Now that winter has come, it’s time to stay warm and safe from the biting cold. This also goes for your cattle. Your cattle could get sick from the cold. Because of this, their health may worsen, and they may have trouble making enough milk. Animals can feel physical and mental stress when it’s cold outside because it makes it hard for them to do their daily tasks. But if you know how to care for your animals in the winter, they can be happy and healthy. Here are some advice for taking care of cattle during the winter:
Always keep water on hand.
During the winter, it can be hard for cattle to find enough water. Water sources can be blocked by snow, ice, or muck. Veterinarians say every 100 pounds of cattle need 1 to 2 gallons of daily water. Because of this, water is always a valuable resource, whether it’s winter or not. Some people new to taking care of livestock may think cattle can eat snow or lick ice to gain weight, but this is not true. It would take hours and use up valuable body heat. This would leave the animal with little time or energy to eat and grow.
Because colic and impaction are more likely to happen in dehydrated calves, it is very important to control how much water they drink and keep them healthy. Putting tank heaters in their water sources is the easiest thing to do. Always do what the manufacturer says to avoid getting a shock or starting a fire by accident. If you can’t use a heater, ensure you have access to unfrozen water many times a day and in different places. To consult on a vet regarding this matter, click here.
Ensure that the cattle are well-fed.
How cold do cows get? If they aren’t fed right because of the lack of preventive dental care. That’s why it’s so important to improve food delivery when it’s cold. They can’t make enough body heat if they don’t have enough energy. So, their core temperature goes down, and they eventually die.
Feeding and caring for your cattle during the winter in many ways. The easiest solution, but often the most expensive, is to switch to a feed high in nutrients. The nutrients in these premium feeds, like fat and protein, are guaranteed, but they can wreck your business’s income.
Provide adequate shelter.
Most of the time, life on a farm is great. When a winter storm hits, it’s more important to get to safety than to eat or sleep. They might worry about their health and get scared if they don’t have it.
Providing enough shelter for grazing cattle when it’s cold is important, and it can even save you money on feed because chilled animals need more energy. There are many ways to give people a place to live. Cattle can get out of bad weather if you strategically place sheds with three sides around your pastures. Hills, gullies, dense forests, and shelterbelts can also block the wind.
Stay away from the mud.
Two things happen to animals because of the winter muck. First, muck is a great place for foot rot and thrush to grow. Second, even if the mud is just on their legs, it might be hard for their calves to stay warm.
Spread gravel or wood chips on muddy spots in the winter to solve your mud problem. Rotational grazing may also help keep a pasture from turning into the muck when it has been overgrazed. You can also let muddy spots dry out with your electric fencing.
Help pregnant cattle.
During the winter, heifers that are pregnant should be closely watched. Please talk to your specialist on veterinary care for herds about any immunizations they may need to stay healthy over the winter, like dietary supplements and deworming.
It is always a fine idea to put pregnant cows in their paddocks to be watched closely. This lets you give them enough food, water, and a place to live. Also, it keeps them close as the due date gets closer. This makes it possible for you to be there and ready to help with the delivery.
Aside from the things listed above, you can make your animals more comfortable by using udder lotions and ointments to calm milking cows, giving them enough straw and hay to lie on and stay warm, and giving them more room to rest. Even though the winter months might be hard for your cattle, if you follow these rules, they will be well cared for and happy.