Simple steps keep cattle comfortable in heavy snow

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As heavy snow falls across the middle part of the country, producers will have to layer up and head outside to keep cattle as comfortable as they can.

Mike McClintock, extension agent for the University of Arkansas, says a cow’s ability to withstand cold temperatures is reduced as snow soaks its coat, reducing its insulating properties. Cattle should have access to shelter if possible, otherwise windbreaks can shield livestock from the elements.

McClintock also recommends increasing the amount of hay available to cattle. He says roughage is the best way for ruminants to elevate body temperature. Clumps of hay may also be used for bedding to keep cattle from lying directly on the cold snow.

Producers should increase the amount of quality feed given to livestock, but McClintock advises you should not increase feeding of concentrates abruptly as this could cause digestive upsets. A sudden change could do more harm than good for cattle in cold, wet weather.

Read more winter tips here.


Cattle weather the storm in a photo submitted by one of our readers.

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