How much water do my animals need?

Dec 05, 2018

Like with humans, water is the most important requirement for your livestock. But how much can you expect each animal to consume?

A number of factors can affect your livestock’s water consumption, including temperature, diet, pregnancy, lactation and animal weight. Healthy levels of water consumption ensure that an animal will maintain its body weight, body temperature and overall health. Without enough water they will become dehydrated and malnourished.


The following chart can be used as a guide, but please note that these calculations are approximate only.

Litres of water per head per day
Poultry 100 - 250mls
Sheep 3 to 12 litres
Goat 4 to 10 litres
Alpaca 2 to 12 litres
Deer 6 to 12 litres
Pig 10 to 35 litres
Horse 18 to 45 litres
Beef Cow 30 to 55 litres
Dairy Cow 30 to 75 litres

*The higher numbers represent the amount of water recommended for lactating animals or hot conditions.

During extremes in temperature, animals use more energy to either cool down or stay warm. As a result, they will drink more water in order to stay hydrated. To control this increased need for water it is a good idea to use field shelters.


Why having a field shelter is good practice for any livestock owner

Most animals are generally pretty hardy, but it's still good practice to have quality shelter to protect them from freezing winds and blistering sun. Horses, goats, sheep and alpacas can usually handle rainy, windy, or cold temperatures, but when these elements combine, animals can become chilled.
Most vulnerable are stock that are old, young, thin, not well or newly shorn. Animals can also get sunburn and frostbite, just as people do.
A shelter’s main purpose is to protect livestock from cold wind, drifting snow, rain and extremely high or low temperatures. 

Protecting animals from these harmful weather extremes will decrease their need for water and food. This controls costs and increases animal comfort.

Outpost Paddock Shelters are specially designed for protecting calves, alpacas, pigs, goats and lambs from weather extremes. The benefits of housing your livestock in an paddock shelter can be seen in the animal’s overall development. For example, using Paddock Shelters for calves can increase growth rates by up to 20%.

Outpost offer a range of relocatable shelters to protect vulnerable livestock. Specialising in housing livestock, they provide high quality kitset building solutions for horses, pigs, alpaca, calves, lambs and chicken houses.

Properly designed open front shelters supply excellent weather protection, allowing animals to come and go as necessary. A very popular option available is the Outpost Shelter with Tack Shed. This provides a roomy, three-sided shelter for horses with an adjoining shed for storing feed and hay.

Using a relocatable shelter such as the  Borderland Paddock Shelter or the Lifestyle Paddock Shelter means the shelter can follow your livestock pasture rotation pattern. Also, if the weather is wet you can keep mud levels down by moving the shelter to fresh ground.

Constructed with sturdy timber framing combined with quality corrugated iron or Colorsteel roofing, Outpost shelters provide strong, lasting protection for vulnerable stock. For areas where high winds are a particular problem, Ground Anchor Kits are also available.

For more options, please take a look at our range of livestock shelters, farm storage and garden sheds.


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