Looking back on last year, where we experienced an extended drought and little or no grass growth, it was incredibly important that animals were kept hydrated, in order to maintain milk yield, body condition and general animal welfare.
As we approach another summer period, where excessive heat is possible, it is essential your water system is consistently performing to a high standard. On average, a cow will drink up to 10 litres on a cold, damp day, while on warmer, drier days a cow could drink between 90-140 litres each. According to Teagasc, a 150-cow herd will drink on average 10,000 litres per day.
Murphy Concrete’s top tips for ensuring an efficient water system this summer:
Location, location, location
Ensuring your trough is in the most efficient location for your herd is essential. Many farmers place their drinking troughs under electric fencing or along the perimeter of the paddock, however at Murphy Concrete, we recommend placing the trough in the middle of the paddock where it is easily accessible for the herd.
It is also important to remember as you increase your herd, you should also increase the capacity of your troughs. At any one time, 10% of your herd should be able to fit around the drinking trough.
Key mistakes to avoid
- Ensure pipe size is correct. If the pipe is too small it can disrupt the flow of water to the trough and reduce water pressure. The pipe should have a diameter of at least 1 ¼ inches.
- It is important the drinking trough is the correct size for your herd. If the drinking trough is too small, the water reserve will be too low for the requirements of your herd.
- Be sure the drinking trough is filling at the correct speed. One way to identify this is if there is a queue at the drinking trough. If this is the case, the ballcock is too small for the trough and needs to be replaced.
Murphy Concrete drinking troughs
At Murphy Concrete, we are dedicated to providing high quality precast concrete drinking troughs for our customers which can help improve their water systems. We have troughs to suit all herd sizes, from 50 cows to over 300 cows, in both bottom and top fill styles. According to John Murphy, Managing Director, “our unique design is made from 45N concrete with reinforced steel and fiber mesh mixed construction ensuring our troughs can withstand very harsh conditions. Due to the materials used, water stays cooler and fresher for longer than in a standard plastic trough.”
To learn more about the Murphy Concrete range of precast drinking troughs, click here.