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Watering behavior sheep/goats

Factors affecting the drinking behaviour:

  1. The hierarchy within the heard since dominant animals take possession of the water points.
  2. Insufficient number of drinkers reduces the drinking time and frequency, and causes queueing phenomena at the drinker.

Drinking behavior
Nursing goats and ewes indoors

  • Drinking frequency/day: 5 to 20
  • Volume per drinking time: 0,4 to 0,7 l
  • Time spent drinking/day: 1 to 2 minutes
  • Single drinking time: approximately 15 to 20 seconds
  • Intake speed: 1,5 to 3,5 l/minut

Average daily water consumption
On pasture and indoors

Variables determining the water consumption indoors:

  • Dry matter intake:Ewes = 1,8 to 2,5 l of water per kg of DMIGoats = 1,7 to 2,6 l of water per kg of DMI
  •  Milk Production:Ewes = 3,5 to 4,5 l of water per kg of milkGoats = 1,3 to 2,2 l of water per kg of milk• Dry-matter content of the ration
  • Climatic conditions (temperature and relative humidity)
  • Live weight of the animal• Stage of gestation (intake increases towards the end of thegestation)
  • Number of foetus (intake increases with the number of foetus)
  • Intake of NaCl

Percentage of water and food
Intake per hour

The water intake happens primarily during the day: more than 80 % of the volume is taken in between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.The night activity is very low: less than 1 % of the daily volume is taken in between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.Peaks occur during the distribution of the ration and at the exit of the milking parlour.

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