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Winter Weather Cattle Management

Author: Kristy

JANUARY 24, 2014
By: University News Release
 

By: Warren Rusche, Cow/Calf Field Specialist, SDSU Extension

Winter weather conditions have certainly hit with a vengeance this year, not only in South Dakota but in a wide swath of the cattle producing areas of the United States. While we can’t change the weather, there are some things that can be done from a management standpoint to improve cattle comfort and reduce the impacts on cattle performance and efficiency during the winter.

Wind Protection

One of the most effective methods to reduce the impact of cold stress on cattle is to provide protection from the wind. Reducing the wind speed from 20 mph to 5 mph or less will reduce maintenance energy requirements by as much as 30 percent. Temporary windbreaks are very well suited for feedlots as they could be removed during the summer months when maximum air movement is desirable.

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