Managing Water Intake, Auditing Best Management Practices
Water is the nutrient that is required in the greatest amount, though it often receives the least amount of attention. Finisher pigs’ water intake is up to three times their feed intake, though a lot of the water intake reported includes water wastage. Nipple drinkers that are well-managed still waste 25% of water in finishing pigs. Flow rates and nipple drinker heights were measured in 24 Canadian farms. Water management within farms varies with each phase of production. Nursery and gestation pens had better managed flow rates while in finishing the flow rates were often too high with only 30% being optimally adjusted. In a 6,000-head finishing barn, water wastage expenses may be as high as $114/day or $40,000/year. Well managed nipple drinkers can reduce water waste to the same level as bowl drinkers. If the nipple drinker is mounted at 450, it should be 5 cm or 2 inches above the back of the smallest pig in the pen. If it is mounted at 900, it should be set to shoulder height.
Managing Water Intake, Auditing Best Management Practices (full article)