A Guide to Watering Pigs in the Summer

Ensuring your pigs have access to fresh drinking water at all times can feel like a never-ending challenge. These mud-loving animals are notorious for being able to tip over water troughs and buckets with their brute strength. How can you avoid this and be sure your pigs have clean water to drink 24/7? Our guide to watering pigs in the summer offers tips, tricks and products to keep your pigs cool and hydrated all summer!

Why Do Pigs Need Access to Water at All Times?

Did you know that pigs don’t have functional sweat glands? This means that instead of sweating, pigs must find other ways to keep cool to avoid heat stress and maintain healthy bodily functions. In the summer months, when the temperature may exceed 25 degrees Celsius, pigs can consume two times more water than they would on a cooler day. This is because the cool water helps them regulate their body temperature. Pigs love to roll around in mud and water because when they get wet, a process called “evaporative cooling” takes place, which helps the pig maintain a normal body temperature.

How Much Water Do Pigs Need Each Day?

How much water a pig needs to drink daily can vary based on several factors. Age, size, weather, and what the pig is eating are all things that need to be taken into consideration when it comes to swine water requirements. The chart below is a basic guide to pigs’ daily water requirements; however, our experts still recommend talking to your farm vet to help you determine your pigs’ water requirements.

Watering Systems for Pigs
Depending on how many pigs you have and how your farm is set up, there are several different ways to deliver constant fresh drinking water to your pigs. Let’s go over the best manual and automatic watering systems for swine:

Manual Watering Systems for Pigs – A manual watering system is something like a trough, bucket or tub that requires you to clean and refill daily. Whatever you use as a manual waterer must be durable and heavy so your pigs can’t damage or knock it over. The sides need to be low enough for the smaller pigs to be able to drink from but high enough to prevent mud or bedding from contaminating the water. Try placing a couple of cinder blocks at the bottom of your trough or tub to weigh them down and provide footing for any pigs who may accidentally fall in.

Automatic Watering Systems for Pigs – Automatic watering systems provide a continuous flow of drinking water for your pigs without the hassle of having to clean and refill a tub or trough. Pig water nipples and drinking cups are examples of popular and effective automatic watering systems that have animal-activated stem valves to ensure that your pigs are getting water when they need it without spilling everywhere and making a mess. These valves can be screwed into a garden hose and attached to the wall of your pig pen at a height of roughly two inches above where the shoulder of your smallest pig would reach. If your barn doesn’t have the option of running water through a hose, you can hook up your pig water nipples or cups to the side of a large plastic water barrel. You can even hook up your barrel to a rain barrel outside the barn to keep it filling automatically. Additionally, these auto waterers can be hooked up to large livestock tanks to provide water to pigs who may be on pasture.

Sometimes, all it takes are the right tools and a bit of creativity when it comes to pig watering solutions, so stop by your local Feeds’n Needs and chat with one of our Experts about which watering system may work best for your pigs. We’re here to help!

Be sure to check out our other blogs, where you’ll find helpful information on a wide range of topics!

Feeds'n Needs Team