As I write this, it’s early January and it just so happens to be the first hard cold spell of the season. Currently, the ambient temperature is 8°, and the wind is blowing 30 mph, so the wind chill – or “feels like” temperature – is -5°. Harsh, to say the least.
A good friend of mine sent me a text this morning: “Winter weather advisory in effect! NO farms will be closed,” which is very true, but that comes with the territory.
Even though it is January, in terms of bitter-cold conditions, this “cold snap”
is atypical for Southeastern Oklahoma. As it stands, there is very little moisture in the forecast (knock on wood), which is a blessing.
For the most part, cattle can withstand what you and I would consider extremely cold temperatures, but that is only IF:
- they can stay full of roughage for metabolic body heat
- they can stay out of the wind
- they can stay hydrated, and
- if they can stay dry
The first three, we have some control over. The last one, not so much.
Oftentimes with these winter weather events comes precipitation, whether in the form of sleet or snow. In these situations, the three things we can control mentioned above (hay, wind-breaks & water) become even more paramount with the addition of utilizing more hay for bedding.