The distribution of drinking water-to-cattle ratios in the summer across four feedlots in the Texas High Plains


In this short communication, we report the findings of a cross-sectional pilot study of the amount of water available per head of cattle (water-to-cattle ratio) and the associated feedlot and environmental factors across 26 pens in four Texas feedlots. The water-to-cattle ratio varied greatly among pens within and between feedlots. Mixed-effect linear regression modeling with feedlot as a random effect indicated that water in troughs with a higher water-to-cattle ratio was generally warmer when compared with water in troughs with a lower water-to-cattle ratio. This may have implications in the transmission and persistence of pathogens in feedlot cattle, such as Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli and Salmonella, because warmer water has been reported to favor the growth of these pathogens. Therefore, future field studies in feedlot cattle are warranted to assess whether the water-to-cattle ratio affects the prevalence of these pathogens in the water itself or in feces shed by the animals.

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Gautam, R. , Pinedo, P. , Park, S. and Ivanek, R. (2013) The distribution of drinking water-to-cattle ratios in the summer across four feedlots in the Texas High Plains. Agricultural Sciences, 4, 282-286. doi: 10.4236/as.2013.46040.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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