Warmer Water, Warmer Livestock

Beef | Posts

There’s nothing like a cup of cocoa, tea, or coffee when you come in from outside on one of these chilly December days. That fresh cup helps warm us up and restores us almost magically! That’s because it helps raise our body temperature, restoring warmth that the cold weather took away.

Beef cattle are well suited to outdoor life. When under a Summit Livestock monoslope, they gain the advantages of air movement and still have greater protection from the elements. In severe cold, cattle naturally forage to help keep warm. The increase in the dry matter of the hay provided helps keep cattle warmer. That’s because more heat is produced from the digestion of hay than that of grains and concentrates.

Research conducted by D.L. Brod, K.K. Bolsten and B.E. Brent of the University of Missouri compared different temperatures of water consumed by cattle in the winter and then evaluated how the water temperature influenced consumption and body temperature.

Each day, a dry cow consumes roughly 6 gallons of water. When a beef animal whose average temperature is 101.5°F consumes 6 gallons of water at 32°F, it means they are using a great deal of energy to warm that water up to their body temperature.

The U of M researchers conducted two trials demonstrating that cold water dropped the temperature of the rumen. Research results showed that offering warmer water increased intake and reduced their energy needs, factors that combined reduce overall stress and improve health.

Do you have more questions that are not covered in this article? If you need help designing and planning, please contact Summit Livestock Facilities at 800.213.0567 or click here to email us. If you are ready to get a price, click here to request a quote and a member of our customer engagement team will help you determine the next steps of your project.