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KayDee Gilkey Winter Weather Stress Reminder
by KayDee Gilkey, click here for bio

Program: Land & Livestock Report
Date: March 08, 2017

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For most of us around the West, we are ready for spring and ready to be done with the snow and winter storms. University of Idaho Range and Livestock Extension Specialist Dr. Melinda Ellison reminds beef producers that this time of year that cattle are beginning to adapt to warm weather and shedding their winter coat and may have issues with those last of winter storms that seem to blow through the region this time year.

Ellison: “Typically the rule of thumb would be for every one degree that it drops below the low critical temperature — which for an animal that has a dry heavy winter coat — would be around 20 degrees F. For every degree it drops, you should increase their dietary energy by about 1 percent. If you have an animal that has a coat that is shedding out and they’re starting to adapt more to that spring weather — you might want to consider 1 up to 3 percent increase in dietary energy. Especially if they are lactating or if they are thin gives the a little bit of boost to help them get through that cold wet day. And also keeping in mind if you have cows with newborn calves on the ground, that the energy that the calves are getting through milk is energy that you have to put into the cow. So if she is not getting enough energy to not only keep herself warm but to produce good quality milk for her calf — that is also important to consider.”

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