Non-ambulatory animals must be provided with adequate and accessible food and water. As water can be easily spilled if left within reach of the animal, access to water can be assessed with a skin tent test to evaluate if hydration is maintained. Ideally, water should be provided continuously using low-profile troughs with a wide base to prevent tipping.
Which animals to assess:
Non-ambulatory cows must be checked to see if they have adequate food, water, and shelter.
How to assess:
The skin tent test should only be done if safe and when cows can be approached without causing distress or struggling.
The skin of cows that are dehydrated will remain pinched, raised, or wrinkled after releasing the pinched skin. A fresh bucket of water may also be offered to the cow. When a cow consumed large amounts of water when presented, it is indicative that the cow has not been provided enough access to water.
This is a critical non-conformance.
As dehydration is so rare, there is no corresponding test for this measure.