pasture management '?'

Nao57

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Can you typically feed livestock irrigation water?

I wanted to be sure on this. I'd been around farms a lot. But many of the areas I lived people had wells. And when growing up I didn't always think of what if I was starting out somewhere else where you had to start up all those things on your own. And then there's other things to. Like I was looking at this one youtube channel where this one farm east of Phoenix, AZ was saying they get their irrigation water from the Phoenix waste water from town... (That one even says they can't drink the water, but doesn't say for animals; it was a hay making video.)

So there's all kinds of nuances to this...I guess.

Lots of people here do dry farming.

But basically wanted to check if most types of animals can have most or all types of irrigation water? And do you check the water ph/content once a year, etc?

-Living in a dry state, in more ways than one...at least for awhile longer...-
 

Mini Horses

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Initially I would say no to irrigation water for animals....as you describe it. But source is key. In a "dry" state, I would look to a well. But I live where there is plenty of water and do not have to deal with that on my farm. I have a deep well.

When traveling the USA in years past, I do remember the desert areas. The rains evaporated from my arm before I could wipe it off, I could feel it but it wasn't there....water poured on the ground disappeared so fast it was scary. Water is critical for life, we all know.

While you may live where you are without choice -- I'm glad you see that animals can't be had without a source of clean, abundant water! Irrigation ditches are mostly not that.
 
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Nao57

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Thank you both glad I asked.
 

messybun

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Keep in mind that if it’s not safe for you to drink then, generally, animals probably shouldn’t be drinking it. Of course animals are way tougher than we are and more used to bacteria and stuff; but keep it as a general rule. You don’t want to drink sewage water, your animals don’t either. If it’s nasty and smelly and doesn’t look appetizing, then you’ll probably get sick or even dead animals.
 

misfitmorgan

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The whole waste water treatment plant would definitely make a big difference if it was pre or post treatment. Post treatment yes that is pottable water and what cities get, pre-treatment no way to many cleaners, feces, ladies products, condoms, filth and other questionable things people put down drains.

I would make the assumption the irrigation water is sourced part way thru the process, like after screening/filtering but before chemicals are added. No way they could efficiently or willingly just be piping raw sewage onto their hay.

Also...diseases.... eww no.
 

Grizzlyhackle

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If it isn't safe for you I would not have them drink it on a regular basis. Even reclaimed water scares me. I read in Field and Stream an article that referenced how much estrogen was in the Potomac. It's been 10 or more years and don't remember much other than some things can't be filtered out.
Here it rains to much when nothing's growing and our water table is so high that in coastal towns you get buried under a slab of concrete. Old coffins pop up. Yeah it's scary when you're 7 and your weird cousin says "wanna see something"
 

Ridgetop

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We used to have a large Doughboy pool 18'x36'. We always figured that we could use it for the livestock if an earthquake caused a water stoppage.

Sometimes after water goes through the treatment plant and is used for landscaping they have warnings that it is "not potable - irrigation only" due to fear of lawsuits. I would check with the treatment plant about letting animals drink it. The wild animals are probably drinking from the irrigation canals so if there are not wild animal carcasses laying all over it might be ok. And looking at some of the "tanks" or "ponds" covered with algae on farms, it doesn;t seem to hurt the livestock and wildlife.

Like you said - if it is dangerous or poisonous water they wouldn't be using it on crops. I would check with the treatment plant about what is coming out of the plant.
 

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