- Mike Westendorf
With winter now upon us along with the erratic weather patterns which have affected New Jersey and parts of the rest of the country, it is wise to act now to guarantee winter water supplies. In January and February, when weather gets the coldest, water availability for domestic livestock animals can become a concern.
Water is the most abundant, cheapest, and least understood of all nutrients required for livestock production. We become concerned with water only when it is in short supply or contamination is suspected. If subfreezing temperatures turn water into a frozen nutrient, it will mean trouble for domestic livestock. Livestock will suffer more quickly from the lack of water than any other nutrient. The stresses on an animal caused by cold, wet winter weather require an animal's digestive system and metabolic processes to function at peak efficiency to convert feedstuffs to energy so they can remain warm, healthy, and productive.