Drinking water temperature affects consumption of
water during cold weather in ponies

Michaela A. Kristula, Sue M. McDonnell

   Two within-subjects cross-over trials were conducted to compare ad libitum consumption of warm drinking water with ambient near-freezing drinking water during cold weather. In Trial 1, eight ponies consumed a mean of 41% more water when provided continuously heated water than when provided ambient near-freezing water (P< 0.01). Similarly, in Trial 2, six ponies consumed a mean of 38% more water when provided buckets filled with hot water twice daily than when provided ambient near-freezing water (P< 0.05). Overall for both trials, 14 ponies drank a mean of 40% more warm than ambient near-freezing water. This difference was highly significant (P< 0.0005 ). Videotape procedures were used to evaluate drinking behaviour. During both trials, most drinking occurred within 3 h after feeding. There were no qualitative differences in drinking behaviour observed in either trial.