how far does your livestock walk to water?

Help Support CattleToday:

A

Anonymous

I installed a watering system on 2 farms this spring to keep the cows in the individual rotational pastures. We have been rotational grazing for years but the cows had to walk up to 1/4 mile for water in the late summer. I laid 3/4 inch black plastic pipe along the fenceline with a faucett for every pasture. The biggest benefit I have seen so far from this effort is the nutrients are staying in the pasture not in the barn yard or lanes. I am also hoping that I can get a little boost of weaning weights out of this project as well. How far does your livestock have to walk to get water?
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Several years ago on the other farm we did the same thing. Now(on that farm) the maximum the cows are from water is 500 feet. We try to keep it at about that or maybe a little more on this farm, but only during breeding season. We water them in one place where we have the alleys and chute set up so that we can run them in the chute to breed if needed. As soon as we're done breeding we'll start using other pastures with water centrally located in each paddock or group of paddocks. Our weaning weights wet up substantially but we had made so many other changes at the same time that it's hard to pinpoint each contribution. One thing we did notice is that when water is more local to the cows that they come up to water as singles or ones and twos instead of the whole herd at one time. That allows you to have smaller water sources and less water volume required.

dun

> I installed a watering system on 2
> farms this spring to keep the cows
> in the individual rotational
> pastures. We have been rotational
> grazing for years but the cows had
> to walk up to 1/4 mile for water
> in the late summer. I laid 3/4
> inch black plastic pipe along the
> fenceline with a faucett for every
> pasture. The biggest benefit I
> have seen so far from this effort
> is the nutrients are staying in
> the pasture not in the barn yard
> or lanes. I am also hoping that I
> can get a little boost of weaning
> weights out of this project as
> well. How far does your livestock
> have to walk to get water?
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Thanx dun. If wean weights go up it will be an added bonus. The driving force behind the watering change was to keep the manure in the pastures. One of the farms is in the local city drinking water supply watershed. I think the cows are utilizing the pastures better on those two farms.

pat

> Several years ago on the other
> farm we did the same thing. Now(on
> that farm) the maximum the cows
> are from water is 500 feet. We try
> to keep it at about that or maybe
> a little more on this farm, but
> only during breeding season. We
> water them in one place where we
> have the alleys and chute set up
> so that we can run them in the
> chute to breed if needed. As soon
> as we're done breeding we'll start
> using other pastures with water
> centrally located in each paddock
> or group of paddocks. Our weaning
> weights wet up substantially but
> we had made so many other changes
> at the same time that it's hard to
> pinpoint each contribution. One
> thing we did notice is that when
> water is more local to the cows
> that they come up to water as
> singles or ones and twos instead
> of the whole herd at one time.
> That allows you to have smaller
> water sources and less water
> volume required.

> dun
 
OP
A

Anonymous

That's probably one of the biggest benefits, the manure thing. When a cow comes up by herself and gets a drink she will head back to the herd and they will lay around in the paddock rather then at the water point. If the travel much distance they will all come up at once and drink, lay around and ruminate then drink again take a dump and head back out to the paddock. They'll do it twice a day and that's a lot of nutrients dumped whhere it's least needed.

dun

> Thanx dun. If wean weights go up
> it will be an added bonus. The
> driving force behind the watering
> change was to keep the manure in
> the pastures. One of the farms is
> in the local city drinking water
> supply watershed. I think the cows
> are utilizing the pastures better
> on those two farms.

> pat
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> We are not so lucky to be able to install all those waterers . In several of our 160 acre pastures, there is one water source in each of those. On a few others, there is a creek that runs thru the pastures. On 2 other pastures, each has a good spring. So, we have asource in every 160 acre pasture, thats as far as they would have to walk.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

I would love to have 160 acres of pasture in one unit. That much pasture in one unit is extremely rare in maine. The biggest pature area we have is 40 plus or minus acres.

pat
 
OP
A

Anonymous

True, but don't feel too bad. I’ll bet your 40 will grow more grass than some folks’ 400, even with your short season. No matter where you look, the greater the need for water, the bigger the pastures. Makes sense if you think about it, but sometimes it doesn’t seem to. The good Lord does have a sense of humor.

Craig-TX
 
OP
A

Anonymous

We run about 1 pair per acre from may 15 thru oct 15 most years. I am always looking for a way to get more pounds per acre with minimual investment and improve the land base also. Pasture is my limiting factor on herd growth. We have ample land available to make hay on. There is no water source on most of the these fields and very costly to develop one.

pat

pat

> True, but don't feel too bad. I’ll
> bet your 40 will grow more grass
> than some folks’ 400, even with
> your short season. No matter where
> you look, the greater the need for
> water, the bigger the pastures.
> Makes sense if you think about it,
> but sometimes it doesn’t seem to.
> The good Lord does have a sense of
> humor.

> Craig-TX
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> I installed a watering system on 2
> farms this spring to keep the cows
> in the individual rotational
> pastures. We have been rotational
> grazing for years but the cows had
> to walk up to 1/4 mile for water
> in the late summer. I laid 3/4
> inch black plastic pipe along the
> fenceline with a faucett for every
> pasture. The biggest benefit I
> have seen so far from this effort
> is the nutrients are staying in
> the pasture not in the barn yard
> or lanes. I am also hoping that I
> can get a little boost of weaning
> weights out of this project as
> well. How far does your livestock
> have to walk to get water? 1/4 mile would be the max for our cows, with most of the time the average being 2-300yds. But they do love the fresh well water as they will bypass pond water on their way to drink the well water.TSR

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> It takes about 4 acres per pair here in SW ND.And thats on a year with decent rain. This year, we are so lucky, we have so much grass, could have ran an extra 25. Well put up extra hay this year, in case of drought like last year. But even last year with no rain, the cows got by ok. We have not over ran our land, and dont run the maximum it could carry, just for the purpose of a dry year, the 110 cows we got, will be adequatly fed on that dry year. We are SO lucky, even in the worst drought, our creek has never in 80 years dried up. And, we do have fresh water troughs in some of the fields.
 

Latest posts

Top