Research published in the spring edition of the bovine practitioner shows just how important it is to provide clean, fresh water to calves in hutches or individual pens.

When researchers at UtahStateUniversity changed the water in calf buckets every 14 days instead of every day, it hurt calf growth rates both before and after weaning. The table below summarizes pre- and post-weaning growth rates for calves on a daily, seven-day or 14-day water-changing schedule.

Treatment rate also increased 40 percent for the calves on the 14-day water-changing schedule versus calves on the daily and seven-day schedules.


Gains improve with frequent changes

 

Daily

Every seven days
Every 14 days
Pre-weaning average daily gain (pounds)
1.55
1.48
1.4
Post-weaning average daily gain (pounds)
3.12
3.01
2.9

Source: The Bovine Practitioner, Vol. 40, No. 1, Spring 2006