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Posted on December 4, 2015
In our last blog, we looked at how to keep a horse comfy and warm during the winter months and showed you how easy it was.
This time, we’re looking at how to care for your cattle when the temperatures drop. As there are generally multiple individual animals in your herd, you may think that providing additional winter care for them will be costly and time consuming- but we’re here to bust that myth!
Even though most mammals are well equipped to deal with the fluctuating temperatures much more efficiently than us humans, they do still need a little extra help, especially when the temperatures drop drastically.
Increase Their Food Intake
As the whole herd will be burning more energy to keep themselves warm, it is essential that they have access to enough food to keep their energy stores topped up.
If you cattle are remaining in a cattle house over the winter, it’s important to increase the amount of food that you would normally feed them. This is to account for the lack of grazing they will be doing and we want to make sure that they are getting enough food in their systems.
The quality of the food that you are feeding your cattle also matters; if they are being fed low quality food then they won’t feel any of the benefit that they would from eating a higher nutrient, denser feed. These thicker, nutrient rich feeds keep the animal’s digestive systems functioning and producing heat to keep them warm.
You may also want to begin feeding them at night as the heat generated from the digestion of the feed peaks a few hours later. As the temperature is at it’s coldest during the night, you might want to give them an extra boost of warmth throughout the cold peak.
Protect Them From the Elements
Although they aren’t as susceptible to the cold as we are, it is incredibly important to ensure that you are protecting your cattle from the harsh weather that winter brings.
Although a bit of snow won’t bother them, it’s important not to leave them our in the rain or snow for long periods of time. It can be fatal if they are left to get soaked through to the skin out in the cold and many cases that ignore this warning end in hypothermia of the cattle and even death.
If your cattle has been outside and is visibly wet, increase the amount of bedding that is available to them. Usually bedding isn’t a massive necessity, but when the animals are wet, it helps to dry them off as well as keep them a bit warmer.
Even though we’re not experiencing much snow in the UK right now, it’s important that measures are being put into place to care for farming livestock and crops before the bitter weather draws in. We’ve already seen a few storms over the past few weeks, so preparation is key!
If you are already setting plans in motion and are looking for reliable agricultural buildings or crop storage, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us here at RE Buildings. Call our team today on 01524 792247 and find out how we can help you prepare your farm for winter.
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