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University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

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Water is an integral part of livestock nutrition. Animals can survive longer without feed than without water. Water is vital because it:

  1. is required for all biochemical reactions that make the body function
  2. acts as a carrier and dilutant for many bodily functions
  3. maintains body temperature


Water remains constant in healthy animals, maintaining a balance between the intake of water and the output.

Water in the body can be from:

  1. drinking water
  2. water in feed
  3. metabolic activity


Water is eliminated through:

  1. excretion of urine and feces
  2. perspiration
  3. respiration
Luckily for producers, water is abundantly available and relatively inexpensive to provide.