Water System for Calf Feeding Operation

Calf Feed Efficiency Improved by Eliminating Bacteria and Iron at Facility near Denver, IA

Respiratory illness and inadequate weight gain with loss of feed efficiency, hampered this calf weaning facility near Denver, IA.  The livestock nutrition specialist called in to help solve the weight gain issue suspected bacteria in the water which might be compromising the calves’ immune systems and that iron in the water might be interfering with proper utilization of feed nutrients.  Once testing confirmed the presence of coliform bacteria and high levels of iron, Easton’s Water was contacted recommended chlorination followed by filtration.

Easton’s Water advised a complete chlorination and filtration system. Use of a Hellenbrand ProMate 6.0 remote meter system signals a Stenner adjustable rate chlorine feeder to pulse for every 2.5 gallons of water flow.  The chlorinated water flows into two 120 gallon Clack retention tanks.  These tanks are sized to allow sufficient contact time to kill the bacteria.  The chlorine in the water oxidizes the iron into a filterable form which is then removed by two Hellenbrand ProMate 1.0 Iron Curtain Junior filters.  The trapped iron solids are backwashed down the drain at midnight.  The chlorine level is adjusted to maintain a minimal ½ part per million which is sufficient to destroy transient bacteria in the water lines yet remain the palatable to the calves.

After just two months, the operation managers reported that the calves are gaining weight, feed efficiency has improved, and respiratory issues have declined.  Easton’s Water stops at regular intervals to monitor the chlorine levels, restock the chlorine supply, clean the chlorine feeder, and check overall operation.