Fertrell Blog

Is Stray Voltage Affecting Water Intake?

Are your animals getting enough water?  I write this in the middle of November when cows are finally slowing down on their daily intake of water.  But that does not mean water intake is not just as important in the cooler season as it is the warmer season.  Cows always need water!  Craig Thomas, from Michigan State University asks, “Do you know which land-based mammal has the highest daily drinking water requirement (per unit pound of body weight)? Elephant? Rhinoceros? Hippopotamus? These may be good guesses, but the answer is the modern dairy cow.”

                Many of your animals are still out on pasture, so ask yourself “where do they drink their water?”  Most people would think about stray voltage only in the barn.  But that is not the only place we need to think of.  Many farmers have the water troughs directly under their fences.  Even though this is the most convenient place to let the water source, it is a bad spot.  Having the water right under the fence can cause stray voltage to go into the water.  And this will stop the cows from drinking as much as they need.  A good sign of this is if when watching the herd you can see them just lapping at the top of the water instead of diving in like a thirsty animal should.  Just moving the water source out away from the fence can fix this problem quickly. 

Also, another tip in preventing stray voltage is making sure your fence charger is at least 50 feet away from all buildings.  And how often do you have your trainers on?  Remember they are only there to train the cows, not to be left on all the time.  Having them running constantly is enough to prevent the cows from drinking what they need even when they are in the tie stalls.

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