Cold Weather Advice for Livestock Care

Cold Weather Advice for Livestock Care

As cold weather grips the Pacific Northwest and many areas have had or are forecast to have sub-zero temperatures with wind chill, taking care of livestock becomes even more critical.

Don Llewellyn, Washington State University Extension Regional Livestock Specialist, shares some good advice for caring for livestock in this freezing weather.

Llewellyn: “Well, anytime we are looking at livestock that are housed outdoors and so forth -- we have to be concerned about both the temperature and the chill factor. We think about those animals if we can get them out of the wind either into buildings or manmade or natural windbreaks those are definitely going to be beneficial.The nutritional needs are going to increase a lot based on how cold it is and how far below get what we call the thermal neutral zone. So we have to give extra feed.”

Llewellyn shares that compared with 30 degree temperatures -- when cows have a dry winter coat -- they require about 20 percent more energy at 10 degrees and about 40 percent more energy at -10 degrees. He adds


Llewellyn: “Water is really that most important nutrient so we’ve got to make sure that we have a readily available supply of water for the livestock as well.”


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