The healthier your animals are, the better. This is part of your duty simply by having animals. If you have sheep, how healthy they are impacts how well they can raise lambs, their wool, and more. Some people may not be doing everything that they should be to keep their sheep hydrated not out of mal intent or willful ignorance, but simply because they never learned otherwise.
Here is what you need to know about common misconceptions people have about sheep’s hydration, why water intake is so important for healthy sheep, and what you can do to ensure that you’re keeping sheep hydrated all year round.
Misconceptions About Sheep Hydration
When it comes to animals outside of pets, people often make honest mistakes about their upkeep. When it snows, you may not think that you need to provide your sheep with water, as you believe that the snow itself will provide them with enough hydration. Conversely, when it’s spring and there’s lush grass all around, you may think that your sheep will get enough water from grazing on the grass.
It’s true that snow and lush grass can both provide your sheep with water. However, it may not be enough. For example, the period of time in which grass is high in water content is short-lived. Additionally, dirty or unclean water – as can be the case with snow – can cause health risks in your sheep because bacteria and other parasites may be present.
When sheep have no other option, they may drink from unclean water sources, but know that this puts their health at risk. A healthy sheep is a sheep that drinks a lot, and in order to keep your sheep healthy, you must provide them with enough clean, fresh, temperate water to meet their nutritional needs.
Why Water Intake Is So Important For Healthy Sheep
Water is the most important nutrient for your sheep. Every living thing needs water in order to survive. Take food away, and animals can likely live over a week. Take water away, and they typically only survive a few days. Water is a crucial component of your sheep’s overall health.
Many biological functions depend on water, such as growth, development, and reproduction. It is critical in order to mitigate heat stress and optimize your sheep’s health and performance.
Sheep’s water consumption varies depending on temperature, humidity, and their overall health. Pregnant and lactating ewes have higher water needs. Range sheep typically have higher water requirements due to how much they travel. When sheep get stressed, as can occur during demonstrations at events, having access to water can help to minimize it.
Sheep tend to water together. Ensuring that they have easy access to fresh, clean water is the best way to encourage them to eat more, which helps with growth in lambs and production in mature sheep. You must ensure that sheep have enough water in periods of high water consumption, as they can drink several gallons a day.
Help Your Sheep Stay Hydrated
We here at Bar Bar A provide a sheep waterer in order to help you keep your sheep hydrated. This non-electric automatic waterer connects directly to your water line, providing your sheep with clean, fresh, temperate water all year round, making it easier to keep sheep hydrated.
We’ve been watering sheep for over 25 years. We’ve found that sheep learn quickly. Our waterers can be put into training mode to help the process along. One of our units can water up to 30 head of sheep. Because there is no standing water, they are clean and safe.