Cows Coming Home For Water?

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Well-known member
Mar 4, 2015
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Central Texas
This is my concern. From another thread ya'll might recall I fenced off a back 30 acres with electric. Havent let the cows out on days I work except today. All the other days I had to go down about 5pm and bring them home to drink water with some calling cubes on my ATV. The only water on the property is at the house. Our property is long and skinny and not all cleared out. So a 100 acres turns into a longer distance then a box shape property. A mixture of ravines, deer trails, woods and pasture so not a straight shot home. How long can a cow go without drinking? Is it normal for them not to come back throughout the day when far away? They used to come back mid day to drink when in the front 60. My concern is the dehydrated ones might not come due to the herd instinct. Never ran into this before. Its been in the mid 80's today. Any thoughts?
Where my wife had her ranch in the high desert on the Oregon / Nevada line it was 5 or 6 miles between water holes. I worked on a ranch in Eastern Washington where it was well over a mile between water holes. This was some extremely rugged country (horse or foot travel, no quad) they found the water just fine. Cows didn't die from dehydration. If you have shown them the way back a time or two they will find it on there own when they get thirsty.
Great. That was my concern. I have shown them the way home atleast 5 times. If I hadnt been on this place so long I could get lost in the thick stuff. The well on that part of the ranch broke years ago.
When our water points are distant from the herd, they will come in once a day and hang around the water for a good while then drink again and drift on away
The problems come from when they don't hang around and head right back for shade or something. The weaker ones and calves don't get a chance to drink before the herd heads back and they just follow.

It pays to ensure cattle have good water and good water access.

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