The importance of water in pig production

S. Azarpajouh, A. Garcia, C. Jackson, L. Karriker, A. Ramirez, A. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pigs are prandial feeders and drinkers. Focus has been directed to pig nutritional needs that include micro- and macro-nutrients, mineral and vitamin requirements and feed particle size. Water is the most important nutrient for pigs without which pigs will only survive for a short time. Additionally, detailed information on pigs' temporal drinking patterns is essential when delivering water-based health products because there is a risk that not all pigs will visit the drinker adequately and hence, may not have received sufficient vaccine or antibiotics required to protect the animal. To date there has been little focus on water function, quality and availability and how it affects pig welfare. This review paper will (a) address water functions, requirement and quality, (b) describe drinking behaviours and patterns, (c) explain factors that impact drinking behaviour and water intake and (d) discuss the water systems and pen designs that enhance drinking behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Article number48
JournalCAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources
Issue number48
StatePublished - 2018


  • Drinking behaviour
  • Pig
  • Water


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