Water Quality Influences Swine Herd Productivity

CANADA - A swine nutritionist with the University of Manitoba says the quality of water provided to pigs plays a key role in their productivity, according to Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 11 February 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Water plays a key role in swine nutrition and is a major factor influencing feed intake.

Dr Martin Nyachoti, a professor with the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, says most water used in western Canadian swine production comes from wells but, if a unit is close to a city, city water can be used and in some areas producers use water from dugouts so quality will vary.

Dr Martin Nyachoti-University of Manitoba

The main descriptors of water quality is really dissolved mineral content.

There is values that have been stated that we can't really go beyond.

For example the amount of sulfates or amount of nitrates in the water needs to be within a certain range.

Otherwise then it affects the performance of your pigs or, for some of the minerals such as calcium carbonate, they will plug up water delivery systems and that will affect water delivery to pigs and will have an effect on performance in that sense.

The nutritional factors that affect water intake basically relates to the level of things such as protein levels in the diet.

Higher protein levels will increase water intake because pigs will need to excrete any excess nitrogen that they can't store in the body so it has to be excreted in urine.

Some minerals, also mineral content such as salts might also increase water intake in pigs.

That's nutritional and environmental factors, temperature for example, will affect water intake.

Dr Nyachoti says availability of water is not limitless and access to quality water is expected to become a key factor limiting expansion of hog production in parts of the world where supplies are limited.

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