Developing strategies to reduce and control pathogens in the drinking water used for outdoor cow-calf breeding

Caroline Côté, researcher

Caroline Côté

Researcher

450 653-7368
ext 310

Contact Caroline Côté
Stéphane Godbout, researcher

Stéphane Godbout

Researcher

418 643-2380
ext 600

Contact Stéphane Godbout

Description

A preliminary project was conducted to check the bacteriological quality of the water used in cattle drinking troughs in 23 outdoor farm lots. On all but one farm, the fecal coliform count exceeded 80 CFU/100 ml. The situation was similar for both Escherichia coli and Enterococci bacteria. We were not able to analyze these preliminary results statistically and so were not able to draw specific conclusions or generalize the results. However, the results raised enough concerns to prompt the research team to further investigate the source and extent of the problem, in order to come up with solutions. While cow-calf farms tend to prefer outdoor breeding, poor-quality drinking water can have a direct impact on animal health, and may lead to higher pathogen levels in the environment and at slaughter time, and negative consequences for food safety.

Objective(s)

  • Reduce the impacts of outdoor breeding on water quality and, thus, limit the number of pathogens that can make their way into the food chain.
  • Assess the quality of the drinking water throughout the year in various types of drinking troughs on different farms.
  • Propose, as needed, realistic on-farm strategies to control pathogens and reduce their impact on food safety up and down the production chain.

From 2019 to 2022

Project duration

Livestock production

Activity areas

Food safety and quality

Service

Improving the quality of animal drinking water has a positive effect on the satefy of food products.

Partner

Université Laval

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