Distance to water

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SRBeef

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I moved my cattle to a new pasture now that I just got up some new fence. This is about 1/4 to 1/2 mile from my main waterer. It is near a hydrant so I put in a simple galvanized stock tank with a short hose and float valve as a temporary source until we get to a hard freeze.

They immediately went over to it and started drinking like they had not seen water, although I know they were at the other waterer a few hours earlier.

I have always felt drinking a lot of water is good for cattle. This stock tank is right in the middle of some lush fresh pasture.

This gets me wondering what effect distance to water has on total water consumption? OR is this just a novelty of a shiny new larger tank?

Anyone have some opinions on the effect of distance to water?

Jim
 

dun

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In this case it's probably the novelty.
The main problem with them having to cover a distance4 to reach water is their tendency to then hang aorund the water and deposit the manure closer to it before ythey get another drink and head out for another grazing period. Jim Gerish uses 700-900 feet as the maximum an animal should have to cover to reach water.
 
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SRBeef

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dieselbeef":wkk3zoni said:
is it the same water source..cuz ya know itll taste diff...

Yes they are both the same well water. Other than one is a concrete waterer and the other is galvanized steel no difference. The steel tank is larger so they can get into it a bit more - more water surface area.

Watching them this morning as I am putting up electric wire inside the new fence I believe it is probably all the new grazing, lots of clover, the heat and the novelty of the new tank.

It would be extremely difficult in my hilly, rocky,partially wooded terrain to keep them within 900 ft of water in all pastures. Year around water lines should be 6-8 ft deep. Probably impossible.

Thank you. Jim
 

Brute 23

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In most cases animals will go for the fresh water from a well over some thing out of a tank or river. Deer, hogs, cattle, dogs all will pick out freshest/ cleanest water they can find.
 
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SRBeef

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Here's a picture of the small tank installation.

IMG_1582.JPG


This new pasture has a good stand of clover and I want to let the other pastures rest for 30 days or so until the weather gets too cold for this garden hose system....

It gets the job done.

This is some of the best well water you will find. They are drinking a lot of it with it right on the edge of the pasture. I hoping a lot of water will keep the chance of bloat down too.

Jim
 

grubbie

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talldog":53i0da46 said:
Jim Gerish uses 700-900 feet as the maximum an animal should have to cover to reach water
I'm going to think on this statement !!! :???: :???:
Yeah,....maybe Im not understanding something here, either. Most cattle have to travel miles, not feet, to water in this part of the country. The same applies on our place. Most times they only come to water every other day. (And they are big, happy, and healthy, by the way). And, from the looks of your green vegetation there is a lot more water in their feed than this brown stuff ours eat. Maybe I'm just not getting the context of the statement, but I just can't say that I agree with Jim Gerish.
 

dun

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grubbie":22wjcouw said:
talldog":22wjcouw said:
Jim Gerish uses 700-900 feet as the maximum an animal should have to cover to reach water
I'm going to think on this statement !!! :???: :???:
Yeah,....maybe Im not understanding something here, either. Most cattle have to travel miles, not feet, to water in this part of the country. The same applies on our place. Most times they only come to water every other day. (And they are big, happy, and healthy, by the way). And, from the looks of your green vegetation there is a lot more water in their feed than this brown stuff ours eat. Maybe I'm just not getting the context of the statement, but I just can't say that I agree with Jim Gerish.
Range conditions are a totally different deal then pasture. In the desert ours had to cover 3-7 miles between waterholes. They had a good deal of Brahman in them to facilitate they're ability/desire to cover ground. The british breeds typically never got more then a mile from water and it showed. The forage was eaten to the ground close to water and progressively got that way further and further away.
Jim Gerrish is a huge proponent of rotational grazing, in that context the 700-900 feet is probably viable.
 

mnmtranching

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I would not consider 1/2 mile to far from a water source. :???:
Do any of you know that most range cattle would consider 1/2 mile to water close?
 

kenny thomas

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I agree with Dun. I do rotational graze and 600ft is the most distance to water in any pasture. Even with that the grass closest to the water is grazed more.
 

msscamp

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grubbie":46rwvxrk said:
Yeah,....maybe Im not understanding something here, either. Most cattle have to travel miles, not feet, to water in this part of the country. The same applies on our place. Most times they only come to water every other day. (And they are big, happy, and healthy, by the way). And, from the looks of your green vegetation there is a lot more water in their feed than this brown stuff ours eat. Maybe I'm just not getting the context of the statement, but I just can't say that I agree with Jim Gerish.

I'm thinking the same thing. Most of our pastures on the ranch were a full section of land. The stock tanks were usually located centrally within those pastures, but the cattle had to travel a whole lot more than 900' to reach them. They never hung out around the tank unless it was really hot, either. Even after we sold out and bought the current place, they still had to travel a good 1/2 mile to reach water. They were in the corrals at the tanks twice a day, didn't linger around the tank all that much, and it didn't seem to have any effect on them.
 

talldog

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msscamp":16g19nu1 said:
grubbie":16g19nu1 said:
Yeah,....maybe Im not understanding something here, either. Most cattle have to travel miles, not feet, to water in this part of the country. The same applies on our place. Most times they only come to water every other day. (And they are big, happy, and healthy, by the way). And, from the looks of your green vegetation there is a lot more water in their feed than this brown stuff ours eat. Maybe I'm just not getting the context of the statement, but I just can't say that I agree with Jim Gerish.

I'm thinking the same thing. Most of our pastures on the ranch were a full section of land. The stock tanks were usually located centrally within those pastures, but the cattle had to travel a whole lot more than 900' to reach them. They never hung out around the tank unless it was really hot, either. Even after we sold out and bought the current place, they still had to travel a good 1/2 mile to reach water. They were in the corrals at the tanks twice a day, didn't linger around the tank all that much, and it didn't seem to have any effect on them.
Half mile is probably the norm here with most ranchers I know. I have two behind the house sectioned off where I'd say the distance to fresh water is probably 400 yds.
 

mnmtranching

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kenny thomas":14fu7xat said:
I agree with Dun. I do rotational graze and 600ft is the most distance to water in any pasture. Even with that the grass closest to the water is grazed more.

This is the length of 2 football fields, and your cows eat down the grass closer to the tanks then eat the grass at the far side of the pasture? 600 feet :eek: :shock: Sorry but this is REALLY funny! :lol2: :lol2: :lol2:
 
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SRBeef

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kenny thomas":57g2kdc9 said:
What can I say, I must have lazy cows. :help: They will eat what is close to them when they come to water.

My cattle may rest near the water, actually probably more likely to rest in the shade of the trees. But when it comes to grazing time they circle the paddock more or less in a group. Maybe this is just because they are used to rotational grazing and figure they better get it while they can, but they do tend to graze together and move around. The grass near the water ends up at about the same height after grazing as most of the rest of the paddock.

I believe there is something to the idea of "mob grazing". If you restrict them to a smaller area they tend to feel more immediacy to grazing. So if one moves the others figure she found some good grass and follow around the field like that.

Jim
 

mnmtranching

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talldog":3re264ya said:
kenny thomas":3re264ya said:
One difference could be even though I rotational graze I do not intensive graze. I only move them once a week.
How many cows to the acre !!! What size are your pastures???

600 feet that would be what 5-6 acres? Cows eat the grass down close to the water :shock: KT should put the tank in the center of the large pasture so's the cows don't have to walk so far. :nod: :cowboy:
 

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