Enhancing Livestock Water Quality with Acidifier(Part 2)
Chemically, water is the combination of hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O); these are joined in the ratio of 2 hydrogen atoms to 1 oxygen (as H20). It is the most abundant chemical substance, and it performs endless functions whether it’s in the form of liquid, solid or gas.
Water is vital to nutrition. It is the solvent wherein the metabolic reactions of the body take place. It carries the nutrients which are subjected to cellular metabolism, and the waste products of metabolism. It also serves to disperse the heat generated by the metabolic reactions. In many of the metabolic reactions water is either added or subtracted. Subtracted water is termed metabolic water, while the addition of water is termed hydrolysis.
Animals can survive for a longer period without feed than they can without water. Only oxygen is more important to animal life. Fortunately, under most conditions, water can be readily provided in abundance at little cost. Water is also found in all feeds.
THE LARGEST SINGLE CONSTITUENT OF THE ANIMAL BODY
Water is one of the largest single constituents of the animal body, varying in amount from 40% in fat hogs to 80% in newborn pigs, 50% in a 1,000-lb steer to 70% in a newborn calf, and 50% in a fat lamb to 80% in a newborn lamb. In general, the percentage of water in the bodies of animals varies with species, condition, and age. The younger the animal, the more water it contains, and the fatter the animal, the less water it contains. Thus, as an animal matures, it requires proportionately less water on a weight basis because it consumes less feed per unit of weight and the water content of the body is being replaced by fat. This accounts for the fact that gains in older animals are more costly nutritionally than in younger animals.
Water performs the following important functions in animals:
1. It is necessary to the life and shape of every cell and is a constituent of every body fluid.
2. It acts as a carrier for various substances, serving as a medium in which nourishment is carried to the cells and waste products are removed there from.
3. It helps regulate body temperature, cooling the animal by evaporating from the skin as perspiration.
4. It is necessary for many important chemical reactions of digestion and metabolism.
5. It lubricates the joints as it is a constituent of the synovial fluid. It also transports sound involved with sight, and provides lubricant for the eye.
6. It acts as a solvent for a number of chemicals which can be subsequently detected by taste buds.
7. It aids in gas exchange in respiration by keeping the alveoli of the lungs moist.
The total body water involved in all of these functions is contained in two major compartments in the body: the extracellular water outside the cells (about 20% of the body weight), and the intracellular water inside each cell (about 45% of the body weight).
Deficits or excesses of more than a few percent of the total body water are incompatible with health, and large deficits – about 20% of the body weight – lead to death. Under normal circumstances, thirst ensures that water intake meets or exceeds the requirement for water.
Many livestock producers tend to underestimate the value of water. It is not enough to make water available. Quality, as dictated by the levels of pollutants, is as important as availability. With an increase in management of livestock in confinement, it becomes increasingly necessary to consider the use of water from approved, inspected sources, since water is also used by farm workers. It is advisable for the livestock manager to check local codes and regulations on water quality.
The pollution of streams is of increasing concern to our government and is monitored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Because of their regulations, it may become necessary to alter some practices in livestock operations, relating to accessibility of water to animals and subsequent waste removal procedures. The accompanying table lists the criteria for water quality as governed by pollution levels.
CRITERIA FOR WATER QUALITY FOR LIVESTOCK
Salts, soluble 300
Coliform bacteria: (ml)
PREVENTING BACTERIAL PATHOGENS IN DRINKING WATER
Horizontal transmission has been observed to be one of the main ways to transfer diseases from one animal to another. Drinking water plays a crucial role in transmission of bacterial infections.
Research at The Het Spelderholt Institute in the Netherlands has shown that poultry farms are at risk from high levels of Enterobacteria in drinking water. Open water systems such as “bell drinkers” are easily contaminated with feed or droppings resulting in a high bacterial loading. In addition, as drinking water is used to vaccinate or medicate flocks, treatment residues can become an ideal medium for microorganism or algae growth, which can result in blocked drinkers.
Pathogenic bacteria in drinking water are responsible for depressing both weight gain and feed efficiency, plus certain pathogens can cause clinical disease resulting in high mortality and PMI downgrades at processing.
The Dutch company Selko B.V – now operated by Trouw Nutrition International Feed Additive, the global leader in premixes, innovative feed specialities, and nutritional services for the animal nutrition industry. It is a Nutreco company giving access to the research facilities, the knowledge and experience of its sister companies across the world. Modem production technology and meticulous methods of analysis guarantee the high quality of all Trouw Nutrition manufacturing processes and products – has produced a solution in the form of Selko-pH, a water hygiene product designed for use on poultry and hog farms to combat pathogenic bacteria.
Selko-pH is a concentrated combination of modified organic acids. The -ffect of these organic acids is two-fold: the acidifying component and the selective anti-bacterial component of the organic acids each playing a vital part. Selko-pH, dosed in the right amount, does not give any deviations in taste.
By providing a break in the bacterial life cycle, Selko-pH prevents contamination of header tanks and lateral infection via the drinkers. The hygiene status of the water supply is improved, enhancing overall health and flock performance.
The dosage of Selko-pH is 1.07 3.0 ml/ liter drinking water. Depending on the quality of the water and the drinking water system, Selko-pH is ideal for use after water has been treated with medicines, vaccinations or vitamins to prevent a biofilm of microorganisms forming on the inside of the water pipes.
THE EFFECT OF SELKO-PH ON POLLUTED DRINKING WATER
Research conducted by The Veterinary Faculty, Section VVDO, of the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands has examined the effect of polluting drinking water with 2.5% feed, which can occur in practice. The trial aimed to measure the effect of Selko-pH on Salmonella and Campylobacter.
The oxidative product contained chlorine as an active ingredient, but even at the dosage rate of 2m1/liter chlorine had no effect on the polluted drinking water. Selko-pH, however, appears to be efficacious in combating Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E. coli.
At the CLO-DVV Institute at Merelbeke in Belgium, a practical test with bell drinkers was conducted. A number of frequently used disinfectants were compared with Selko-pH. The products were added to the drinking water in the recommended amounts. Only Selko-pH was effective against undesired bacteria (Enterobacteriaceae) in the short term as well as the long term.
Enhancing livestock water quality is a must not only to ensure animal productivity but also to safeguard animal health. And eventually, it would also be a must in ensuring the profitability of every farm.