate conditions are an important factor leading to the change of cow drinking water, and the high temperature weather will increase the amount of water. At an ambient temperature of 32, the requirement for drinking water for the cow is 2~4 times larger than that at 2~10°C. It is reported that when the ambient temperature rises from 18°C to 30°C, the amount of water intake increases by 29%. However, the increase in the drinking water volume of dairy cows caused by high temperature in summer is mainly used to cope with the effects of heat stress.

animal feeder

3. Water appliances

Cows prefer drinking water with cow drinking bowls. A practical study in a dairy farm pointed out that the depth of water in the water drinker should be kept at 7 cm, which can facilitate cows to drink comfortably through the mouth and nose of the 2~5cm below the surface of the water. According to a study from Brazil, the form and height of water drinkers are also very important for how much cows drink. Cows using large water drinking bowls (139 cm long, 95 cm wide, high 60cm) spend more time drinking water than smaller ones(126 cm long and 68 cm wide,high 30 cm).

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