Some people like winter, and some don’t; it is a debate that can probably never be settled. Yet, everyone can agree that the first snow of winter can create an unmatched landscape. It creates an ideal mood to slip on your couch and read a book by the fireplace.
While it sounds amazing to humans, cattle do not have the same luxuries in intense cold. Snow and cool breeze can leave the cattle struggling. This struggle shows signs of inability to produce milk or gain the expected weight.
Yes, you cannot bring cattle into your home. However, it does not mean that winters have to be miserable for the cattle. There are many ways to keep your cattle happy, warm, and healthy, even in harsh circumstances.
If you are new to cattle care in winter, here are a few tips that can help you in ensuring the health of your cattle.
1. Focus on Diet
A well-fed cattle is a happy cattle. Their health and happiness show through their energy and activities. However, if your cattle are not fed well enough, they can get cold. Over time, the dropped core temperature can lead to weakness and, ultimately, death.
If you want to avoid such tragedies, you need to switch to feeding with increased nutrients. You can also use large hay feeding systems to ensure that every animal has access to feed hay. Yes, feeding with increased nutrients can add to your expenses.
You can cover these costs when the sun shines. Of course, nothing comes before ensuring the health of your cattle.
2. Make Arrangements for Water
For every hundred pounds of weight, cattle need 1-2 gallons of water every day. Cattle owners try to maintain this need every day. However, it gets difficult to make water readily available during the winter. That is because water can easily freeze.
If your cattle do not have access to fresh water, they may eat snow which can affect their body heat. Dehydration also increases the chances of colic and impaction for the cattle. No farm owner ever wants anything bad to happen to their cattle.
The easiest way to ensure that your cattle do not get dehydrated is to install tank heaters. A water heater can help you provide unfrozen water to multiple locations on your farm. Make sure to use high-quality heaters to make sure that there are no accidental shocks or fires.
3. Keep Mud at Bay
Cold breezes and mud are inevitable in winter. Of course, the cattle have to go out to take a stroll, eat, and much more. You cannot tie them in a barn for a complete season.
During winters, mud may be one of the biggest enemies of your cattle. Over time, mud can lead to foot rods and thrush. Secondly, it can ruin all your plans of keeping your cattle warm because their legs will always be covered in cold mud.
Therefore, you can use gravel for muddy areas. If things still do not work out, you can take a step further and enjoy the benefits of electric fencing on your farm.