Water Belly Trial, Mallala

Trial Date November 2018
Trial Period Ongoing 

To trial the Pump System in assisting with the prevention of water belly and improving water consumption.


Wheat and barley stubble polluting trough, with blended grains in the herd's feeder.

Water type

Treated town water (chlorinated).

Algae issues


Stock type/numbers

Wether lambs/430.
Cleaning frequency (pre-trial)

7-10 days.


Trial Clarification 

Trough 1: Pump System with a magnetic water softener and water meter (located on the left in the video).

Trough 2: An original trough, no pump system, water meter only (centre trough in the video).

Trough 3: Pump System with water meter (located on the right in the video).

  • Three troughs were set up with water meters on each trough.
  • A motion active video camera was also installed to monitor animals' drinking habits, and to determine if there was a preference towards any of the three trial troughs.

  • This information could then be used in conjunction with the water meter readings to determine whether any correlation exists. This insight also provided a valuable backup should the meters become inoperative, as there would still be visual evidence provided.

  • The camera was relocated approximately 5 days into the trial to the opposite side of troughs.

Trial Comments

  • The client had experienced many issues over the years related to urolithiasis (water belly) in his Wether lambs.

  • When asked if the pump system would assist in controlling or reducing water belly, the client indicated he was uncertain, but that he understood the importance of healthy water consumption.

  • The client's observations using town water are that lambs prove to be very fastidious drinkers. It was believed that the smell of chlorine in the water, in combination with the dust and debris in troughs deterred lambs from consuming healthy amounts of water.

  • The trial was based on monitoring water consumption.

  • By far, lambs consumed the most water from troughs with the Pump System installed.

  • The client was very proactive with this trial, having taken water meter readings every morning. This provided us with a great understanding of the lambs' daily drinking and consumption habits.

  • Water consumption increased considerably as the daily temperatures increased during a hot spell of weather.

  • There have been no mortalities from water belly up until April 2019. The only mortalities have been from acidosis.


Every six days.