Farmers cautioned to provide sufficient water for livestock

Livestock producers were urged to see to it that their animals have access to sufficient water in the drought.

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Adult cattle, for instance, need between 25l to 50l each per day in the current extreme heat in the drought stricken areas, said Dr Pierre van Rooyen, SA Studbook CEO.

During a prolonged drought, maintenance licks and roughage are essential, he said. This said, extreme heat does not affect livestock herds as much because the majority of the local breeds are well adapted to extreme temperatures.

“One often finds the animals in the open in the hottest parts of the day despite the availability of shade. Access to water, on the other hand, is vitally important,” said Van Rooyen.

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Lactating ewes need up to 10l of water daily, while lactating dairy cows needed as much as 60l per day.