For more information, call our office on
01362 683 364
For help with finding the drinkers you require, please see our Welfare Standards for Pigs section at the bottom of the page.
The 2016 RSPCA Welfare Standards for Pigs and The Code of Recommendations for the Welfare Livestock for Pigs state that "All pigs over two weeks of age must have permanent access to a sufficient quantity of fresh drinking water." (Statement can be found: The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (S.I. 2003 No. 299), Schedule 6, Part II, paragraph 15.)
As with people, water for pigs is essential for nearly all bodily functions, growth, food absorption, temperature regulation and excretion of waste. Newborn pigs are over 80% water, whereas a finisher pig is approximately 55% water. Severe water deprivation can result in death. The effects of even minor dehydration are reduced feed intake leading to lower daily weight gain. Pooer feed conversion leads to reduced milk production and lower weaning weights. So it is sensible to check the water supply when performance problems are being investigated as well as the feed.
Drinking water for pigs. Flow rates for nipple drinkers.
|Class of Pig||Flow Rate in litres per minute||Estimated Daily Requirement (litres)|
|Newly Weaned||0.3 l m-1||1.0 to 1.5|
|Up to 20 kg||0.5 to 1.0 l m-1||1.5 to 2.0|
|20 kg to 40 kg||1.0 to 1.5 l m-1||2.0 to 5.0|
|Finisher Pigs up to 100 kg||1.0 to 1.5 l m-1||5.0 to 6.0|
|Sows and Gilts. Pre-service and in pig.||2.0 l m-1||5.0 to 8.0|
|Sows and Gilts in lactation||2.0 l m-1||15.0 to 30.0|
|Boars||2.0 l m-1||5.0 to 8.0|
Nipple Drinker installation heights.
|Liveweight||Height of drinker in cm||Height of drinker in inches|
|7 kg - 20 kg||25 cm - 35 cm||10" - 14"|
|20 kg - 35 kg||35 cm - 45 cm||14" - 18"|
|35 kg - 60 kg||45 cm - 60 cm||18" - 24"|
|60 kg - 100 kg||60 cm - 75 cm||24" - 30"|
|Sows and Boars||80 cm - 95 cm||32" - 38"|
|Pig Drinker Type||Minimum Requirement for Grower/Finisher Pig (BPEX guidance)||Minimum Requirement for Grower/Finisher Pig (RSPCA Freedom Foods guidance)|
|Nipple Drinker (restricted fed)||1 per 10 pigs||1 space* per 10 pigs|
|Nipple Drinker (ad-lib fed)||1 per 15 pigs||1 space* per 10 pigs|
|Bowl (restricted fed)||1 per 20 pigs||1 space* per 10 pigs|
|Bowl (ad-lib fed)||1 per 30 pigs||1 to 2 spaces* per 10 pigs|
|Drinker Trough (Channel or River)||25 pigs per 30 cm||Pigs up to 25 kg - 50 pigs per metre of drinking space.
Pigs 25 kg to 40 kg - 42 pigs per metre of drinking space.
Pigs over 40 kg - 34 pigs per metre of drinking space.