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Winter care

knowknews

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1.) Do you all leave your cows out in the winter?
2.) Do you leave the barn door open (seems like it would be too cold at night then) and let them come and go as they please or do you make sure to leave them in and out for certain times.
3.) Could my calf stay outside for very long? Will be 6 months old by end of Dec.
 

dun

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If we're going to have an ice storm or more then an inch or 2 of snow all of ours, including calves, stay outside all the time. For expected ice storms or very much snow we open a shed so they can go in if they want to. As soon as it clears the doors get closed again
 

MO_cows

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Ours have a 3-sided shed; they use it more for shade in the summer than shelter in the winter. Cold rain, like when it is almost freezing rain, is about the only thing that bothers them enough to go stand in the shed.
 

redcowsrule33

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Cow herd has wind breaks and that's it. Calves have access to a barn but unless the weather is bad you don't find them in there. We have a back-up plan if we were to get a real honest to gosh BAD blizzard but haven't needed to use it yet (which is good cuz hubby doesn't want his tractor shed pooped up). Now that I said that we'll need it this winter.
 

angie1

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The cattle have access to a 3 sided shed at all times. They come in in the summer during the afternoon heat, but I have never seen them in there in the winter ~ no matter how bad it gets (and it has gotten really really bad!). They will tuck against the round bales as a wind break, but they never use the shed. Your calf will be fine. :nod: Sometimes I look out and cannot see the cattle, but I see cattle shaped snow mounds. Brrrrrrr......
 

Aaron

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Everything stays outside. Cows winter 1/2 mile from home in open fields. Gates are open for them to seek shelter in some thick spruce bush, but I don't feed them there. Weaned calves also winter in the open and can usually find something to hide behind. Fall cows with young calves will winter this year in a small 3 acre field, surrounding by bush, but usually winter in the open fields. :cowboy:
 

alacattleman

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side shed on my barn were they can go in if they want the hay stacked in the main part blocks the cold north winds... but they had rather go lay down in a dried up tick dip
 

Frankie

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knowknews":36v9vspa said:
1.) Do you all leave your cows out in the winter?
2.) Do you leave the barn door open (seems like it would be too cold at night then) and let them come and go as they please or do you make sure to leave them in and out for certain times.
3.) Could my calf stay outside for very long? Will be 6 months old by end of Dec.


Ours stay outside winter and summer. We calve Jan-Feb and the calves stay with their mommas. The babies are born near the house so we can weigh and tag them and they generally stay close for a few days (2-3). While they're close, there is a barn they can get inside, but they don't often bother. In fact, no matter the weather, they'll usually take the calf as far away as they can after it's born.

But we're in a mild climate. We have freezing weather, but generally not extended periods of freezing weather. Talk to the Extension people in your area. Surely they've got some sort of recommendations for caring for cattle in your climate.
 

knowknews

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Yea, I asked my dad after I posted here. He said he never let them out of the barn in the winter. He had dairy cows. We lived in Ashland, Ohio. South and West from here about 2 hours so I think the winters are similar. I don't know how much he really remembers as it was over 45 years ago :eek: (dating myself) and he is 77 now. Seems too much to leave all those cows in the barn for so long. He did mention awhile ago that with a cow and two goats in the little barn, the water probably wont freeze in their buckets.

Thanks.
 

dun

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I would never "close them up" in a barn. It needs to be as open and airy as possible.
 

mnmtranching

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A cool wet climate is much worse then a cold dry climate. A wind break is important.
Many Northern cattle will never see the inside of a building.
 

SRBeef

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Cattle will stay much healthier if they out-winter. I don't know about all breed but Herefords and I assume Angus at least should be outside, not in a shed or barn. They do need protection from the wind, either trees, a draw, bales or a manmade windbreak.

This is how they behave in nature. The cattle I have seen cooped up in a barn a lot over the winter tend to get respiratory and other health problems. Mine have been though a couple winters of -30 F lows in WI and lots of snow.

I think Herefords are actually happier at zero than they are at 90 with high humidity. They are so well insulated, as Angie points out, that even the snow on their backs doesn't melt.

We have to be careful not to think of them as we would feel. They are designed to be outdoor creatures. Jim
 

msscamp

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knowknews":of8f7gy3 said:
1.) Do you all leave your cows out in the winter?
2.) Do you leave the barn door open (seems like it would be too cold at night then) and let them come and go as they please or do you make sure to leave them in and out for certain times.
3.) Could my calf stay outside for very long? Will be 6 months old by end of Dec.

Cows and calves were outside the vast majority of the time. Only exception was if a cow calved during a blizzard, or if she calved and temps were in the extreme below 0 area. But, we also regularly checked our animals during calving time. No barn, no shed, but we did have windbreaks that they could get behind as well as trees in the pastures. If your calf is a bottle calf, I would give him/her access to a loafing type shed for protection from the wind, cold, and snow for the first winter. If he is on his mom, I wouldn't worry about it.
 

knowknews

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dun":1xy58zmn said:
I would never "close them up" in a barn. It needs to be as open and airy as possible.

I asked mother if she remembered if my dad kept the cows in in the winter. She said she was pretty sure he kept them in but then so did (she thinks) her grandpa. She suggested perhaps it was an "old-timer" practice. I don't know if there is a difference between dairy and beef cattle.

At any rate, I am going to take your advice and leave it up to the cow, however, I wonder if this is just a good enough wind break.

[IMG]http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y220/knoweknews/Barn%20Yard%20In%20Progress/cow029.jpg
[/img]

There are trees you can't see behind the barn and the camera is facing North so this is the south side of the barn. Hubby is going to extend the roof on the chicken coop to go all the way to the back of the barn. It will be like a shelter. Will this be enough? Should I also leave that barn door open for her to come and go? I do have the two goats in the barn as well and don't know how they will take the winter with the barn door open.
 

msscamp

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knowknews":ik77pzn6 said:
I do have the two goats in the barn as well and don't know how they will take the winter with the barn door open.

They will be fine. My goats are provided with open-front loafing sheds that are bedded with a couple of inches of straw or trash hay. Does with kids have a heat lamp for the first 2-3 days after kidding, depending on the weather. Even then, if the days are above freezing, the heat lamps are shut off until nightfall. Nothing around here is shut up in a barn, it just isn't a healthy environment for them. Hell, even an open-fronted shed can build up enough ammonia due to the urine to make it an unhealthy environment if it isn't cleaned out regularly - and it's ventilated!
 
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