The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

February 5, 2014

Managing cattle in cold weather

DEWITT — Loren Truelsen is president of the Clinton County Cattlemen’s organization. This is what he has to say about helping his cattle survive the kind of winter the area has been having this year:

“Snow is a pain, but it can be moved or placed out of the way,” he said, adding that the one exception about snow is if it gets piled upon along a fence and then freezes there. “Then cattle may walk right over a fence.”

“But cold temperatures are hard on the human body itself, making it hard to work productively. Keeping fresh water to all cattle is always a struggle in these frigid temps—unthawing waters if frozen, chipping or breaking ice on the water.

“Keeping the cattle as dry and clean as possible might take extra bedding. With extreme cold temperatures cattle may need to intake more energy in their everyday diet, so that would mean feeding them more corn or wet corn gluten.”

Truelsen said that as a cow-calf producer he tries to schedule the heifers to have their calves in February and the cows in March and April “so I have less chance of having extreme weather like this in those months.”

The Iowa State University’s extension beef program specialist, Denise Schwab,says the biggest impact is the additional stress on cattle from cold weather requires protection from the wind and more energy from their diet.

She said the lower critical temperature for beef cattle with a dry heavy winter hair coat is 20 degrees. For every degree of cold below that, the animal requires about 7 percent more energy to maintain their body.

“Without that additional energy in the diet, the animal will pull energy from other bodily functions, such as growth or pregnancy.

Wind chill also increases the need for more energy.

Schwab also said providing cattle with more forage also helps, because digesting forage increases some internal heat to help keep the animal warm.

An additional problem this winter for livestock farmers is a shortage of propane fuel. The Iowa Farm Bureau issued a bulletin Jan. 30 urging grain farmers to check their propane tanks on their grain drying for any residual fuel and if there is any to contact neighbors to inquire if their homes or livestock barns need extra fuel.

Young chicks and baby pigs are susceptible to harsh cold weather and farmers could lose some of the animals,

Dairy farmers also need propane to heat water for sanitizing equipment, the notice says.

 

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Celebrity quack moms are a terrible influence on everyday parents

    On April 15, the actress Alicia Silverstone released a book called "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning." It's chock-full of attachment parenting lessons and dangerous misinformation.

    April 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg What will happen in NFL draft? No one really knows

    Despite the hours spent interviewing coaches, watching film and developing well-reasoned mock draft lists, the truth about the 2014 NFL draft remains a mystery, well-guarded by teams that have nothing to gain by publicly sharing their innermost thoughts.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • American sunscreens need an upgrade

    The last time a new sunscreen ingredient came on the U.S. market, the Y2K bug was threatening to destroy our way of life. Intel had just introduced the Pentium III processor, featuring an amazing 500 MHz of computing power.

    April 24, 2014

  • 20140424-AMX-COFFEE24.jpg Coffee growers' prayers for rain met with threat of deluge

    Brazil's drought made arabica coffee this year's best-performing commodity. Now, farmers are facing a downpour that is once more threatening crops.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Iowa man accused of torturing, killing bald eagle

    An Iowa man has been charged with torturing and killing a bald eagle.

    A federal grand jury in Des Moines returned an indictment Wednesday against Jason John Thomas.

    April 24, 2014

  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 24, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

    April 24, 2014

  • 4-23-14 Northey Burkens committed to ag education CLINTON -- As the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey said his department doesn't hand out the Good Farm Neighbor Award arbitrarily. Only 10 acknowledgements are bestowed each year. On Wednesday, the honor went to a worthy family in Clinton C

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • World Book Night 1 Clinton Public Library hosts largest World Book Night event in the country

    CLINTON -- With more than 21 titles and 800 copies to give away, what reader wouldn't adore an event like World Book Night? Organizers at the Clinton Public Library wondered the same Wednesday, and were pleased with turnout for the third annual event

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amid Russian warning, Ukraine's in a security bind

    Ukraine's highly publicized goal to recapture police stations and government buildings seized by pro-Russia forces in the east produced little action on the ground Wednesday but ignited foreboding words from Moscow.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that Russia would mount a firm response if its citizens or interests come under attack in Ukraine. Although he did not specifically say Russia would launch a military attack, his comments bolstered wide concern that Russia could use any violence in eastern Ukraine as a pretext for sending in troops.

    April 23, 2014

AP Video