The temperatures have soared again and it’s back to watering the animals every couple of hours again. But which of our animals is the thirstiest?

Despite drinking more than usual at the moment, since we have five lactating mothers in the herd, the llamas are the lowest consumers on a per kg basis. A 100 kg llama gets through 3-4 litres per day on a hot day, much less when it’s cooler. Let’s say it’s 4 which gives us 1 litre per 25 kg.

Now compare that to a chicken. A hen will drink around half a litre a day in normal circumstances but once you get over 30 degrees C, then that goes up by 50% to three quarters of a litre. (The amount also depends on its age interestingly.) Chickens vary considerably in weight but I would estimate ours are around 1.5 kg. That gives us half a litre per 1 kg, or 1 litre per 2 kg. That figures. I’ve often marvelled at how often I have to fill the hen and turkeys’ water containers up.

Cats are reckoned to drink roughly 30 ml of water per half kg of body weight. That’s only 60 ml of water per kilogram, or 1 litre per 16.67 kg, so more than our llama but way less than our hen. (And I’d hate to see a 16.67 kg cat – scary!) Dogs are very similar to cats in terms of water consumption.

A ballpark figure for sheep would be 4 litres per day for an animal weighing 40-60 kg, so at the thirstiest end of this range, that would give us 1 litre per 10 kg. And for pigs, it’s around 9 litres per day. Pigs of course vary enormously in size but our Oberon is roughly 100 kg and our girls around 80. So let’s go for 90 as an average, especially since it makes for a nice easy sum! I litre for 10 kg too.

So by far the heaviest water consumers on our farm on a proportional basis are the chickens, followed by the pigs and sheep, the cats and Nessie, and finally the camelids! Interesting.