Preventing Cold Stress in Cattle

Importance of Adequate Herd Nutrition

Preventing Cold Stress in Cattle
Add to Favorites Reading Time: 6 minutes Cold stress in cattle adversely affects cattle health and well-being. Stressed animals are more vulnerable to illness. Cattle generally need more care during cold or wet weather and this includes additional feed. Providing adequate nutrition to cows and calves can reduce incidence of illness or loss of animals. Cattle that have a chance to acclimate gradually to winter develop a thick hair coat and put on body fat if feed sources are adequate, enabling them to withstand much colder temperatures, but some situations put them at risk for hypothermia. Conditions that lead to cold stress in cattle include wind, in combination with cold temperatures, wet weather (which negates the insulating quality of a fluffy hair coat), and inadequate forage. Hungry cows are cold cows; forage is broken down and digested in the rumen by microbial action, and this fermentation/breakdown process produces heat. Cattle

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