WATER FOR ANIMALS The bodies of animals, as we have learned, are more than half water. This quantity of milk but of low quality, while others give a smaller amount of milk but of high quality. From the standpoint of the feeder it is not so much the quantity of milk that must be considered as it is the quality. It is the amount of dry matter produced in the milk which must be made the basis of calculation. The water in the milk is of minor importance from the feeder's standpoint. The various matters per taining to the selection of rations for dairy cows, the effect of foods on quan tity and quality of milk, etc, belong to the subject of dairy farming and will be found discussed there.
water is distributed in every portion of the body including the bones. The soft tissues of the body contain 45 to 75 per cent of water, while the blood is at least SO per cent water.
Water serves many different func tions in the body. As a diluent of the digestive fluids it permits them to act more efficiently in softening and chemi cally changing the food constituents into soluble forms. Concentrated food solutions must be diluted before they can be absorbed into the circulation. In the blood and lymph the water serves as a means or transporting the fond nutrients to every part of the body. In the urine, perspiration and breath it carries away waste material.
It plays a highly important role in controlling the temperature of the body. By evaporation from the skin it absorbs the body heat and thus reduces the tem perature. During hard work and with liberal feeding the abundant heat lib erated would raise the temperature of the body to a dangerously high degree were it not for the increased evapora tion of water which takes place from the body and thus maintains the normal body temperature. Heavy work in the heated days of haying and harvesting is made possible only by the abundant perspiration of the body which accom panies it.
Any failure in the water supply animals causes serious functional de rangements. Both digestion and absorp tion are delayed, the nitrogenous waste materials are only slowly washed out of the tissues, the blood gradually thick ens, the temperature is raised and the body becomes feverish. There is an in crease in the consumption of the nitrog enous and fat tissues of the body which continues until death or until water is supplied in sufficient amount to restore the water content of the body to its normal state.
Need of water for young animals Kelluer states that young growing ani mals may be seriously injured in growth and development by a deficiency in the amount of water supplied them. A long continued, insufficient amount of water causes a loss of appetite for solid food, a prominent breaking out and diarrhea the latter -when after a long period of thirst water is again given. For all these reasons animals can live longer without food than without water. Amount of water animals require Animals secure a large part of the water they need in the food supplied them. Additional amounts are usually required, especially if dry feeds are given, and this is supplied as free water. The amount of water that animals require is usually left to the animals themselves, i. e., they are allowed to drink until their thirst is satisfied. There is no danger from over watering unless the animals are compelled to eat watery feeds or are given excessive quantities of salt. It has been found that the actual water requirements of animals for each pound of dry matter eaten is about 7 to 8 pounds for swine, 4 to G pounds for cattle, 2 to 3 pounds for horses and 2 to 3 pounds for sheep. More is required in hot weather or hard work, when per spiration is abundant, than in cooler weather or rest. The above figures in clude the amount of water given in the food.
Temperature of water has been said regarding the temperature at which water should be drunk. Water when taken into the body must be warmed by the animal to the temperature of the body. If the water is very cold, more heat is required than if it is drunk at a higher temperature. Ordinarily there is abundant heat in the body to warm up the water drunk if taken in small amounts and the animal can do it more cheaply than it can be warmed in a boiler with coal or wood. When given large draughts of water at one time or fed large quantities of cold fodder like frozen silage or beet pulp, there is re quired a larger amount of heat to raise the temperature of the material to the temperature of the body. In such cases the energy may be drawn from that used for productive purposes in which case it is a direct expense in food materials be sides being dangerous to health. Fresh water at a temperature of 60 to 70° F. is likely to prove most satisfactory for all stock.
Pure waterThe drinking water of animals should be as pure as that used by man. It should be coloiless and odor less with a fresh agreeable flavor, Brooks, wells or ponds which receive the drainage water of the barnyard or other surface drainage should not be used as the source of the drinking water of farm stock. The presence in water of any such material as ammonia, table salt, nitric acid, etc, indicates contamination and impure water.
Farm animals prefer soft running or standing water to hard water, acccord ing to Kellner. They can accustom themselves however, to unusually hard water without serious digestive disturb ances. Horses and sheep are more easily injured by impure water than other animals. Cattle and swine are less demanding in this respect. Since, how ever, impure water is a carrier of dis ease, every effort should be made to place before all farm animals a permanent supply of soft, pure, fresh, agreeable water at all times.