Cattle can tolerate rain well enough, but several days of rain, even moderate rains that occur daily, are pretty stressful on cattle, especially young cattle. Joe Paschal, Texas Cooperative Extension livestock specialist, says that cattle like to dry off and get settled.

During long periods of rain, some cattle in submerged or very wet pastures have soft hooves and are susceptible to punctures by thorns or wire. When it begins to dry, these cattle will have “tender feet” that often get mistaken for foot rot until the hooves dry and harden, Paschal says.

On the nutrition side, increased rate of passage and lack of proper absorption by the animal can cause some possible mineral imbalances, as well. That can mean cattle graze more to make up the difference, or there are lower nutritional levels which reduce gains.

In addition, Paschal says excessive rain and flooding can cause toxic plant problems — like photosensitization from rain lilies — as well as lead to problems with external and internal parasites.