Water: availability, quality and consumption for ruminants.

 Sánchez -Mejorada P. A. Water: availability, quality and consumption for ruminants.

Association of Veterinarians Specialists in cattle .
El Siglo de Torreon. Jan 12, 2014 , Mexico .

Even in drought conditions like we have live in recent years and , despite the large amount of attention given to other essential nutrients by MVZ , nutritionists and livestock as a nutrient and water quality have not been adequately examined until lately . Even today , drinking water is rarely considered a potentially limiting factor for productivity and health of ruminants and rarely have information about the 2 main initial factors to assess the adequacy of the supply of water as a nutrient in any stable How much animals eat ? and What is the water quality?. Drinking water for ruminants has been a relatively abundant and cheap resource , but this is changing , in  developed countries whith production systems similar to ours as the central part of the southern and western U.S. , as well as emerging economies such as Mexico and in developing countries.

However, ruminants such as dairy cattle , they also hold a unique niche in the production of food and other tangible to humans for their ability to consume fibrous foods and lower quality , for example , forages, and agricultural byproducts Beddings are not directly usable as food by humans and other non-ruminants and have the ability to convert into energy , vitamins , fats and high quality protein for humans . This unique ability of ruminants depends heavily on having sufficient quantities of water for maintenance, digestion, absorption and assimilation. However, if we are to sustain the growing demand for animal products and improve the standard of living of the population at the local , regional and global level , conservation and recycling of water for various methods, as in numerous stables Laguna region will be critical .

Water is necessary for life. The animals that serve humanity as sources of food, fertilizer , pulling , recreation, social status and prosperity have a compulsory need for water. Ruminants , such as cattle, sheep and goats, hold a unique place in the human food chain , capable of consuming highly fibrous foods , protein foods of poor quality, or both and turn them into energy and nutrients of high biological value for humans. It is important that , for this conversion by microorganisms , mainly in the rumen and reticulum of the digestive tract , their assimilation into the ruminant tissues requires sufficient water . Recent estimates animal agriculture in the production of grains and forages used approximately 8 % of the global water supply available ( Schlink et al. , 2010). However, only about 1 % is used as drinking water and product and service activities of animal origin. The rest of the water is used to irrigate forage crops , such as alfalfa, corn and other cereals for grain and fodder silage and as well as high energy foods of high protein such as corn , soybeans and others to use in intensive livestock production as in the Laguna Region .

The recent estimates suggest that , when considering the bioavailability of each kilogram of protein produced by human beings , the water use efficiency in the total animal agriculture is not different compared to the one used to produce vegetable proteins, only in the production of soybean  water use is more efficient that in producing milk, chicken and goat meat , and in any vegetable protein production is more efficiently in water than egg protein ( Hoekstra and Chapagain , 2007; Schlink et al, 2010 ) .  However, the animal sector is growing faster than any other agricultural sector, which is apparently related to the improvement of living standards and increased demand for high-quality animal protein in many countries. The growth and spread of human populations and contamination of surface and groundwater in many developed and developing countries is reducing the margin between available water supply and demand of human and animals.




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7 years ago

Thank you for a great information about ruminants.