A major component of milk is water; almost 90%. The quantity and quality of drinking water are vital for the cow and a prerequisite for milk production. A highly productive cow drinks up to 150 liters per day. Sufficient and good drinking troughs are therefore a must in every barn.
Every cow must have free access to a drinking trough, including the low-ranking animals. This means that at least two troughs are needed for each group. A good guideline is that 10% of the group should be able to drink at the same time. The standard for group drinking troughs is 7 to 10 cm of drinking surface per cow. Stock drinkers are available in various sizes and can provide an average of 15 to 35 cows with fresh drinking water. Anindividual drinking trough can accommodate an average of 15 cows.
The drinking troughs are distributed throughout the group with enough space around them so that cows can drink safely. Sufficient space around the drinking trough is also the key to preventing manure from getting into the drinking trough. Additional concern is the water supply immediately after milking; this is precisely when the animals are thirsty.
A cow can drink as much as 20 liters of water per minute, so a quick supply is critical. Older types of troughs generally cannot meet the water needs of fast drinking cows; the water pressure is too low for this. In addition, the older types of troughs - consider, for example, the concrete troughs still found in many barns - are often difficult to clean, compromising water quality. Leftover feed residue in the water is a source of bacterial growth.
A cow drinks with her nose; she is picky about the smell and taste of water. Hygiene is therefore particularly important. The ideal trough prevents the adhesion of dirt and is easy to clean. In practice, many drinking bowls are used made of stainless steel, partially or completely etched for a smooth surface. Drinkers with a sloped bottom and outlet are easy to empty and clean completely. A large water surface is preferred. The cow prefers to drink with her head bent slightly downward. Therefore, the mounting height of the trough is also important.
Installing an additional stock drinking trough in an existing barn is basically always possible. Even if there are no concrete end walls available. Spinder developed the Pingo renovation trough; a complete set with plastic ( cubicle) wall to the floor, which can be placed both on the slats and on the cubicle deck. The plastic wall ensures that it remains dry behind the trough. This means that placement is possible almost anywhere in the barn, even in the feed fence line or next to the feeding station.
Pingo Reno can be pre-assembled outside the barn and then installed, complete with back wall, in one go. This significantly reduces the assembly time in the barn and minimizes disturbance to the cows.
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