A beef extension educator says cattle producers need to take extra steps to prepare for the extreme weather expected with this winter storm.
Ron Lemenager with Purdue says making sure cattle have access to water is priority one. But when it comes to feeding, when the windchill drops below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, the energy cows need for maintenance goes up significantly. “If you have a cow that’s in moderate body condition with a winter hair coat and her hair is dry, the requirements go up by 13% for each 10-degree drop below 30 degrees,” he says. A drop in windchill from 30 degrees to 0 degrees would mean cows need a 39% increase from the animal’s normal energy requirements. And if cows are thin, he says the requirement goes up to 30% per 10-degree drop.