Wintering Tips For Cattle

Cattle need to be protected from the cold weather during winter. Optimum care in the form of proper nutrition and environmental management can help cattle maintain an ideal core body temperature to keep them warm from the inside out. Here are tips to remember when you are wintering cattle:

  • Improve the cattle’s body condition score (ideally 5 or 6) so the animal has an adequate layer of fat insulation that can help the body conserve heat. Cows with a good body condition generally have a nutritionally balanced diet that can help them grow thicker winter hair coats.
  • The feed intake of cows tends to increase by 20% when the weather is cold. To meet this need, there should be an increase in the amount of feed that is delivered to the bunk before the temperatures start to drop. 
  • Separate thinner cows from the rest of the herd so they won’t have to compete for food. Be sure these cows have easy access to plenty of forage, water, mineral mix, and supplements. 
  • Put up windbreakers to keep cattle out of the wind. 

Sudden changes in the health and/or behavior of any cow should be checked out by a Westminster, MD veterinarian. Learn more here.


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