Farmers Taking Steps to Keep Cows Warm

By: Amelia Nahmias Email
By: Amelia Nahmias Email

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DAYTON, Va. (WHSV) -- People are not the only ones feeling the cold blast as Valley farmers prepare their cattle for Monday night's sub-zero temperatures.

James Housden, who works at the Dayton AG Complex where farmers can bring their cattle for inspection and sales, said the cold weather has farmers on their toes.

"We've seen a little more movement today, we could definitely feel a little more eagerness to get their livestock moved," said Housden.

The cattle there right now need to be prepped for Monday night.

"We've increased bedding with the livestock. We've bumped up a couple shipment dates trying to get the livestock moved and to their destination before the cold really sets in," said Housden.

Marc Toothman, a large animal veterinarian, said that in one of the cow's four stomachs hay is constantly being broken down.

"The microbes in there will actually ferment, and that puts off heat. So they walk around with little internal furnaces," said Toothman.

He also said their thick woolly hides help maintain the heat, but the wind is the concern.

"We don't want the wind blowing on the cattle, so whatever we can do, whether its close up barns close up trailers, anything we can do to break the wind," said Housden.

With Housden's preps, Toothman said there is little concern for the cattle.

"So in cold weather, as long as they have adequate feed and water, they do rather well," said Toothman.

"Prevent as much as we can. We're kind of in the ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure stage. We'll do the best that we can. It looks like it'll only be a day or two of cold so with the warm up on the way it keeps us on the optimistic side," said Housden.

Toothman said that cows will be okay if they're left outside because it is their natural instinct to find a bluff or another area shielded from the wind.


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