Beef Cattle Educator discusses vital measures to protect cattle amid wet conditions and frigid temperatures

As winter weather sweeps across the nation, cattle producers find themselves grappling with the imminent threat of bitter cold.

A University of Illinois Extension Beef Cattle Educator unveils vital measures to shield cattle from the harsh winter elements, including the significance of providing shelter from the wind.

According to Teresa Steckler, “There are a couple of different things going on here. One is that we have had a lot of rain. Hair-coats may be wet which has also led to wet ground. With these frigid temperatures that are coming, we really need to get some corn stover or straw down on the ground. If you do not have a windbreak, try to figure out how to make a windbreak. That could really help these animals out in these trying times when the wind chill drops below 20 degrees. As the wind picks up and they have a wet hair-coat grub, more resources, more nutrition, to get them through these trying times.”

Steckler also underscores the importance of increasing feed intake during freezing temperatures.

“They need to have good high-quality feedstuffs during this time to keep the microbial action going and producing the heat. If they have a wet hair-coat and you are not feeding them enough, they’ll probably shiver and quit eating and drinking water. So, keep an eye on the cattle. The other thing is because we have spring breeding coming up, you need to provide areas for bulls to be able to rest. When they lay down you want to ensure the scrotums do not get frostbitten or any other areas vital to reproduction. So, that could really impact bulls ability to get your cows pregnant,” she explains.

By proactively managing these factors, it can help cattle producers navigate the challenges of winter and ensure the health and productivity of their herds.

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