Flash Freezing, Cold Conditions Could Affect Livestock

NORFOLK — With temperatures dipping into single digits and wind chills hitting the negative teens, cattle are just as likely as humans to get hypothermia.

That’s why it’s important to make sure there’s plenty of bedding for livestock in pens according to feedlot consultant Jeff Fox, who says one of the scariest cold weather events for cattle is freezing rain.

“The hair then becomes wet and that’s their insulation barrier, and then the wind blows that cold air right onto the skin of those cattle and they can get pretty cold,” Fox said.

Fox said the New Years cold spell was tough with some of his clients losing cattle to hypothermia.  Fox says a concern could be that the ground has thawed and become damp after a series of warm days.  So, in a twist, the flash freezing could be a positive for livestock producers.

“This flash freezing could actually be a good thing if those pens go from cold and wet to just cold and hard, then that will give the cattle a little bit better place to lay,” Fox said.

Fox said it’s also important for producers to check their waters several times a day to make sure they stay open and cattle can get a drink.