On-Farm Demonstrations Quench Thirst for Water Knowledge
In an on-farm demonstration, nipple drinkers were replaced with water bowls in the nursery to see how water disappearance was affected. Water disappearance was reduced by 33% when the bowls were used and no negative effects on pig growth performance were noted. As water wastage was decreased, so was the amount of manure production and the costs associated with it. This should be monitored to ensure more solid manure is not produced as complications with removal could occur. The area needed to spread manure is decreased when water wastage is less which lessons the environmental footprint as well. Another demonstration looked at finishing barns using troughs with side panels and an integrated nipple drinker. Recent findings in Canadian barns showed that two thirds have flow rates that are too high for their nipple drinkers which increases water wastage. Water disappearance was reduced by 20% when adjusted. Each trough costs $167 per pen, with savings of $28.05 from less water wastage per pen and $57 per pen in manure disposal so it will take 2 to 3 years to recoup the investment made. Drawbacks for the trough include regular washing and greater potential for water contamination. On average, commercial farms in Canada waste up to 40-60% of water. Viable options are available to reduce costs associated with this that also aid the environment.
On-Farm Demonstrations Quench Thirst for Water Knowledge (full article)