Water accounts for 50-80 per cent of an animal's overall weight and is involved in every physiological process. Managing water quality should be as important as the feed source and ration planning in any livestock management program.
Livestock require water in sufficient quantities and of sufficient quality for optimum health and growth. The total water needs of livestock are met through a combination of the water contained in feed and drinking water obtained separately from feed.
Intake of water depends on several physiological and environmental factors including size and type of animal, physiological state, activity level, diet, weather conditions, water quality, and ease of access.
The following table lists typical water consumption values for livestock. All other factors being equal, the primary variable affecting water consumption is temperature.
Typical daily water requirement for range livestock