Young calves and cold temperatures

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Walking W

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My Charolais calf is 2 1/2 weeks old and we are expecting temperatures in the single digits this week. I don't have a barn or a lean-to just lots of trees and a large brush pile for a wind break. Should do something special to protect the calf? Thanks!
 

Rydero

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At that age should be just fine. For a few days we'd be careful with their ears at those temps but by day 3 or 4 not much to worry about with some windbreak and bedding.
 

pdubdo

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Ha! I was just researching the same thing. Got a cow due to calve any day now so I'm praying she waits till the cold spell passes!
 

Till-Hill

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Beef cows don't start for 3 weeks but with dairy calves we have enclosed barn with curtains. -20 last weekend. Today high was 8, this weekend back to -20. I've been feeding an extra pint of milk at noon, we feed 6am 6pm. Tonight shockingly the youngest ones were not hungry and didn't finish their 2 quarts of milk. I don't think I'm going to feed at noon anymore. They got bedding, out of wind, feed, milk, water, and calf jackets. They do just great when you do the simple things
 
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Walking W

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Beef cows don't start for 3 weeks but with dairy calves we have enclosed barn with curtains. -20 last weekend. Today high was 8, this weekend back to -20. I've been feeding an extra pint of milk at noon, we feed 6am 6pm. Tonight shockingly the youngest ones were not hungry and didn't finish their 2 quarts of milk. I don't think I'm going to feed at noon anymore. They got bedding, out of wind, feed, milk, water, and calf jackets. They do just great when you do the simple things
You've got it rough by comparison. I guess I won't worry about things too much. I'll feed extra calories and protein to help the mommas get what they need. Thanks for the info!
 

Stocker Steve

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My Charolais calf is 2 1/2 weeks old and we are expecting temperatures in the single digits this week. I don't have a barn or a lean-to just lots of trees and a large brush pile for a wind break. Should do something special to protect the calf? Thanks!
That is not cold, unless it is a wet new born. Positive 20 F is a break point for calving concerns.

Since you have a windbreak - - bedding or calf coats would be high input things to consider. They are not required but they will improve performance.
 

bird dog

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Your not alone Walking W and Mr. VanRoss its not mismanagement. We can have bad weather in April. This IS spring calving for us.
Drive through the country side and there are thousands of calves being born at this time. We have to get them on the ground so they and their moms can take advantage of the spring grass because after that is done, forage goes away quickly on most years.

As the others have said, keep some hay in front of the cows and toss them some cubes and everything should work out.
 

bulldog04

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I have woods that go around my fences to the north and put hay close to the fence so the cows can eat and have a windbreak. Another place I have there are little thickets and wooded areas and I cram hay bales in there. I just don't leave the hay out in the open. They are saying the high will be 20 and the low will be 8 F next Monday and that is cold for around here. By far the coldest day
 

BigBear56

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I’m thankful every day we got the barns cleaned out and cows inside to calve this winter. We normally have pretty mild winters but we’ve got 10” of snow on the ground with another foot on the way and down to low teens every night. We started calving Saturday and the calves are doing well. This is the first year we’ve done this. Normally I will just put up a tarp between a couple trees. Worked out good for once!
 

Lazy M

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Cows weren't supposed to start for a few weeks, but of course the first couple came right before the ice storm on Tuesday.
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Was worried about the red cows calf. I hadn't seen it for a couple days, but then found them tonight hunkered down in the woods.
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Old cows know what to do a long as they have a little cover to work with.
 

Dave

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There is 82 cows out in the front field. Four have had their calves. The rest could pop at anytime. It is in the teens with a couple inches of new snow. Snowing more tonight. No real shelter but the way the field lays between the hills it doesn't blow much there. Lots of calves in other fields that are wide open. When I rode through them this afternoon there was only one that looked real close. But these old cows can sneak one out quick with no notice. Oh well, they are on their own until daylight tomorrow morning.
 

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