Sheep Paddock Trial, Renmark
|Trial Date||February 2016|
|Trial Period||Approximately four weeks.|
|Situation||A large stubble paddock.|
|Water type||Untreated river water.|
|Algae issues||Yes, a very high concentration of algae in all other water troughs on the farm|
|Stock type/numbers||Pregnant ewes (approximately a month off from lambing)/350.|
Trough 1: Water purification, carbon filter.
Trough 2: Magnetic water softener.
Trough 3: No filter; natural water.
- The three new troughs were set up in a triangular shape layout. All were fitted with solar pumps and water meters. A motion active camera was also installed behind the troughs.
- No other troughs were placed in the new stubble paddock. The low water volume supply may have hindered the trial, as there was an airlock in the supply line.
- The client did not resolve the issue while the trial was conducted.
- The water meter readings indicated the majority of the water was consumed from Trough 2, with the magnetic water softener, with 25,700L taken.
- This was followed by Trough 1, with 20,733L consumed and then Trough 3, with 15,022L consumed.
- The water meter readings may have differed more if the water supply had been of better quality.
- There was no algae evident in any of the troughs for the entirety of the trial.
- The video evidence suggests the majority of the flock preferred to drink the water from Trough 2, as did the Alpacas and various species of birds.
- The sheep drank from all parts of the trough, not just preferring the head of the trough. This was interesting to note, as all sheep generally prefer and fight over access to the freshest or coldest water sections in the trough. The client was somewhat excited to learn this and understand why the sheep preferred to drink from this trough.
- Some sheep in the video would go to Troughs 1 and 3 sipping the water, and then walk to Trough 2 to drink.
The troughs were cleaned every seven days to remove dirt, feed and debris.