Winter has arrived, and it is time to keep warm and protected from the bitter cold. This also applies to your cattle! Cold weather may be harmful to your livestock. As a result, their health may suffer, and they may struggle to maintain adequate milk production. Because it is harder for them to fulfill their regular activities, cold weather can lead animals to experience physical and mental discomfort. Nonetheless, your animals can be happy and healthy with the correct winter care techniques. Here are some considerations for winter cattle care:
Always keep water on hand.
During the winter, cattle often struggle to obtain sufficient water. Snow, ice, and muck can impede access to water supplies. According to veterinarians, cattle require 1 to 2 gallons of water per 100 pounds daily. In consequence, water is a vital resource regardless of the season. Cattle cannot gain weight by eating snow or licking ice, contrary to what some new livestock managers may believe. It would take hours and redirect vital body heat, leaving little time or energy for feeding and growth.
Because dehydrated calves are more prone to colic and impaction, regulating their water intake and maintaining their health is essential. The simplest solution is to install tank heaters in their water sources. Always adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid electrical shocks or fires. If you cannot utilize a water heater, ensure that defrosted water is provided multiple times per day and in multiple locations.
Ensure that the cattle are well-fed.
Can cows become cold? If they are not properly fed, yes! Therefore, optimizing food delivery during cold weather is essential. They cannot generate sufficient body heat if they lack sufficient energy. Consequently, their core temperature drops, and they perish.
There are numerous strategies to maintain the healthiness and happiness of your livestock throughout the winter. Switching to a nutrient-rich meal is the simplest but frequently most expensive solution. These premium feeds provide guaranteed fat and protein and it works well with Dental Surgery in Columbia.
Provide adequate shelter.
Farm life is typically quite enjoyable. When a winter storm strikes, getting to safety takes precedence over food and space. Without it, cattle may get anxious and panicky.
Providing proper cover for grazing cattle during cold weather is essential here and can save feed costs, as chilled animals have higher energy needs. Numerous methods exist for providing shelter. Cattle can flee adverse weather if you strategically arrange three-sided sheds around your pastures. Additionally, hills, gullies, dense woods, and shelterbelts can serve as windbreaks.
Stay away from the mud.
The winter muck has dual effects on animals. First, mud is the perfect breeding habitat for foot rot and thrush. Even if the mud is solely on their legs, it may be difficult for calves to maintain their body temperature if caked in it.
Spread gravel or wood chips over muddy areas during the winter to solve your mud problem. Rotational grazing may also be advantageous in preventing an overgrazed grassland from becoming mud. Additionally, your electric fencing can help muddy regions to dry up.
Help pregnant cattle.
During the winter, pregnant heifers should be examined closely. During your farm animals routine exams, please talk with your veterinarian regarding any winter vaccines, such as nutritional supplements and deworming, that your pet may need to remain healthy.
It is always advantageous to separate pregnant cows into paddocks for close observation. This allows you to provide them with food, water, and shelter. It also maintains their proximity as the due day approaches. This allows you to be present and ready to assist with the delivery.
To Sum It Up
In addition to the goods stated above, you may make your animals more comfortable by relaxing milking cows with udder lotions and ointments, offering sufficient straw and hay that generates heat, and increasing their resting area. Even though the winter months may be challenging for your livestock, following these principles guarantees they are well-cared for and content.