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Water Consumption

Water Consumption

Definition and how to find it

Water Consumption is the amount of water used by the herd/flock (or a smaller group) in a given day. It is a volumetric measurement, best expressed in litres per day. It is often a very useful number in livestock dosing applications because it can be used to provide a rough FLOW RATE.

However, when deciding on a dosing system for intensive farming such as pig and poultry farming, water consumption is sometimes critical to know for periods of less than a full day (when dosing live vaccines with short, 4 hour lifespans for example).

But if you are looking to dose livestock in more extensive environments (such as sheep, cattle, or any other free-range stock), there is a very simple method to work out your water consumption and, with it, your FLOW RATE.


USDA Photo by: Larry Rana

This is Hamish. He’s an Angus Steer, weighing about 350kg. He drinks and grazes with 99 of his friends. Some are larger, others smaller, but Hamish is about average.

Like most other livestock, Hamish and his friends drink roughly 10% of their bodyweight in water each day. So Hamish (being an average steer) drinks 35kg (or 35 Litres) of water ever day. Multiply this average by the total number of steers in the group (100) and you get 3500. This is the average WATER CONSUMPTION in litres per day.


This formula is applicable to all species of livestock, but you often need to account for some level of seasonal variation in consumption. If in doubt, give us a call and speak to one of our dosing experts for more information on water consumption.