Heat stress killing cattle.

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backhoeboogie

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Heat stress/stroke killed some angus cows belonging to a young couple getting in the cow business. They called me I tried not to be critical but they have no business running cold climate cattle in Texas to begin with. The feed they were using was way too hot (too high of protein) for current temperatures. They have one pair left and I told them where to get 9% protein feed for that cow. The calves are old enough to make it. They have shade for the cows.

When I got back home there was a news story coming out of Nebraska where cows were dying from heat stress. Here's a link to that story: http://new.khastv.com/modules/news/arti ... orytopic=4

If you are running cold climate cattle get them off of the high protein feed until the heat wave brakes. If you are going to feed them, 9% all grain is the best thing you can do for them right now.
 

bigbull338

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now loosing cattle to heat stress will leave a bad taste in your mouth.esp if your new to cattle.an learning as you go.
 

TexasBred

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Always hurts when you lose an animal to anything. But at this time of the year most Texas cattle don't need any supplementation if they have any grass left at all....if not give them some hay. Grain creates huge amounts of heat during digestion. No need building a fire in one when she's already burning up. Just give her some shade and plenty of water and let her run with a good Brahman bull. ;-) If you just absolutely feel you have to feed her something give her a low protein, high fiber feed with not a lot of grain in it. (Cheap feed)
 
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backhoeboogie

backhoeboogie

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TexasBred":1y1z4eea said:
Always hurts when you lose an animal to anything. But at this time of the year most Texas cattle don't need any supplementation if they have any grass left at all....if not give them some hay.

A mineral supplement and salt is needed. You're right about all the rest. We deal with this every year here in Texas and don't lose them. Folks in milder climates are losing cattle big time. It is not the high heat during the day. It is the high overnight lows. Cows can lay up in the shade during the day and chew their cuds.

I hate to see all those cattle dying. They need to get them off of high protein feed for sure.
 

Texas Gal

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backhoeboogie":eayfy0kt said:
I hate to see all those cattle dying. They need to get them off of high protein feed for sure.

try this story on for size...some people shouldn't own animals of any kind; heck, some people shouldn't be allowed to live.

23 cows found dead in Denton County

05:32 PM CDT on Monday, June 29, 2009
By LOWELL BROWN / The Denton Record-Chronicle [email protected]

Denton County authorities are investigating after finding 23 dead cows Monday in a field just west of Ray Roberts Lake. An animal control officer responded to the 2100 block of McReynolds Road at about 9 a.m. after receiving a tip about dead livestock, said Tom Reedy, a spokesman for the Denton County Sheriff’s Office. The officer found 23 Black Angus cows that had been dead approximately five days, along with one cow that was still alive, Reedy said.“We have talked to the field hand, and he says that it appears that the gate between the two pastures got shut somehow and they [the cows] could not get to the water,” Reedy said. “No criminal charges have been filed, but we are doing an investigation to see if they should be. If they should be, they will be.” Reedy said the cows were about 2 years old. Their value was estimated at $11,500.

All I could think was how badly those cows suffered last week with the 100+ degree heat AND NO WATER!!!
 

HerefordSire

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Texas Gal":2zvodor1 said:
backhoeboogie":2zvodor1 said:
I hate to see all those cattle dying. They need to get them off of high protein feed for sure.

try this story on for size...some people shouldn't own animals of any kind; heck, some people shouldn't be allowed to live.

23 cows found dead in Denton County

05:32 PM CDT on Monday, June 29, 2009
By LOWELL BROWN / The Denton Record-Chronicle [email protected]

Denton County authorities are investigating after finding 23 dead cows Monday in a field just west of Ray Roberts Lake. An animal control officer responded to the 2100 block of McReynolds Road at about 9 a.m. after receiving a tip about dead livestock, said Tom Reedy, a spokesman for the Denton County Sheriff’s Office. The officer found 23 Black Angus cows that had been dead approximately five days, along with one cow that was still alive, Reedy said.“We have talked to the field hand, and he says that it appears that the gate between the two pastures got shut somehow and they [the cows] could not get to the water,” Reedy said. “No criminal charges have been filed, but we are doing an investigation to see if they should be. If they should be, they will be.” Reedy said the cows were about 2 years old. Their value was estimated at $11,500.

All I could think was how badly those cows suffered last week with the 100+ degree heat AND NO WATER!!!

Could be a prison sentence especially if someone like MADD (mothers against drunk drivers) pressures the prosecuting attorney.
 

cypressfarms

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In the article backhoe posted towards the end, the person they were interviewing said that to help keep cattle from dying from heat stress you need to spread the cattle out and feed at night. I'm still laughing at both of them. I guess keeping each cow 20 yards from another will lower their body temp. :lol2:
 
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backhoeboogie

backhoeboogie

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Cypress the vets never mention protein content either and they do mention feed. You have to wonder if they are clueless or have no experience with high temperatures and cattle.

Get them off of feed completely would be the best advice possible.
 

TexasBred

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alacattleman":1gg6furf said:
my cattle must be different, aint no gate gonna keep them from water.when they get thirsty enough...

About 40 years ago I closed a gate that I should not have and it kept about 15 cows in a field with no water. Found them about 2 days latter and they looked like they had lost 400 lbs. apiece....none died but I still kick myself for not knowing the rule "If it's open when you go thru it, leave it open....if it's closed when you go thru it.....close it back up after you go thru it".
 

1982vett

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TexasBred":3ioqy77l said:
alacattleman":3ioqy77l said:
my cattle must be different, aint no gate gonna keep them from water.when they get thirsty enough...

About 40 years ago I closed a gate that I should not have and it kept about 15 cows in a field with no water. Found them about 2 days latter and they looked like they had lost 400 lbs. apiece....none died but I still kick myself for not knowing the rule "If it's open when you go thru it, leave it open....if it's closed when you go thru it.....close it back up after you go thru it".
Might even tie it open so the wind doesn't close it for you too. That is, if you have a gate that doesn't already drag the ground. :lol:
 

dun

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From Angus Journal via Drovers:

As we move into summer, it is important to recognize the danger high heat and humidity pose to cattle. Cattle are more sensitive to heat than humans. They reach their “critical” temperature (the temperature at which negative effects start to occur) when the temperature-humidity index reaches the high 80s.

Temperature, humidity and the amount of direct sunlight are the primary factors that determine an animal’s body temperature. However, other factors — such as precipitation, wind, amount of night cooling and exposure to fescue endophyte— are important.

Precipitation can cause problems because high humidity reduces the ability of cattle to use evaporation to dissipate heat. Evaporative cooling occurs when sweat or moisture evaporates from the respiratory tract or skin. Evaporation is the primary means by which cattle cool themselves at temperatures higher than 70° F. The effects of wind and nighttime temperatures are also important. If winds are calm or if cattle congregate behind a windbreak, the animals’ ability to be cooled is reduced.Night temperatures that remain above 70° F increase the danger of heat stress because of little or no night cooling.

Cattle that are not acclimated to hot weather are also at greater risk if weather changes rapidly or if the cattle are moved to an environment with greater heat stress. Cattle that have eaten endophyte-infected fescue may have increased body temperatures and may be predisposed to heat stress.

Another factor that plays a role in heat stress is hide color,with black-hided cattle at greater risk than cattle with light-colored hides. Breed plays a role in that Bos indicus breeds (Brahman and others) handle heat better than do Bos taurus (European) breeds. For cattle in a feedlot situation, special attention should be given to newly arrived cattle and heavier cattle approaching finished weights. Iowa researchers found that unshaded lots facing south, southwest or west had higher death losses than lots facing east or southeast during a period of severe heat stress.

To read the entire article, http://www.anguselist.com/volume0609/06 ... etcall.pdf.
 

KNERSIE

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Exactly how hot is a Texas heat wave? I don't excactly live in a temperate climate and as long as hereford cows have shade and water I have never seen them even pant.

If you don't have shade and it hits 115F they do pant, but I have never lost one to heat, do know of a few holsteins that keeled over two years ago not to far from me.
 

alacattleman

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only way too describe it is like a sauna,, i can operate fine with the temps in the high 90's but that dam humidity well drain you.
 
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backhoeboogie

backhoeboogie

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Kernsie I know of no one having problems with herfs here. LH's or any breed with bos indicus do fine.

My nurse cow is dairy and she can get overheated with high protein feed.

The only people I know of here who had problems were the young couple I mentioned. They were feeding too hot of feed and running a cold climate breed (angus) with calves nursing the cows down. I suggested they calve them in the fall.

This heat wave is affected other parts of the U.S. right now. The link I posted was to a climate more moderate than Texas. I suspect it is high protein feed playing a part of it and the cows are not acclimated.

There were people on this very forum advising a lady last year to feed a calf a high protein diet. They are not from this part of the U.S. What they were prescribing would kill that animal. When I explained it they got adamant about it.

These last few weeks we have seen highs as much as 107 degrees and lows in the 80's at night. This is typical for this time of year and no records are being broken here in Texas.

Go to that link I provided and read. 1000 dead cattle hit someone right in the pocket book. Terrible.
 

Arnold Ziffle

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Knersie, of course high daytime temperature is only one factor in the "heat" issue. Just as important, probably more, is the relative humidity. And then there is the issue of nightime cooling. Daytime temperatures of say 100 degrees along the very humid Gulf coast are a heck of a lot harder on humans, cattle, etc. than 100 degrees far inland where the humidity is much lower. In addition, hot & humid air doesn't cool off after sundown as readily as hot, dry air. Days of over 100 degrees plus very high humidity plus nightime temps that won't hardly get below 80 degrees (coupled with the highest humidity typically being at night) makes for a tough environment that bos indicus influenced cattle are generally better able to cope with than straight Brits or continentals. Based on my own anecdotal experiences, I've been more comfortable in 110 temperatures in west and north Texas than I am at 98 degrees down here around Houston and I imagine it's similar for cattle. And it works that way for cold weather too --- temperatures of below zero in Colorado and Calgary sure didn't feel as cold to me as 30 degrees above zero in the rice fields along the coast. The recent deaths in Kansas and Nebraska, I believe, have been due to the combination of high heat and unusually high hunidity (for the area), probably coupled with incorrect feeding practices for that type of weather.

What's the humidity like on those 115 degree days in RSA and what would a typical middle of the night temperature be after one of those days?
 

KNERSIE

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What's the humidity like on those 115 degree days in RSA and what would a typical middle of the night temperature be after one of those days?

That depends on where you are and whether there is a thunderstorm brewing or whether "bergwind" is the culprit causing the heatwave. Where I am the humidity is usually around 65%, but can be significantly higher, as you move more to the subtropics the humidity gets in the high 90's although the temps are often not quite as high. Nighttime temps can stay as high as 95F, but typically it cools down to about 75F in my area.

Over here there are better breeds for the subtropics than brahman in my opinion.
 

andybob

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backhoeboogie":2pi3qito said:
KNERSIE":2pi3qito said:
Over here there are better breeds for the subtropics than brahman in my opinion.

Keep talking. I'm listening.

The Tuli and Mashona, both of which are available in the USA, other breeds which American breeders are interesed in include the Drakensberger. The composite Bonsmara has an increasing following as well.
 
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