A water trough is an essential piece of farm equipment. Properly managing them throughout a warm summer is vital to ensuring the good health and wellbeing of your livestock. We’ve compiled a list of our top tips to ensure you properly maintain your water troughs throughout the Summer of 2020.
1. Keep An Eye Out For Algae Growth
Algae impacts water quality and can make livestock sick. Commonly found during spring and summer, it’s important to monitor your water troughs for algae growth and to implement some procedures to prevent its growth in the first place. Be sure to scrub your troughs regularly – once a week or more depending on the level of algae growth.
Seek shade – placing your troughs in the shade removes sunlight which is a key component for algae to grow in troughs. Finally, add a sulfate which reduces algae growth – speak to your veterinarian about the best formulation to use. Avoid the use of sulfate with sheep.
2. Clean Regularly
As well as algae being a problem found in troughs, dirty troughs can lead to contaminated water. This can cause disease and reduce the water intake of your animals. Clean water means healthier livestock. We recommend cleaning your water troughs thoroughly every 3-5 days. The best method for cleaning your trough is to empty all water and scrub the trough with a stiff-bristled brush and detergent (such as dish soap) then rinse.
The placement of your water troughs will be vital in ensuring they remain clean and are a safe space for your livestock to congregate. Troughs should be raised to prevent water wastage and animals defecating or trampling in the troughs. It is also important to place stones around the water trough to prevent trampling and to keep the area dry. As previously mentioned, locating troughs away from direct sunlight reduces the risk of algae growth.
4. Single Purpose
Ensure your water troughs have one purpose and one purpose only – to hold water. Using water troughs for the distribution of animal feed for example can lead to dirty water as these materials will scratch the surface of the trough which gives a place for algae or other contaminants to grow.
5. Consider Your Livestock’s Water Intake
If you require water troughs for dairy cattle, then their level of water consumption is a key consideration. During warm, summer weather a cow’s daily water requirement is 90L compared to damp, wet weather when it is just 10L. Providing adequate levels of water is vital for milk production.
Low levels of water intake lead to reduced feed intake, less daily gain and lower milk production. It is important to have water troughs outside your milking parlour as cows will often be most thirsty after milking. It is therefore important to ensure your water troughs are meeting your cow’s water requirements during warm summers
Buy Your Water Troughs with Carlow Concrete Tanks
Here at Carlow Concrete Tanks we offer a wide range of water troughs suitable for cattle and pigs ranging from 140 gallon to 500 gallon. These troughs are made from 50kN concrete and feature a type AA air gap to comply with backflow to water schemes regulations. Contact us today on 059 915 9100 where we can discuss our full range of water troughs with you.