Access to fresh, clean water
- Cows drink approximately 45l/head of water each day over the winter period.
- Ensure that the water is easily accessible to reduce energy output used walking to a trough, and reduce the risk of a cow choosing to drink from a dirty puddle.
“We use a portable trough with click in water fittings and non-return valves. It is so easy to shift that the team do it daily. This way we know that our cows always have fresh water nearby.”
- Set up the paddock early, while the soil is drier, to save time in winter.
- If you are laying out baleage, remember to keep bales out of swales and lower lying areas of the paddock, and away from waterways.
“No one knows my cows like me – I check them at the graziers place every week.”
Reduce soil damage by using a back fence. The back fence will reduce the herds walking therefore reducing the soil damage caused by treading the soil.
Treading damage seals the soil surface, resulting in more water moving across the soil (runoff), which increases the loss of soil and nutrients. Move the back fence and portable trough at least weekly for the best results.
By protecting the ground behind a back fence, this can be used as contingency planning for when animals need a drier place to lie down and rest.
Giving animals space in the break means they can choose where to lie and where to take shelter, something that is important to cows.