The effect of water quality on pig performance

While water is a vital component of any livestock diet, the question remains; does the quality of drinking water influence health and performance of pigs?
calendar icon 23 June 2019
clock icon 4 minute read

The study will be conducted at the U of MN West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris, MN.

The need for such a study was raised by producer concerns and echoed by the Minnesota Pork Board.

Water quality is an important factor within livestock production, and often times, receives too little attention,” Brent Frederick, Director of Research and Development at Christensen Farms, stated. “While we focus on the essentials of our pigs every day, in providing them feed, air and WATER, this research will allow us to fully understand the effects that water quality may have on the overall performance of our animals.”

The research team will also evaluate the range of water qualities currently being consumed in the Minnesota pork industry; such a data set currently does not exist for Minnesota or any other state. To participate in the water quality survey, visit

The results of the project will provide a more thorough understanding of gut function, which may allow producers to implement feeding programs that encourage improved gut integrity, reduce negative impacts of pathogens in the gut, and therefore keep pigs healthy with less need for antibiotics. Improved pig performance and health will also reduce the carbon footprint of pork production which also garners support from customers.

Very likely, results of this project will have applicability to other livestock species.

Funding for this project is being provided by the University of Minnesota, Minnesota Pork Board, and Christensen Farms.

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