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Comparison of a New Dugout Treatment Options and their Effects on Water Quality for Livestock

Government of Saskatchewan

Jeff Braidek

March 2015 - January 2017

Goal: Animal Care, Financial Viability

Audience: Cow-Calf

Project Type: Demonstration

Location: Saskatchewan

Water quality can affect both total water consumption and the general health of livestock. Livestock can tolerate poor water quality better than humans, but if concentrations of specific compounds found in water are high enough, livestock can be affected. Most factors affecting water quality are not fatal to livestock. Livestock may not show clinical signs of illness, but growth, lactation and reproduction may be affected, causing an economic loss to the producer.

Research indicates that livestock, when provided with high quality water, will drink more, eat more and ultimately gain weight more quickly. Research also shows that improved water quality can lead to a decrease in disease and other health problems in animals.

This project compared 3 registered products for dugout treatment under similar conditions to a new treatment option. They treated dugouts with one of the available treatment options (Pond Boss, AquaSphere PRO, Ponder, and Nature's Pond Conditioner) according to product recommendations. They used 4 dugouts each in 3 regions tested products throughout Saskatchewan. They tested pre-treated water, during treatment and every 2 weeks after treatment until the end of the grazing season. Measurements were collected for: 1) Sulphates 2) Turbidity 3) Total Dissolved Solids 4) Cost.

None of the products deemed useful.

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