MORRIS, Minn. —University of Minnesota researchers are conducting a study of the impact of water quality on animal performance, gut health and livability of nursery pigs.

Water is considered by a majority of swine nutritionists to be the most important of all nutrients required by pigs.  At birth, water makes up about 82 percent of the pig’s body weight and steadily declines to about 50 percent for a pig at market weight.

This project will compare three different water sources (two deemed “bad”, and one “good”) when fed to nursery pigs. Through a series of video recordings, water sample collection, and data analysis, researchers will dive deeper into how water quality might influence pig behavior, gut function, and immune system function.

The study will be conducted at the University of Minnesota’s West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris, Minn.

Very likely, results of this project will have applicability to other livestock species.

The research team will also evaluate the range of water qualities currently being consumed in the Minnesota pork industry. Such a data set currently does not exist for Minnesota or any other state. To participate in our water quality survey, visit

Funding for this project is being provided by the University of Minnesota, Minnesota Pork Board and Christensen Farms.

This article was submitted by University of Minnesota Extension.