How Long Can They Go Without Water?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Welshmom, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. Welshmom

    Welshmom Well-Known Member

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    Bought three bred beef cows from a neighbor yesterday. He got them from a different guy during the previous week, saved these three for me. So they've been stressed a bit lately.

    I have them in a 5 acre pasture. They are still pretty wary of us and won't come near the fence line which is closest to the buildings. That of course is where the water tank is. I have been checking, and they haven't had any water for at least 30 hours now.

    How long can they go? They have also been grazing a bit, but haven't touched the hay yet either.
     
  2. SCRancher

    SCRancher Well-Known Member

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    When they get thirsty enough they will come to the water - as long as it's accessible they will find it.

    I am only going on what a person can usually do - a rule of three - but we typically can last 3 days with out water.

    The rule of 3 is 3 minutes w/o air, 3 hours with out shelter (extreme weather), 3 days with out water, and 3 weeks with out food. Not exact by any means but makes for a good way of memorizing the generalities.
     

  3. pancho

    pancho Well-Known Member

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    Healthy people can usually last longer than that except for the air. Many times 3 months without food does not cause that much problem.
     
  4. SCRancher

    SCRancher Well-Known Member

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    Like I said not exact -but 3 months is generally a bit long for food. After around 3 weeks you will be very weak and lethargic - again this was more of a way of remembering. If you look below in the quote you will see people who have gone the route of total starvation documented have died as early as 46 days.

    Water depends upon temperature, it could be as little as 2 days in 120 degree heat to around 10 days if the temperatures are in the 50's

    Below is a snip from the following article:
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-long-can-a-person-sur

     
  5. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    I would go and splash my hand in the water where they can hear it. They should make a mental note of their being water there. Have they drank from a tank before?
     
  6. G. Seddon

    G. Seddon Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you have heavy frosts, that might be supplying them with some moisture as they graze. Be sure there's no ice on the trough/tank. Does their manure appear normal?
     
  7. pancho

    pancho Well-Known Member

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    In my post I mentioned a healthy person. A person who is not healthy will naturally not last as long.
    Personally I have gone over 4 months without eating a single mouthful of food. I can't guarantee others can do the same.
     
  8. gone-a-milkin

    gone-a-milkin Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You must have been consuming calories somehow though, right?
     
  9. pancho

    pancho Well-Known Member

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    Yes, milk.
     
  10. gone-a-milkin

    gone-a-milkin Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That is what I would have guessed. ;)
    I have never gone months on milk only, but weeks? Yes.
    Well, milk and tea made from greens.
    Gets me kinda out there and I am not much good for choring towards the end of a fast like that. :teehee:
     
  11. lonelyfarmgirl

    lonelyfarmgirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Give them 3 days. We have been thru this. We bought out someones herd of highlanders a few years ago. They had always been in an open field. They had never been near a building. Of course, our tanks are just off the buildings because they are attached to the gutters. Those poor cows. They wouldn't come near the tanks. DH went out several times a day, and dipped out a 5 gallon bucket and poured it high back into the tank to make absolutely sure they knew the water was there. They would all look and he would do it a couple more times, then walk away.

    On the end of the third day, a few drank, and I believe overnight, the rest followed. They were super nervous for a long time after that, but they drank when no one was around.

    We have only a few left from that original group, but they are pretty good now.
     
  12. Welshmom

    Welshmom Well-Known Member

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    Much to my relief, they did come down and drink, whew. I had tried the water splashing thing. Left for town for a while, when I got back, it looked like they were lying in the same spots, except the tank was 2/3 empty :) Sneaky cows.
    I re-filled with the hose and made sure it sounded loud and splashy just for good measure. I think we're good now!
     
  13. SCRancher

    SCRancher Well-Known Member

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    Pancho - when you have done water only for 4 months and are still alive to talk about it then we can have the discussion on how your a rare breed.

    If you read the article I posted you will see your in the "Near total starvation" category and it says:

     
  14. SilverVista

    SilverVista Well-Known Member

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    Oh, for pete's sake! We've ALL gone several months with nothing to sustain us but milk. Until we were old enough to be introduced to pablum and mashed bananas. :p
     
  15. ufo_chris

    ufo_chris Well-Known Member

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    My Mom used to say 'Milk is Food not Drink'
    She was right since it's packed full of fat, calories, protein etc.
     
  16. pancho

    pancho Well-Known Member

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    Don't know, never had to chew milk. I chew food.