Blizzard/Cattle

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504RP

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I know with the blizzard going in the North Central United States has to be hard for cattle to have to endure. Bad enough on them with cold temperatures. Then add the wind gusting 60 mph, blowing snow, rain etc..., How are cattle able to survive in that kind of weather ? I am guessing some die in ? How do you cattlemen who live there get your cattle through a blizzard ?

I am getting stronger than normal wind and right now some light rain. And feel bad for my cows having to be out in it. But other than keeping them fed there isn't much else that i know to do ?

But i can't imagine how they could survive a blizzard ?
 

TennesseeTuxedo

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I know with the blizzard going in the North Central United States has to be hard for cattle to have to endure. Bad enough on them with cold temperatures. Then add the wind gusting 60 mph, blowing snow, rain etc..., How are cattle able to survive in that kind of weather ? I am guessing some die in ? How do you cattlemen who live there get your cattle through a blizzard ?

I am getting stronger than normal wind and right now some light rain. And feel bad for my cows having to be out in it. But other than keeping them fed there isn't much else that i know to do ?

But i can't imagine how they could survive a blizzard ?
They will, they do, most of them anyway.

I'd say that an early fall rain followed by a precipitous drop in temps is much harder on them since they don't have their winter coats on yet. If they can get to a wind break they should be fine just battling the cold and snow.

Keeping plenty of good hay out is important as is a reliable water source. I hear some folks put down straw for bedding.
 

Atimm693

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A dry bed and some good feed.

Terrain that offers shelter of some sort helps too. Usually they will find a ditch, swale, whatever to get out of the wind if they can.
 

Dsth

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cattle can sense when a storm is coming. they prepare themselves by finding whatever shelter may be available, huddle together to protect themselves against the elements, and kick their survival skill into action. They do need extra feed to help maintain body temperature. They can survive on eating snow for their water supply. I have shelter for my cattle in the winter and completely understand your concern for the ones that need to fight the elements.
 

sim.-ang.king

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The snow adds a layer of insulation. Good northern cattle will have snow on their backs, the one's that will freeze to death don't.
I agree with TT, freezing fall rains, with wind, are murder on cattle.
 

Lucky_P

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With full DRY winter haircoat, cattle really have no significant cold stress, down to 18F. But wet... that critical cold temp is 59F. Off the top of my head, I don't know what effect wind - or access to shelter/windbreak lend to the equation.
For each degree below those 'critical cold temperature points', it takes about 2% more energy just to maintain body temperature. So... in those situations, you'd better be providing some supplemental feed .
Here's an article with some good info on cold stress:
 

TCRanch

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I agree that cattle are amazingly resilient when it comes to nasty weather and they know what to do. The calves are what worries me the most. And yet - mama knows best and there's usually a pile of calves in the middle of the bedding. Just make sure they have some sort of shelter &/or a windbreak, which includes woods, deep draws, barns, lean-to's etc. Bedding (straw, junk hay, wood chips) is a plus. If a calf is too cold, warm it up in your truck, take it to the barn or your house, provide calf huts - basically anything to get its temp up & keep it warm & dry. Feed additional high protein hay &/or cubes.
 

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