Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 178–188 | Cite as

Water intake and utilization in mithun (Bos frontalis): Effect of environmental temperature, rearing system and concentrate feed supplement

  • D. T. PalEmail author
  • A. Dhali
  • S. K. Mondal
  • C. Rajkhowa
  • K. M. Bujarbaruah


Seasonal and sexual variations as well as the effect of dry feed supplement on total drinking water intake and its utilization were observed in mithun (Bos frontalis) — a semi-wild animal found in North Eastern Hill Region (NEHR) of India. In a completely randomized design, twelve adult mithuns (B. frontalis) as per their sex and body weight were assigned in two different rearing systems (free grazing and free grazing with dry concentrate feed supplementation), and ten growing male mithuns as per their body weight assigned in two different levels of dry concentrate feed supplementation (1.0 kg and 2.0 kg dry concentrate feeds on green forage based diet) and in two different seasons (summer and winter). It was observed that the environmental temperature had a significant effect on drinking water intake by mithuns. Drinking water consumption (per unit of body weight) was significantly (P < 0.05) higher in summer than in winter. Supplementation of concentrate feed on free grazing animals resulted in increase in water consumption. Total water consumption (drinking as well as performed water) was found to be 15.18 litres per 100 kg body weight by growing mithun. Feed dry matter and digestible nutrient intakes by growing mithun were observed to be increased with the increase of supplementation of dry concentrate feed. Roughage to concentrate ratio did not affect the nutrient digestibility. Mithun calves drank an average of 4.30 litres water for each kg of dry matter intake. Metabolic water was significantly (P<0.01) increased with the increase of supplementation of concentrate feed whereas water turn over, which depends upon the body weight of the animals, did not differ significantly on offering of lower or higher level of dry feed. Faecal water loss of growing mithun was decreased with the increase in intake of concentrate feed and was estimated to be 33 ∼ 40% of total water intake. Excretion of water through faeces of mithun was about 3.8 % of body weight. It could, therefore, be inferred that water intake by mithun varied with seasons, rearing systems and dry feed consumption. As far as the water nutrition is concerned, it is needed to give an attention while feeding mithun in summer with dry feed supplementation under semi-intensive system of rearing.

Key words

Mithun water intake water excretion seasons grazing concentrate feed feed utilization 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. T. Pal
    • 2
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. Dhali
    • 3
    • 1
  • S. K. Mondal
    • 4
    • 1
  • C. Rajkhowa
    • 3
    • 1
  • K. M. Bujarbaruah
    • 5
    • 1
  1. 1.National Research Centre on Mithun ICAR ComplexJharnapani, Medziphema, NagalandIndia
  2. 2.NIANPBangaloreIndia
  3. 3.NRC on MithunNagalandIndia
  4. 4.Indian Veterinary Research InstituteIzatnagar, BareillyIndia
  5. 5.ICAR, Krishi BhavanNew DelhiIndia

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