Winter management must begin in the fall, before cold climate. This implies precisely on observing body condition on pregnant animals and when calves are weaned. And to build up the condition of the cattle by giving adequate nutrition to enable bovines to keep up their normal to-great condition before their next calving.
Winter can be resulted in stress and depressions for the cattle. It includes temperature, rain, snow, feed quality, feed quantity, rain, health condition, adaptation and maybe other things. Cattle can actually adapt good in cold condition, but farmer still need to think what’s better to give to the cattle in order to prevent stressful cold condition.
For beginners, 5 Things you Should Know Before Starting a Cattle Farm is a good start to learn. Through this article, we would like to give you tips and some info of how to take care of beef cow in winter.
The primary tip to dealing with your cows amid extreme winter and chilly climate is to distribute higher quality of the feed you are providing for your cattle to help their everyday energy necessities. Vitality requirements for cows increased during winter as more energy is required to remain fit and warm. Normally, the vitality requirement for cow increased by two percent for each degree drop in the breeze chill temperature. The energy needed by the cattle during this harsh winter is to remain warm and fit. This vitality can be re-established by including superb grains or extra roughage into the dairy cattle’s eating regimen. When high quality roughage is hard to discover in this season, we can make certain to utilize grains, for example, corn, grain, wheat, and oats. Be aware of how much each animal is eating to make sure they are fed enough. In the event that you have some animals that are pregnant, set up a different sustaining process for the gathering with the goal that the steers can look after themselves, proceed to develop, and grow a baby for the fate of the crowd.
Enough nutrition is the most important thing for a successful cattle management. Cows undergo many changes during a year. It is said that winter feeding period is one of most critical period in providing enough nutrition for the cows. To make it easier for you to feed your cattle, it is better to divide your cows into feeding groups.
- Group 1 for adult cows of good condition
This is the easiest group to handle. You can feed them with average quality feed along with the grains or pellets, vitamins, fortified salt and minerals. This kind of feed has already meet the need of nutrition for this group.
- Group 2 for young adult and pregnant cows
This group, we can call it like teenager group in human’s term. They need a lot of feed and more nutritious feed for their growth and development. This group of cattle need good quality hay and extra grain to gain body weight and to develop the fetus for the pregnant cows.
- Group 3 of thin and old cows
You will need to give extra care for this group. They need more energy to survive during winter. Some older cows may need extra health care besides a lot of nutritional feed for them. There is a good tip when you feed your cattle. Increase the amount of feed 15 for each degree of cold temperature.
How To Increase Appetite In Cattle is a good one to read.
2. Water supply
Another important thing to take care of your cattle is to always keep the water on supply. It should be clean and easy to access for the cows. Maybe some people think that it would be enough for the cow to lick the snow to meet their need of water. That is a great mistake. Providing enough water for your cattle is a way to keep them healthy. It will also prevent them to be get contagious disease.
For your information, beef cattle will consume between 22 to 66 liters per day and a mother cow will drink approximately as much as 120 liters per day. If the winter is too harsh and freeze the water, it is advised to use automated heated water for overwintered cattle. And you should monitor this facility to make sure that it is working in good condition so your cows’ water supply will always be met.
Another important thing is about the shelter. Cattle should be protected from harsh climate of winter. You should be able to manage the environment where you house your cattle. Provide them with proper house. Not only the sturdy materials are needed to build the shelter, but you also need to concern about space and conditions of the barn. Make quite spacious barn for the cows you keep in it. So they have room to roam around. Don’t forget to keep their bedding and the floor dry as to prevent the disease and illness because of the wetness in their house. Many times, too much cows in the barn creates mud which impacts on their health condition. So, if you have quite a lot of cows, make big barns to house all your cows comfortably. The proper bedding will protect your cows from frozen ground which resulted the heat loss of their body.
The protection during winter will keep them away from hypothermia, frostbite and even death. One way to do that is to provide windbreak for your cattle. It can be natural shelter-belt like trees or shrubs or man-made shelter. A well ventilated building, stack of big hay bales, woods, etc are other options to make a windbreaker. This protection is very obvious and important as wind breeze can make it worsen for the cows and it can make them more stressed.
4. Blankets for the elders
Your old cows will be weaker than the young and growing ones. Ensure to keep them warm during this winter. Feel free to put a lot of blankets on those old cows. And besides the blankets, enough feed, water and vitamins will make them strong to endure the winter.
5. Winter grazing
Winter grazing is one of good thing to consider, not to mention it will save money in feeding your cattle. It saves time and effort as it is easier to move temporary fencing than to turn on diesel tractor engine and create carbon monoxide. Hence, these tips above about how to take care of beef cow in winter could become one of your reference to be applied in your cattle farm.
Remember that your ignorance on your cows’ need during this season will be resulted in stunted animals, sick and maybe dead fetuses. Feed your cattle, provide plenty of water and always observe their health conditions so they keep healthy and happy during winter. There are some recommendations for you who loves pets. Open How to Tame A Feral Cat and Bring It Into Your Home or 4 Important Tips to Take Care of A Puppy Without Its Mother and get to know them better